In the cable car

In the cable car

For the start of our Tropical North adventure we flew up to Cairns, and spent a couple of nights in an apartment near the wharf. Flying in was surprised how hilly it was, with hills covered in trees going right down to the sea.

On our first full day we went on the cable car up into the Daintree rainforest to Kuranda, had lunch at the top in Kuranda and came back down through the gorge on the Kuranda scenic railway. It was a really good trip. On the way up you get great views back over Cairns and the surrounding area, and of course of the rainforest all around you. We paid a small bit extra for ‘diamond’ gondolas which had a clear floor, so you could see below well.

There are 2 stops on the way up. At the first one we did a short guided walk and learnt about the different plants, animals and fruits in the forest, including the musky rat-kangaroo. We saw some bush turkeys, but no rat-kangaroos.

The second stop was a lookout over the impressive Barron Falls. As it was getting into summer there wasn’t loads of water going over it, but the gorge itself was still very impressive.

We had a couple of hours in the rainforest village of Kuranda, so had a look around the shops and then got some lunch. We had lunch in a place overlooking the rainforest with lots of kookaburras about.

Kuranda Railway Station

Kuranda Railway Station

The train station was quite 1920’s retro and the train had booths of seats inside and open windows with bars across for some good air flow. Matt managed to pick up a frozen, chocolate coated banana for a quick snack, which was a healthier version of an ice cream. It tasted pretty odd, texture wise.

The train ride down was 37km and took about 90 minutes, and the views were really cool across the Barron Gorge National Park and down the valley out to Cairns. The whole line is a pretty impressive feat of engineering considering it was built in the 1880’s! You can read more about its history, here. We stopped at Barron Falls to check out the view from the other side, which was even more impressive.

Kuranda Train

Kuranda Train

Once we got back to Cairns, that afternoon Laura joined us from New Zealand, where she’s working at the moment. James made us all a yummy dinner, and we had a pretty close (and slightly too long) game of Munchkin before bed.

The next day we were up early for a 7.30am meet up with our reef boat. More about that in the next post!

View down the gorge

View down the gorge

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