Village in the Rainforest….
A scenic 30 minute drive northwest of Cairns is Kuranda. Kuranda is the aboriginal for ‘village in the rainforest’, and over the years Kuranda has taken on a distinctive character as a popular visitor destination in its own right.
There are three spectacular ways to visit Kuranda – the Kuranda Scenic Railway which each year takes over half a million people to the village, the multi-award winning Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and the winding Kuranda Range Road which is a photographer’s delight with its scenic views.
No matter how you arrive at Kuranda each way takes advantage of the coastal and Tableland panoramas. On arrival, visitors discover the village of Kuranda’s appeal with shady trees that shelter the tranquil main street, old timber church and houses, pubs, shops and galleries.
Accommodation includes a rainforest resort, tourist park with cabins, motel accommodation caravan and camping areas, just minutes from the town centre, casual backpacker hostels and innovative historic and modern accommodation houses. There are plenty of places for leisurely dining or a quick snack with Kuranda offering exotic fruits, European influenced cuisine to the wholesome foods of the region or a chilled ale at a traditional Queensland pub.
Kuranda is famous for having the biggest and most frequent art and craft markets in Tropical North Queensland. Four times a week country markets delight visitors who pick their way through stalls terraced among the trees – showcasing local products from didgeridoos and damper to art, craft and local fashions.
A second covered market operates seven days a week and features a cultural theatre with free entertainment by buskers. A walk through aviary is a quiet retreat – where native birds share food, trees and often perch on visitor’s hats.
Kuranda also boasts Australia’s biggest butterfly display which is home to exotic species such as the brilliant blue Ulysses and the Red Lace Wings butterfly that flash their presence as smaller and camouflaged species feed on the tropical flowers and trees of their expansive sanctuary.
Indigenous culture, legends and lifestyle give the village an ancient feel. Internationally recognised Aboriginal dance groups and members have performed in Kuranda while another Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group has chosen a forest amphitheatre in which to perform, just minutes from the Kuranda village.
A cruise boat and a guided forest walk leave from the banks of the Barron River and rainforest walks surround the village. There is also a jungle tour on board an amphibious army ‘duck’. A short drive from the village are the Barron Falls which cascade down through the Barron Gorge. The falls are a spectacular sight during the summer wet season and are easily viewed from generous sized platforms.
POPULATION: 760 approximately
DISTANCE FROM BRISBANE: 1,850 kilometres
DISTANCE FROM CAIRNS: 27 kilometres
TRANSPORT WITHIN THE REGION:
Phone: +61 7 4093 7119
White Car Coaches
Phone: +61 7 4091 1855
Phone: +61 7 4031 3636
ROAD CONDITIONS AND FUEL:
Fuel is available in Kuranda 7 days a week. The road from Cairns is well made but very twisty and should be taken with care especially when wet. The road from Kuranda to the Atherton Tablelands is very good and has regular fuel stops. Unmade roads west of Kuranda should only be attempted with care and prior knowledge of road conditions is essential.
Commonwealth Banking facilities are available at the Post Office. Northern Permanent Building Society.