A visit to Cairns and Tropical North Queensland Australia is not complete without a journey on the world famous historic Kuranda Scenic Railway especially when you choose to upgrade to some old fashioned first class and ride in Private Rail Carriages in Gold Class with sparkling wine and Canapés in club style seating. On this 90 minute historical train journey your eyes are in for a treat as you pass thru some beautiful tropical scenery surrounded by majestic mountains with cascading waterfalls and dangerously deep gorges. The Kuranda Scenic Railway day tour is an experience for everyone in the family to enjoy and as you sit in your comfortable seats you can listen to the story of how the railway tracks and tunnels were carved out of the rainforest and the granite mountains by hand to build the wonderful trip you get to still enjoy today. The best way to experience the Kuranda Scenic Railway and to enhance your day out is to combine it with a Skyrail Gondola ride so you can see the magnificent rainforests just like the birds do from above the trees. Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Skyrail Gondala tour to the rainforest village of Kuranda is one of the most popular and most requested day tours in Cairns second only to the Great Barrier Reef
Kuranda Scenic Rail Overview
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is an unforgettable 1 hour and 45 minute journey up the tropically clad mountainous range from Cairns City to the eclectic Rainforest Village of Kuranda. The scenic railway journey winds its way through the spectacular World Heritage listed tropical rainforest and Barron Gorge. This memorable scenic train journey showcases the very best that Cairns and Tropical North Queensland has to offer, such as magnificent scenery, lush tropical rainforest, steep ravines and cascading waterfalls and rivers. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of Cairns' most popular attractions, and most visitors would not make the journey to visit Cairns and Tropical North Queensland without experiencing this enchanting unforgettable train ride.
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a holiday experience that encapsulates the wonders of the natural world and the marvels of human achievement. Still considered an outstanding engineering feat, the Kuranda Scenic Railway showcases the pioneering spirit of early Australians and is a monument to the numerous men who lost their lives whilst constructing this historic railway. Kuranda Scenic Railway travels 34 kilometers - at 328 meters above sea level - through some of the oldest and most pristine tropical rainforests in the world. This 100 year old historic Kuranda Scenic Railway climbs more than 300 meters through dense rainforest, delves through 15 dark tunnels whilst you hold your breath, bends around 98 curves whilst you try to balance your champagne flute and tip toes precariously over 40 skinny bridges. The journey is at once both awe-inspiring and breath-taking.
This spectacular railway journey can begin at either the Cairns Railway Station for those guests staying in Cairns City or the Freshwater Train Station Connection. Please advise f you will need Hotel transfers which can be arranged when booking the Kuranda Scenic Railway experience. The Freshwater Train Station is the most popular point of departure as it boasts a tantalizing restaurant that provides guests with a mouth watering breakfast and hot coffee for those early morning departures whilst sitting back and dining in an authentic historic 85 year old railway carriage which takes you back in time to the good old days and gets you in the mood for some good old fashioned adventure.
The Freshwater train connection also boasts a train Museum, Theatrette, Pioneer Cottage and Kuranda Scenic Railway Gift Shop. Once departing Freshwater Connection, Kuranda Scenic Railway travels up one of the most impressive mountain ranges in Cairns Tropical North Queensland and through the spectacular Barron Gorge National Park.
The next stop on this memorable journey is the magnificent Barron Falls Railway Station. Once at the station passengers alight and take some fantastic memorable photographs and are treated to magnificent views of the Barron River, Gorge and waterfalls. Barron Falls is one of the most popular sites in the World Heritage Rainforest. In the Green season Barron Falls really comes alive, and visitors regularly enjoy being shrouded in a spectacular cloud of mist off the raging waterfalls.
Only minutes away from Barron Falls the train journey comes to an end at beautiful Kuranda Station. Kuranda train station is famous for its heritage listed buildings and award winning hanging fern gardens. Passengers can enjoy refreshments at the delightful Kuranda Railway Tea Rooms.
