If you want to go inland, this is the way to do it. Skyrail gives magnificent views over the rainforest and the train ride down gave totally different views. In Karunda visit the red icecream cart and try the rum raison icecream made with real Bundaberg overproof rum - Delicious. Also visit the Peter Jarver gallery to see photos by this famous photographer.
Skyrail up to Kuranda. Time on our own to walk around this interesting village. Went to the butterfly sanctuary (small added fee). HINT: There is a wonderful Aboriginal art gallery/shop (not a trinket shop) but we only found it at the end of our walking around the town. Then a train ride back down -- booked the premiere ticket and were very glad. Lovely Victorian train cab with very comfortable individual bucket seats. Served beverage (wine, beer, etc) and cheese plate and dessert. Excellent views etc. If you can, sit on the left side of train.
We did the skyrail up to Kuranda village. Was so beautiful and an amazing experience. It's a definite must do when in cairns. We spent about 2 hours at the village which was so lovely. I bought a few things from the markets. Caught the bus back down. Our tour guide got the bus to do a huge scenic route and she told us a lot about cairns and showed us things as we were driving past. Very interesting and helpful as we had another day in cairns after that.
booked direct as cheaper than cruise line. Paid the extra $AUD12 for diamond gondola but wouldn't do that again, I didn't think it was worth it. Very hot day but enjoyed our time on the gondolas as well as getting off a couple of time en route for the bush walks. Would definitely recommend this, but just the normal gondolas!
As we had 2 days in Cairns I chose to book the Kuranda train/skyrail through one of the tourist bureaus and saved myself $35 from what the cruise line was charging.Kuranda has 3 small markets where you can buy a clothes,jewelry and nick knacks.There is a butterfly sanctuary, a dangerous / venomous animals park and bird park. With the sky rail there are a couple of places where you can get off and go for a short walk through the rain forest.
Cairns being a launching pad for the Great Barrier Reef there are lots of ways of seeing the reef.From scenic flights - plane and helicopter $$$ - to small charter boats with scuba / snorkeling gear at the ready.Or you can go to one of the islands and snorkel around there.There's also white water rafting,paragliding,for the more adventurous.
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