16 Best Things To Do In Kuranda, Cairns

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Going on a Kuranda trip and want to know all the best things to do in Kuranda, Cairns? We have you covered! Below, you will find our guide to all the best Kuranda attractions to plan your ultimate trip.

Located just above Cairns, Kuranda is surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest and known for its arts scene, markets and animal sanctuaries. I don’t think anywhere else in Far North Queensland has such a concentration of attractions and activities, and there’s a lot to love about visiting this part of Queensland.

Rainforestation Nature Park

A beautiful area, a trip to Kuranda involves many decisions. How will you get there, private car or via the Skyrail and Scenic Railway? Will you just go for a day trip or stay overnight? What things to do in Kuranda Queensland will you do and which will have to wait for next time?

Below, you will find our Kuranda travel blog with everything you need to know to answer all these questions! This includes the best Kuranda things to do options, the top tourist attractions in Kuranda as well as a guide to exactly what to do in Kuranda, Cairns for your ultimate holiday!! There is also a handy map of the best things to see in Kuranda.


Top 16 Best Things To Do In Kuranda, Cairns

Here are the best Kuranda tourist attractions. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

Note if you are visiting on a day trip taking the Skyrail and Scenic Railway, you’ll have to be very brutal about the Kuranda activities you chose due to the lack of time. I recommend Rainforestation.

See Stunning Views From The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Kuranda

The Skyrail is one of the more famous of the things to do Kuranda offers. It’s a 9 kilometre long cable car linking Smithfield, north of Cairns, with Kuranda. The Skyrail runs over some beautiful landscapes including the Barron River valley and the Barron Falls, just outside of Kuranda.

The gondolas, which comfortably fit four people or are a bit squishy for five or six, give amazing views of the scenery below. If you’re in a small group you may have to share a gondola, depending on how busy it is.

There’s two stops between Smithfild and Kuranda. From Smithfield, the first stop is Red Rocks where you have to change gondolas as the cable itself ends and a new one begins. You can change directly or check out the boardwalk that’s been built around the station. It takes between 5 and 10 minutes and gives you a good chance to stretch your legs. It has some amazing views.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Kuranda gondola

The second station is at Barron Falls, a little under 10 minutes from Kuranda. Getting off is optional. The station is just a short walk from the Barron Falls. While you get great views from the air, seeing the falls up close is something else.

Doing it as fast as you can takes about 40 minutes although 90 minutes is recommended if stopping off at both stations.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Kuranda view

The main traffic is up to Kuranda in the mornings and then back to Smithfield in the afternoon. Pre-COVID the queue to board was often quite long. However, on our most recent trip there was almost no queue at all.

The Skyrail was a massive hit with our five year old and it’s one of the best things to do in Kuranda for kids especially when paired with the Cairns to Kuranda train in the other direction.

Click here for tickets for this and the Scenic Railway.

Hop Aboard The Kuranda Scenic Railway

Kuranda Scenic Railway

A thoroughly unique Aussie railway experience, the Kuranda Scenic Railway takes you through world heritage-listed rainforest – part of the Wet Tropics – that’s millions of years old.  And, as you travel through this tropical paradise, you’ll feel in awe of the majestic mountains, the numerous waterfalls, and be completely engulfed by sounds of the rainforest.

Running from Kuranda over the Great Dividing Range to Cairns, Queensland, this tourist railway meanders through the Macalister Range.  37km in length, the ride takes approximately 2 hours, which includes a 10-minute stop at the spectacular Barron Falls Station for a glimpse of the famous falls.

Along the route you’ll listen to commentary about the flora and fauna on display, plus learn how the railway was constructed more than a century ago, beginning operation in 1891.  Not an easy feat when you consider there’s 15 hand-made tunnels and 37 bridges… with the added problems of the terrain plus the climb from sea level to 328 metres up the Macalister Range!

