Kuranda is a small town in tropical north Queensland approximately 25 km from Cairns. It’s really cool because it offers a microcosm of amazing Queensland experiences without requiring you to spend weeks traveling in Australia. To name a few items, you can:
- see tropical rainforest and stunning waterfalls.
- see local butterflies
- get your photo cuddling a koala
- check out local birds
- walk around the village’s perimeter on a rainforest trail
- shop wonderful heritage markets
Although it’s not far from Cairns, getting to and from Kuranda is an amazing experience! We took a Gondola ride there, which takes you just meters above tropical rainforest. There were a couple of stops built in so you can take in the scenery and waterfalls (and take pictures). The nice part of the Gondola ride is you can spend as little or as much time as you like at each stop before going to the next stop.
At the conclusion of our day we took a train back to Cairns. This also included stops though you were limited by the amount of time the train stopped. The scenery was stunning!
Designated stops allowed you to photograph waterfalls from different angels.
Once we arrived in Kuranda, we were impressed by the amazing heritage markets, which are great to collect art or cool souvenirs. There were many shops and cafes selling food, coffee, ice cream, and sweets. We decided to bring our own picnic lunch and eat on some benches in the green space in the middle of the village which was quite lovely. Then, we went for a wander around looking for cool things that made interesting photography subjects.
We had read in flyers that there were many walks around Kuranda, so that was a big part of the planning we had decided for our allotted time. Sadly, many trails required a vehicle to reach. The trail we could reach went around the village and took 45 minutes to an hour. We did encounter a car driving on one of the trails though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to be there. We had a good time on the one trail.
We saw wildlife just walking around this small rainforest village. We saw bush turkeys, butterflies, and the famous kookaburra.
Overall thoughts: Kuranda is perfect one-stop shopping for tourist who has come to experience Queensland Australia without a lot of time (or even Australians holidaying in Cairns). If you are planning to spend some time travelling the Queensland coast, you may choose to invest in the day as a survey of what you’ll experience. If you are planning a trip along the Queensland coast between Brisbane and the Daintree Rainforest, going to Kuranda is redundant. I know I would have been more impressed by our trip to Kuranda had we not already visited the Daintree Rainforest. If you don’t have the time/resources to go into the Daintree (we went to Cape Tribulation), then I absolutely recommend going to Kuranda.