Kuranda, affectionately known as 'The Village in the Rainforest' is an absolute 'must do' for visitors to Cairns and Tropical North Queensland. Nestled amongst the magnificent World Heritage listed tropical rainforest, Kuranda provides visitors with an abundance of things to do and see such as the daily Heritage Markets where you can scavenge for items of clothing made from natural products such as hemp, bargain with the jewelry artists and purchase some of the abundant freshly prepared array of foods offered by the local migrants. Art galleries, wildlife parks, up close Aboriginal cultural experiences, restaurants, cafes and bars are all on offer here. Kuranda is a well known hippie Village and just the perfect location for the visitors who simply want to relax and enjoy the quiet laid-back feel of it all, or who simply want to 'get back' to nature.
Kuranda Scenic Railway not only provides a visually spectacular and awe inspiring journey, but it is also a journey steeped firmly in Australian Pioneer history. The construction of the railway was first proposed after the Green season of 1882, when the tin mining town of Herberton was isolated for several months by floodwaters. Farmers and workers in the area demanded better access and communication to the coast, by road or train. The famous explorer, Mr. Christie Palmerston was given the task of discovering the best way to cross the treacherous mountain range. Construction began at the Cairns end of the line, cutting through swamps, mangrove forests, and sand ridges before proceeding up the Redlynch valley towards Kuranda. It was made using cement from England that was carried up the mountain by mules. After several years of construction and the deaths of many workers from tropical diseases and accidents, the spectacular railway was finally completed and began operating in 1891.
Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of Cairns most popular attractions so Booking in advance is recommended. A fantastic way to experience the World Heritage listed tropical rainforest and Kuranda is to combine the scenic rail journey with the world famous Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Whilst Kuranda Scenic Rail gives visitors an amazing view of the rainforest at ground level, Skyrail provides an extraordinary birds-eye-view of the forest as it soars silently only meters above the rainforest canopy. And for visitors who want to spoil themselves why not try Kuranda Scenic Railway Gold Class? This provides guests with an exclusive class of travel that provides that little bit extra. Kuranda Scenic Railway Gold Class provides visitors with personalised friendly service, comfortable seating and local gourmet food and beverages. Simply a more luxurious way to travel!
Kuranda Scenic Railway is a 'must do' for anyone visiting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland!
KSR | Kuranda Classic Experience
- Location: Cairns
2 hours each way (Cairns to Kuranda)
The Classic Kuranda experience can be a self-drive or coach transfer to the train station in Cairns or Caravonica to begin the journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to wind your way up the majestic mountains to the rainforest village of Kuranda. Spend a few hours shopping, exploring and enjoying the entertainment and then make your way to the Skyrail Gondola for a breathtaking journey back down the mountain.
Kuranda Scenic Train to Kuranda Optional Return Train
- Location: Cairns
7 Hours (8:30am to 3:30pm)
Ride the historical Kuranda Scenic Railway up the mountain ranges to the village in the rainforest to enjoy all of the tourist attractions that await your arrival. Upgrade to Gold Class and travel in style with refreshments and appetisers along the way or if you have a group travel in Royale Class with your own private host.
KSR | Kuranda Dreamtime Experience
- Location: Cairns & Freshwater Station
- Duration: Kuranda Scenic Railway approx 1½ hours one way. Allow 10 minutes stop at Barron Gorge falls. Skyrail 1½ hours one way
A mixture of the thrilling ride up the mountain to Kuranda in the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the equally breathtaking ride down the mountain in the Skyrail Gondola and then across to the multi award winning Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to learn the secrets of this ancient culture.
KSR | Kuranda Wildlife Experience
- Location: Cairns, Smithfield, Kuranda
- Duration: Skyrail 1½ hours one way. Allow 20 minutes for each Rainforest station Kuranda Scenic Railway approx 1½ hours
This full day tour gives you the opportunity to see and as an optional extra hold some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife such as the cute furry Koala, the ferocious salt water Crocodile and a Python whilst also experiencing two of Cairns most iconic tours the Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Railway.
KSR | Kuranda Rainforest Experience
- Location: Cairns, Freshwater & Kuranda
- Duration: Skyrail 1½ hours one way. Allow 20 minutes for each Rainforest station
Travel up the Macalister mountain ranges thru hand cut mountains on the historical Kuranda Scenic Railway where you can explore this quaint rainforest village and then board a coach to Rainforestation a multi- faceted tourist attraction offering action and adventure. Return to Caravonica on the Skyrail Gondola.