Choose to take this spectacular journey in the Gold Class carriages (with refreshments and finger food) or keep things simple and enjoy the views from Heritage Standard Class.  However you travel, you’ll be astounded by the picturesque ravines, waterfalls (Stoney Creek Falls is literally metres from the train!) and the scenic vistas.

Kuranda Scenic Railway platform 2

In fact, your adventure starts at Kuranda Rail Station, well known for its tropical gardens and historic significance – claiming to be one of the most photographed railway stations in the world!  Check out the Kuranda Railway Tea Rooms at the station before setting off.

Carriages are rustic – designed to look that way, keeping things in line with the original carriages.  You’ll find detailed woodwork, red leather seats and feel instantly transported back in time!

If you’re riding the train in reverse, a great spot to jump on is at the Freshwater Railway Station, which has a little information centre, and a wonderful cafe that operates from the inside of an old train carriage.

Operating every day of the year except for Christmas Day (check out the timetable here), bookings are highly recommended.  And don’t forget you can combine your journey aboard Kuranda Scenic Railway with the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway experience!

Click here for tickets for this and the Skyrail.

Discover Aboriginal Culture And Ride An Army Duck At Rainforestation Nature Park

Rainforestation Nature Park army duck

Once you have made it to Kuranda, there are many great places to visit in Kuranda to choose from. I recommend this one as the #1 place to head!

Located just outside of town, a free shuttle bus runs regularly from the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary if you don’t have your own wheels. Otherwise, Rainforestation is located before Kuranda on the road from Cairns so it’s best to either start or finish your time in Kuranda here.

There are a variety of experiences at Rainforestation Nature Park and it’s best to already know what you want to do before you arrive as your entry price will vary accordingly. There are basically three themes to the attractions.

Rainforestation Nature Park army duck

First of all, there is the opportunity to ride around the rainforest on a World War II Army Duck. These awesome vehicles can take you around the rainforest on dry land then drive straight into a lake for a tour by water.

The driver stops regularly to share information about the local rainforest flora and fauna. It’s fun, but I was surprised by just how much it stopped. At least half the time we were stopped during the 45 minutes tour whereas I had expected they would talk while driving us around. I still think it’s great but it’s good to have the right expectation especially if you are travelling with younger kids who may get bored.

Rainforestation Nature Park Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience

Next up is a variety of Aboriginal experiences to select from. We chose the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience which I highly recommend. We watched a traditional dance performance which was very good. It was educational as well as watching the dances and it was a good length of time at around 30 minutes including time for anyone who wanted to go on stage and learn some moves.

We then watched spear and didgeridoo presentations before learning to throw a boomerang! Again, the presentations were a good length of time and very interesting to keep even short-attention-spanned kids interested.

I especially enjoyed the demonstration of how they put different animal sounds into their didgeridoo playing and the boomerang throwing. I just wish the groups were a little smaller so we could have had a couple of turns of throwing the boomerang. One turn is not enough.

Rainforestation Nature Park Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience traditional dance

Finally, there is also a koala and wildlife park including dingoes, crocodiles, Tasmanian devils and more. There’s the opportunity to feed wallabies and kangaroos. We personally did not do this part of Rainforestation, preferring to use the time to visit the animal experiences in Kuranda instead, so I can’t give a personal opinion. However, if it’s as high standard as the other attractions here, I’m sure it’s great.

If you want to learn more about the animals here before you go, here is a guide to Australian animals.

All in all, this is an educational and fun place to visit to learn more about the original culture in this area, the animals and the rainforest.

You can buy tickets here or buy a tour for here combined with the Scenic Railway and Skyrail above.

Pick A Local Souvenir At Kuranda Rainforest Market

Kuranda Rainforest Market

Kuranda in the 1960’s was an alternative-lifestyle destination, set amongst the lushness of the rainforest.  Residents came to town seeking a change of pace, choosing to grow their own food, create art and music and hand-build homes of brick and timber.

