Kuranda, the village in the rainforest high above the coast on the edge of the Tablelands, has enticed visitors since its rail link with Cairns opened over a century ago.
Kuranda, North Queensland
The train still winds daily up the mountains over bridged ravines, through tunnels and past the Barron Gorge waterfalls to Australia's most photogenic railway station.
Travel one way by train and the other on a 7.5 km Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway above World Heritage rainforest, making two descents to see the forest floor and learn about the amazing diversity of plants and animals of a wet tropics rainforest.
Driving to Kuranda a lookout on the scenic Kennedy Highway provides wide angle views of the coast and sea. Within the village everything is in walking distance. The north's biggest and most frequented markets have terraced stalls among the trees and serenades from singers and musicians while you browse among the local art, crafts, fashions and food.
Australia's biggest butterfly display has guides to answer questions as you wander through its trees and water gardens, among the brilliant Ulysses, Cairns Birdwing and Red Lacewing and search for the tiny, well-camouflaged species.
Aboriginal culture flourishes in and around Kuranda. The Pamagirri Aboriginal dancers present their show in the amphitheatre set in the rainforest - Rainforeststation.
Kuranda village streets are lined with small shops, galleries,
restaurants, snack bars, old pubs, an orchid and palm display and
an old timber
are canoes for hire, a
Barron River rafting and
on an amphibious army "duck",
Barron Falls lookout is a few minutes drive away.
A day or a stay in Kuranda is a true insight into the place long known to locals as "Fairyland".