This day a year ago was one of the absolute highlights for me of our month in Australia.
A long day today, but definitely worth it.
We were picked up at 8am and taken down near to Cairns to board the Kuranda Scenic Railway. We’d been booked to travel Gold Class, which gave us nicer, bigger seats and nibbles during the journey. The rail line was originally built in the late 1800s to provide a supplementary route to get resources to the towns in the Atherton Tablelands (the mountains near Cairns) which often had road routes cut off during the Wet Season.
The journey into the mountains and through the rainforest was delightful and lasted about an hour and a half, including a stop to look at the Barron Gorge Falls.
When we arrived at Kuranda station, we were given an exclusive tour of the signal box. We then headed into Kuranda itself, which we found to be something of a typical tourist trap. We did, however, really enjoy our visit to the Australia Butterfly Sanctuary, where we saw hundreds of beautiful (and huge) tropical butterflies. One landed on my hand and stayed there for ages.
We returned to sea level via the rather stunning Skyrail, a ski lift/gondola system which runs for about 7km not far above the rainforest canopy. We had chance to stop off a couple of times, once to see Barron Gorge Falls again from the other side, and the second time to follow a boardwalk through the rainforest.
We eventually got back to Port Douglas near to 7pm.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Cheesy ‘official’ photo
Rob took several more pictures of the day which you can see here.