Over the following decade, the region flourished, meaning by the 1970’s the community was in full flight, with an open-air market selling locally grown produce, handmade wares… Alongside buskers and fortune-tellers delighting visitors!

Ever since, Kuranda has been renowned for its markets organised by friendly village people with artistic and imaginative minds.  And tourists flock to Kuranda to discover today’s markets.

  • The Original Markets – On the corner of Therwine & Thoree Street

Formed from the 1970’s markets, the Original Markets are a sandalwood and patchouli scented experience. There’s a feeling of nostalgia, enchantment even, as you wander the meandering pathways in the rainforest.  An eclectic hoshposh of experiences are on offer such as a traditional tea ceremony at the Japanese Tea House or fresh crepes at the Petit Cafe.  ‘Quirky’ hardly covers it, with secret pathways through the trees to rainbow coloured market stalls and buskers at every turn.  You’ll even find a 9-hole crazy golf course in the middle of it all!

  • The Heritage Markets

Directly opposite the Original Markets you’ll find – on Rob Veivers Drive – the Kuranda Heritage Markets.  This is an all-weather covered market selling a myriad of locally-produced souvenirs. Have your portrait done, watch the dreamcatcher weavers, search for handcrafted Aboriginal items, try the hottest chilli sauce on the planet or just browse the treasures for fun!

These markets in the Village in the Rainforest are unique, entertaining, and exploring them was a standout part of our Kuranda itinerary. Look out for some exotic bird interaction along the market’s pathways, a favourite part for our children.  And relax at the licensed restaurant Frogs, to rest tired feet before diving back into the markets!

Watch Beautiful Butterflies At The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary entry

You’re in for a treat if you love butterflies, as this sanctuary is the largest ‘light aviary and exhibits’ in not just Australia, but all of the southern hemisphere.

There’s supposedly over 1500 tropical butterflies and if you love them – as we do – then ensure to wear something bright and colourful to entice them to flutter all over you (supposedly white, red or pink works best). Our kids were enthralled by how tame they seemed, settling on noses, shoulders, heads and in our open hands.

And after you’ve walked through the aviary there’s an interesting “behind the scenes” type tour of their breeding laboratory with – get ready for it – over 4000 caterpillars!  I guess they won’t be going out of business soon…

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Seriously though, the tour is a great add-on educational part to a fun experience.  There are caterpillars in all stages of development – hanging upside down from twigs, spinning silky cocoons, and if you’re really lucky you’ll see one metamorphosing into a butterfly.  The last section is a museum-style exhibit of butterflies from all around the world.

Rain or shine, this is a great all-weather experience and one of the best Kuranda nature experiences.

This Butterfly Sanctuary and the following bird and koala gardens are all located next to each other and it’s easy to visit one or all three together. They are just a short walk from the Skyrail and Scenic Railway station. This is also where the free shuttle bus for Rainforestation leaves from.

Click here for tickets and prices.

Feed The Birds At Birdworld Kuranda

Birdworld Kuranda

If you enjoy birds, you won’t want to miss this answer to what to do in Kuranda Village.

This small bird aviary is well presented and home to almost 60 species of friendly birds. On entry, we were on a big platform with food and birds landing seemingly all around us – the kids loved how the birds landed on them.

Birdworld Kuranda

We then walked around the aviary. It didn’t take long but it was a very nice walk with beautifully landscaped gardens with waterfalls and ponds and, of course, tons of birds to see as well as some turtles.

You could be finished here in ten minutes easily, although we spent about half an hour playing with the birds. It’s recommended not to wear earrings, sunglasses, anything a cheeky bird could take off you easily.

Click here for tickets and prices.

Cuddle Koalas In Kuranda Koala Gardens

Kuranda Koala Gardens

Without a doubt one of Australia’s most famous animals, koalas are so cute they make most hearts melt.  Their young joeys are even cuter!  So don’t miss this opportunity to grab a souvenir digital photo at one of the few places in the world where you can hold koalas.

