Review: Combine the historic Scenic Railway and Skyrail cableway on a Kuranda tour from Cairns inner banner

Review: Combine the historic Scenic Railway and Skyrail cableway on a Kuranda tour from Cairns

Immerse yourself in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Queensland Wet Tropics rainforest on this fabulous day tour from Cairns to the picturesque village of Kuranda. Combine a historic rail journey in one direction, with a soaring cableway ride in the other. Review: Chris Bright
Kuranda tour from Cairns
Kuranda tour from Cairns: Ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
Kuranda Day Tour from Cairns by train and Skyrail with Global Travel Services


Visit the beautiful rainforest village of Kuranda on this fabulous Kuranda day tour from Cairns. Take the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway up to the village, and the famous Skyrail cableway on the return journey. All Cairns hotel transfers are included. You’ll have plenty of time in Kuranda to explore the markets and wildlife parks (additional cost applies). Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.

Find more tours like this

We love a good holiday rail journey here in Oz.

There’s the world-famous Ghan and the Indian Pacific from Sydney to Perth, and smaller day tour options like Katoomba’s Scenic Railway (the world’s steepest railway) west of Sydney, and the West Coast Wilderness Railway in Tassie. The last two, like many other tourist-based rail services around the country, actually started life as commercial operations. The Kuranda Scenic Railway in Far North Queensland is part of that family. We were lucky enough recently to do a Kuranda tour from Cairns with Global Travel Services — including a journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

The picturesque village of Kuranda is hidden in the lush Wet Tropics rainforest and a visit here is one of the most popular tourist activities in the area. You can choose your preferred method of transport for the day from a combination of bus, train and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. We opted for the train ride up to Kuranda and the Skyrail back, and Global Transport Services takes care of everything — including a shuttle service to and from your Cairns hotel.

Construction of the Kuranda Scenic Railway began in 1886, and it proved to be an incredible engineering feat that is still admired today. The winding line rises from sea level to 328 metres, passing serene waterfalls and picturesque townships. The train stops briefly at Henry Ross Lookout for passengers to check out beautiful Barron Gorge.

Kuranda tour from Cairns
Kuranda tour from Cairns. Image: Chris Bright

Upon arrival in Kuranda, we’re greeted by a group of indigenous dancers, before heading off for our three hours of free time to explore the town. If you’re into shopping there are a plethora of markets, art exhibitions and local jewellery makers in the main strip.

There are also a number of wildlife parks, including Kuranda Koala Gardens, Birdworld Kuranda and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Global Transport Services offers a special three-park pass, which provides a considerable discount on your admission.

Kuranda tour from Cairns
Kuranda tour from Cairns. Image courtesy of Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

If you’re after a bite to eat, head to famous Frogs Restaurant in the Kuranda Heritage Markets. Owner Terry serves up an impressive menu of local specialties — including wild barramundi burgers and a spicy croc curry!

Once you’re ready to head back, it’s just a short stroll to the Skyrail departure platform. Skyrail runs for 7.5 kilometres with gondolas that carry groups of six up and over the great mountain range and back towards Cairns. The journey provides a surreal 360-degree view of the rainforest canopy and sweeping vistas of the incredible landscape. There are two stops along the way, which offer looped walking tracks and lookouts over the Barron Gorge. There’s also an optional 90-minute all-terrain buggy trek that will take you into the dense jungle.

Kuranda tour from Cairns
Kuranda tour from Cairns. Image courtesy of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

This Kuranda tour from Cairns is perfect for anyone who wants to see more of this spectacular part of Queensland without the hassle of driving or arranging transport. The best part is you can move at your own pace for most of the day, which makes the experience very relaxed and enjoyable.

Chris travelled as a guest of Global Travel Services.

Additional images: Bigstock

Chris Bright

About the writer

Chris Bright is a freelance writer based in Melbourne with a passion for travel, food, music and film. He’s travelled to South-East Asia, India, Japan, parts of Europe and much of North America. Chris is willing to try anything once, whether it’s leaping from great heights or eating things that don’t look the least bit appetising. When it comes to travel, he loves nothing more than meeting new people and sharing a laugh over their local drink of choice.


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