The city of Cairns, located in the northeast region of Queensland, is one of the busiest tourist locations in Australia. With so much history and so many national parks around it is considered one of the most diverse and beautiful places to visit. It is also located on the coast, so the beaches and rivers make it one of the most spectacular places to visit in all Australia. If you are not quite sure how to take it all in and would like to learn more about the region’s natural environment as well as about the development of local culture, then you should consider booking a seat on the Kuranda Scenic Railway.
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is an old fashioned steam engine kept up and running today for the purposes of tourism. Its tracks were built at the time of some of the region's earliest development and as such the train and journey have a truly authentic and rustic feel. The train goes through one of the area’s most beautiful natural parks, which has also been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in recent years. It is one of the few journeys on which that you can see both fresh and salt water in the same day. The train’s tracks take in some amazing routes, at times taking guests over a huge, natural gorge with nothing holding them up but some steel girders put in place many years ago.
The train journey also includes English narration specific to each part of your trip which will help you to discover more about this amazing country and region. The train goes all the way to Kuranda, where you can opt to stay for the night and venture back the next day or turn around right away and head back the way you came. You might also consider riding the old fashioned train one way and then returning by using the modern sky train which has been built in recent years.
The Cairns Skyrail is one of the best ways to see the sights of the natural rainforest that encompass the northeast region of Australia. The Skyrail travels a great distance though it quite closely follows the older train’s path. The Skyrail however can travel places the train cannot, so doing both the train and the Skyrail is highly recommended and a rewarding experience. On both you will pass some of the world’s most amazing waterfalls including a gigantic one which has a 50-foot drop best seen when it has been raining - witness the floodwaters come crashing down with all of their force. A truly spectacular sight, you will not regret making this journey.
Prices for the trains range between roughly 50 to 100 Australian dollars for children and adults, though you can purchase discount family packages. Also available are discount packages into the Tjapukai Aboriginal Park and the railway plus Skyrail combination pass. The prices may seem somewhat high but are not much more expensive than it would cost to pay entrance fees, rent a car and fill the petrol tank a few times. The whole trip takes about 6 hours, though you can always choose to stay overnight in Kuranda if you wish.
If you are unsure how to book your tickets, you can check with your local ticketing agency or tourist authority. Many Cairns hotels also have information available as to how you and your loved ones can get the most out of your journey. Your hotel should also be able to arrange transportation for you to and from the railway-boarding site. You might also want to consider taking your own pack lunch on the train as there are limited options once aboard though Kuranda has some lovely restaurants to sit at and enjoy your two hour scenic time before re-boarding the train.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Cairns Hotels content.