Get up close to these gorgeous animals at the Kuranda Koala Gardens, located right at the Heritage Markets, enjoying a “Cuddle a Koala” opportunity with a dozy animal (they sleep for up to 18 hours a day!).

Koala’s survive only on eucalyptus leaves, eating sometimes a kilogram a day.  Yet they eat only 50 of the known 700 species of eucalyptus, hence they are known to be rather fussy eaters!  These and other interesting facts – such as ‘Koala’ is thought to mean ‘no drink’ in the Australian Aboriginal language – can be discovered at the Gardens.

Cute Koala at the Kuranda Koala Gardens

But there’s more than just Koala’s on show here.  You’ll find other iconic Aussie animals including wallabies, wombats, snakes and lizards, gliders and even some snappy Australian Freshwater Crocodiles.

A favourite spot for children, there’s a chance to pat or feed the swamp wallabies, eastern grey kangaroos and the red legged pademelons.  There’s a Nocturnal Wonders exhibit, with slightly rarer animals such as the mahogany glider.  Plus there’s the camouflage experts – lizards, monitors and many more to spot in their enclosures!

This a wonderful spot, ideal for all age groups. This is perhaps the pick of the bunch for families in Kuranda with children.

Click here for tickets and prices.

You can also find discounted combination tickets to see the butterflies, birds and koalas here.

Doongal Aboriginal Art Shop And Gallery, Kuranda

Stumped for what to do in Kuranda for free?  Specialising in local Aboriginal Rainforest Art, along with artwork from indigenous Central Australian artists, the Doongal Aboriginal Art Shop and Gallery is a great place to spend an hour or so.

Aboriginal culture never had a written language. Thus, their laws, stories and social behaviour were always recorded either in the form of a song, dance or through drawings. Browse these amazing artworks, elegantly displayed in a gallery where ‘wood’ is the main theme.

If – similar to us – you found the Markets a little inauthentic, why not check here for that special piece of artwork to take home (or have shipped home), in remembrance of your Kuranda trip.

Filled with traditional artefacts and stunning artworks, add this interesting stop into your Kuranda exploration.  Plus you’ll find many didgeridoo and boomerangs on sale here if you fancy taking home a slice of Australian culture!

Taste The Sweetness At Honey House

Honey House Kuranda

Inviting visitors through the door since 1959, the Honey House is your go-to place for raw honey (just as nature intended!) and other products.  Plus you can watch the bees at work, thanks to glass-fronted observation hives.

As the region is home to the widest variety of flora in Australia, local bees are kept buzzing and happy… which in turn creates some tantalising honey tastes, with new varieties all year round.  Hand bottled, you’ll find small harvest raw honeys for sale that retain their natural healing properties.

Inside Honey House Kuranda

At the Honey House you can enjoy an individualised tasting service, helping to select the right honey for your tastebuds or health needs.  There’s also fresh honeycomb squares (totally yummy and worth the visit alone!), honey dispensers, plus ointments and sprays to purchase or sample.  You’ll be learning lots about the wonderful healing properties of honey.

The store is currently open Wed-Sun 9.30am-3pm.  Keep an eye here for the latest details.

Learn Candy Making At Kuranda Candy Kitchen

Kuranda Candy Kitchen

If you love candy, you’ll definitely want to add Kuranda Candy Kitchen to your list of Kuranda Village things to do. Located on the main strip between the stations and the wildlife attractions, it’s easy to pop in and buy some of the lollies made on site.

Kuranda Candy Kitchen
Kuranda Candy Kitchen

I had read there are candy making demonstrations, although I did not see these myself. Still, we did enjoy the yummy and affordable treats on offer.

Emu Ridge Gallery

You’ve probably heard of this place, as it’s famous for having a life-size replica (but museum quality) Allosaurus Skeleton that’s wrapped around the staircase.  Perhaps the most recognised dinosaur outside of T-Rex, Allosaurus roamed the earth 155-145 million years ago.

But the Emu Ridge Gallery was formed as a place to showcase crystals and gems, found over decades by two local fossickers.  Open since 2001, there’s quite a display to see – with other local fossickers and collectors contributing to the pieces on display.

Emu Ridge Gallery

And if you fancy treating yourself or your loved ones, why not browse their gift shop that holds one of the best displays of Australian gemstone jewelry from locally sourced crystals, gems and fossils.

Explore The Barron River By Riverboat

Kuranda riverboat

This was our family’s favourite thing to do in Kuranda, immersed in the stunning nature of the rainforest and cruising along the Barron River.

Originally known by its Aboriginal name Bibhoora, the Barron River is formed at Mount Hypipamee National Park at around 1,200 metres above sea level.  It flows north for 65km across the Atherton Tableland – through one of Australia’s highest rainforest belts – before finally turning east after Mareeba towards Kuranda.  It then spectacularly passes under the Kuranda Range Highway’s bridge and through Kuranda proper before descending down the 260-metre-high Barron Falls.

While passing through Kuranda, the river is calm. It’s ideal for a fun Riverboat Cruise – departing just a short walk down the stairs at the river bank below the Kuranda Train and Skyrail Stations.

Tours depart the Riverside landing at 1045am, 1145am, 1230pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm, and it’s a popular trip so booking ahead is well recommended.

The 45-minute cruise with Kuranda Rainforest Tours – the only operator – is another of those must-do’s in Kuranda, something to tick off during your visit.

The banks of the river and the waters are home to many flora and fauna, including freshwater crocodiles (spotting these definitely caused the most excitement in our family!), turtles, snakes, water dragons and many fish.  Plus, there are so many tropical birds (supposedly over 100 species); altogether a truly magical spot!

Your skipper will keep you amused during the tour, pointing out some of the wildlife and relating stories.  But you’ll need to keep a focus on the river, with your camera/cellphone at the ready as you’ll capture some awesome shots here and you might even spot the famed Cassowary.

This is perfect for all age groups, or hang around for the special Sunset Cruise (with an add-on dinner at Cafe Mandala) if you’re not aiming to catch the last Skyrail or Scenic Railway back down.

Finally, there’s a wonderful addition to any cruise whereby you can forget the boat and join the Kuranda Riverboat Guided Interpretive Rainforest Walk. Starting with a short hop across the Barron River to a secluded rainforest clearing, enjoy a glorious trek through ancient tropical rainforest – on a well marked trail.

Your guide will explain about the wildlife and point out the gorgeous plant life along the way. You’ll find ferns, lianas, vines and of course many majestic trees.  The short walk ends at a stunning clearing home to a trickle of a natural stream. A great spot for a well earned tea/coffee and slice of cake, before heading back across the river. Add this on to a river cruise for the ultimate Kuranda rainforest experience.

Tropically beautiful, don’t miss a cruise or walk through the world’s most ancient rainforest – top of the list of things in Kuranda to do! Full details and tickets can be found here.

Check Out Barron Falls And Barron Gorge National Park

Barron Falls, Barron Gorge National Park

Barron Gorge National Park is a spectacular geological feature of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area that offers a network of historic walking trails.  Get ready to discover rugged mountains, steep ravines, flowing streams and picturesque waterfalls… which altogether make Barron Gorge one of Queensland’s most popular national parks.

The Barron River dominates the park.  One of the most viewed sites within this World Heritage area is Barron Falls Lookout – a spectacular spot that is best reached during the rainy season in Summer.

At this time, the falls are surging and you can expect to be covered in a cloud of mist from the powerful cascades.  Alternatively, view the Falls from Wrights Lookout, located above the Barron Falls Railway Station.

However you view Barron Falls, you won’t be disappointed!  This is one steep, multi-tiered cascade of a waterfall, as the Barron River descends from the Atherton Tablelands down to the Cairns coastal plain.  You can jump off the scenic railway, view from a Skyrail cable car, or simply drive 3.5 km from Kuranda along Barron Falls Road to reach the Falls Car Park.

Directly from the car park you can access Barron Falls Lookout (offering a stunning full frontal aspect of the falls) or walk 1.4 km along the road to reach Wrights Lookout (which has views of Barron Gorge, coastal plains and Cairns).

After, it’s time to discover this historic park that’s criss-crossed with a network of half-day and full-day trails that includes the Smiths and Douglas Tracks, Stony Creek Weir track, Surprise Creek track and the Barron Falls Lookout track.  These trails have been in place for decades, actually first used by the local Aboriginal people (the Djabugandji Bama).

One of the most family-friendly walks is along an elevated walkway through the rainforest – the Din Din Barron Falls Lookout Track.  Graded as ‘easy’, this is a 40-minute 1.2-km return walk is wheelchair accessible.  High above the forest floor, you’ll walk a suspended boardwalk through lush, rainforest canopy to the Barron Falls.  With epic views all around, you’ll have many photos to add to Insta!

The Barron Gorge National Park – within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area – is home to primarily tropical rainforest but also includes open eucalypt forests, wetlands and mangrove forests.  And many areas hold significance for the Aboriginals, with stories that form part of their culture focused on the animals and plant life of the region.

If you’re a bird lover, you’ll be interested to know that this park forms part of the Wooroonooran Important Bird Area, supporting bird species endemic to Queensland’s Wet Tropics.  Those commonly seen include the orange-footed scrubfowl and noisy pittas, plus vibrant rainbow and scaly-breasted lorikeets that screech in the treetops.

Animal lovers can look out for striped possums, long-tailed pygmy-possums, Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos, musky rat-kangaroos and spotted-tailed quolls.

Away from nature, perhaps white water rafting is more your thing?  If so, drive 2.5 km to Lake Placid (where you’ll find picnic tables making this a great spot for lunch).  Half-day white water rafting adventures are available here, and ideal whether it’s your first time or a pro.

Thanks to the nearby power station there’s a constant water level, thus this adrenaline-inducing activity is guaranteed at any time of year.  Enjoy a thrilling eco-adventure ride on an 8-person raft through the Barron Gorge National Park accompanied by a professional rafting guide.

And there’s other options to get wet too, with some amazing Summer freshwater holes in the Park that are great for a refreshing dip.

Whatever your plan, the Barron Gorge National Park shouldn’t be missed.  There’s no public transport allowed in the park so you’ll need a vehicle or have to join a guided tour.  And keep an eye out for estuarine crocs and the large cassowary birds as these can be a little aggressive if provoked!

Download the Park Map.

Take In The Views From Glacier Rock Lookout

Glacier Rock Lookout

Staying within the Barron Gorge National Park, another famed spot is Glacier Rock.  This is a spectacular cliff-top point (at almost 400 metres), high on the eastern side of the Lamb Range.  However, this spot can only be reached by walking so it’s more difficult to reach but less crowded because of it!

If you’re an avid walker you’ll find reaching this spot well worth the effort for the awesome views.  Access from Kuranda is via Surprise Creek Track and into McDonald’s Track, commencing close to Wrights Lookout.  One of the Park Ranger’s names, this is his favourite spot across all the National Park… so it must be worth a trek!  Don’t forget to carry plenty of water, insect repellent and wear sturdy shoes.

And never forget, there’s no entrance fee to the Barron Gorge National Park, making a visit here one of the best free things to do in Kuranda, Qld.

Enjoy A Hay Ride At KUR-Cow Barnwell Farm

An adorable alpaca in KUR-Cow Barnwell Farm, Kuranda

Just a 6 minutes drive from the rainforest village of Kuranda, the Kur Cow Barnyard Farm is ideal for a full day’s family outing.

Regardless of age you’ll have a fab time here, with up-close encounters with farm animals, plus ATV and horseback rides around the working farm.

There’s an onsite restaurant for lunch (try the steaks!) or snacks, but if you’re a fresh-food lover head to their Organic Farm to pick your own organic fruit or vegetables.

And those farm animals… Well, they were a memorable part of our Kuranda trip!  We visited the ponies and the kids were allowed to feed them.  Then it was on to the cow shed for a quick lesson on how to milk a cow, before checking on the hens to see if they’d laid eggs.

Pre-booking is essential, with couple and family combo/adventure passes available for discounted fun/dining or you can simply enter the farm for $10 and enjoy the spectacular scenery of wide green fields – a complete contrast to the rainforest!

Check latest prices and offers here.

Day Trip To Mareeba

Granite Gorge Nature Park Mareeba

Less than 30 minutes away is the town of Mareeba in the Tablelands region. Despite being so close, it has quite a different feel with less rainforest and more feels like the start of the Outback.

Here, there are many things to do and it’s the perfect answer to what to do in Kuranda, Cairns when you feel like something different to the other Kuranda things to see and do.

We spent a day in Mareeba and recommend you do the same things as us!

Start at the Granite Gorge Nature Park. This privately owned park and campground is the best way to really enjoy the scenery of the area with some great hikes over huge rocks and swimming holes for cooling off.

Granite Gorge Nature Park Mareeba local rock wallabies

The walks were fine for our 5 year old to complete but there is some steep up and down-rock, so it’s not for people who aren’t confident on their feet.

The best part, however, is meeting the local rock wallabies. Crazy cute!

Next up, stop at CoffeeWorks on your way back into town. Coffee lovers will want to try their coffee (this region is known for it) and chocolate lovers will want to get a crazy good looking chocolate pizza!

CoffeeWorks Mareeba

Lunch is best spent at Skybury Cafe. Above the trees on a coffee plantation, there’s great views, very delicious food and coffee information boards and a special coffee farm tour on a big screen in their onsite (and free) cinema.

After lunch, head straight to Mareeba Heritage Museum. This is so much better than the average regional museum with so many well thought out displays, you’ll probably have to pull yourself away.

Skybury Cafe Mareeba

On the way back to Kuranda, stop in at De Brueys Boutique Wines and try out some award winning passionfruit wine as well as many other unique wines, spirits and liquers.

If you need to cool down after this, Emerald Creek Ice Creamery 10 minutes closer to Kuranda has delicious ice creams that’ll top off your day.

You can read our full guide to visiting Mareeba here.

What To Do In Kuranda, Qld Map

Things To Do In Kuranda map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article.

Best Place To Stay In Kuranda

While many people visit Kuranda on a day trip, it’s also perfectly valid to stay overnight. There are so many things to do in Kuranda Australia, you’ll need to stay a few days to do them all anyway.

If you do choose to stay here, there are some great options of where to stay in Kuranda.

Below I’ve listed a few different places to consider depending on your budget and needs.

BEST – Ronday-voo Bed and Breakfast Review

Located on the outskirts of Kuranda, this stunning B&B is our prime choice of accommodation.  9km from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, you’ll find a beautiful, quiet setting for Ronday-voo Bed and Breakfast  – removed from the tourist hustle and bustle that Kuranda can experience.

The colourful decor – inside and out – is what most grabs your attention – with a warming orange/red exterior, and bright blue and orange accents throughout.  There’s a couple of extended low cabins that run alongside the curved swimming pool, in turn surrounded by colourful plants.

Rooms come with 1 extra large double bed – Deluxe King Suite – or a smaller double – Deluxe Queen Suite.  Whichever you select, you’ll feel as though you’ve walked into someone’s home.  Flowers, elaborate candle holders, unique cushions, tablecloths, stunning mirrors, lamps and throws, give the accommodation a home-away-from-home feel.

Suites come with air-conditioning, heating, fan, pool and garden views, a patio, tea/coffee maker, and private kitchenette – with refrigerator, electric kettle, toaster, microwave, kitchenware and dining table.  There’s a flatscreen tv with Netflix/satellite channels, iron, minibar and bbq grilling area.  The ensuite bathroom has either a bath or shower with complimentary toiletries included.

Free parking is offered to all guests, and there’s free WiFi too.  A continental or vegetarian breakfast is served at your patio, and guests can enjoy tennis onsite or hiking trails nearby.  There’s a handy paid airport shuttle to Cairns Airport if required.

A beautiful, serene place to base yourself during your Kuranda vacation.

Click here to see the latest prices.

MID-RANGE – Kuranda Ngorongoro Lodge Review

Here’s a rather unique selling point: your African Escape in Australia!  That’s Kuranda Ngorongoro Lodge, so called as the owners first met in Africa and want to share their passion for the magnificent continent.

The Lodge is full of mementos and art pieces collected from their African travels, plus a safari jeep and wildlife-patterned bedspreads and pillows adding to the theme.

The Cottage has 2-bedrooms – Zambia with a queen size bed or Zimbabwe with 2 single beds.  These rooms are brightly coloured and come with either air conditioning or ceiling fan, electric heater and extra blankets for the colder months.  There’s a fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator, microwave oven, 2 hot-plates, tea/coffee making facilities and a wonderful selection of books on reptiles, birds, butterflies, insects and plants!

There’s one TV in the lounge area, and breakfast is served either English or Continental style.  You’ll find a pool table, a small gym, a swimming pool and a BBQ on site too. In fact, pretty much everything you need to keep you entertained!  WiFi is free and is strongest in the lounge area.

Paid airport transfers from Cairns are available, and there’s a rainforest bush track that runs along the adjacent creek.  Less than 2km from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, you’re in prime position for all the fun Kuranda activities.

We found the hosts delightful, excelling at ensuring their select guests have a wonderful stay.  Definitely the most unique accommodation in Kuranda with African vibes deep within the Australian rainforest!

Click here to see the latest prices.

BUDGET – Cassowary House Rainforest Lodge Review

Open since 1985, Cassowary House – a small family-run guest house – is a haven for bird and nature lovers.  A true rainforest experience, the grounds and surrounding area are completely unspoilt and untouched rainforest.

Only 5 minutes from the centre of Kuranda Village, this recently renovated cottage is your ideal budget stay.  Catbird Cottage has 1 queen bed, good for 2 people, and there’s 2 units of Cassowary House which has 2 single beds, both also good for 2 people.  There’s free WiFi, and television with Netflix and Spotify, and a refrigerator.  Plus you’ll have free parking, a private shower and toilet, and a little deck to sit at whilst enjoying the rainforest and visitors such as bandicoots, hornbill friarbirds and more!

Facilities include a shared laundry area and a shared fire pit all within the rainforest.  Picture a Hansel-and-Gretel rustic wooden cabin, and you’re close to comprehending this accommodation… Stunningly beautiful in it’s simplicity, a stay here is an amazing add-on to your Kuranda adventures.

If you have an interest in wildlife photography, simply adore nature, wish to view the Cassowary in the wild, or just want to stay at one of the best birding sites in Queensland, Cassowary House is the ideal Kuranda accommodation for you.

Click here to see the latest prices.

How To Get To Kuranda

Kuranda road

It’s easy to get to Kuranda by bus, train, cableway or car. If you have your own car, great! You are good to go. A self-drive journey takes about 35 minutes from Cairns.

Regular buses are also available from Cairns to Kuranda and take around 40 mins of travel.

Another great and popular way to get to Kuranda is by riding the Kuranda Scenic Railway which departs from Cairns which then has a 10-minute stop at Barron Falls Station. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach Kuranda on this journey.

You can also opt to ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for a fascinating 90-minute rainforest experience from Cairns to Kuranda.

It’s very popular to take the Skyrail one way and the Kuranda Scenic Railway the other which is what I highly recommend if you haven’t done this before. Once you are at the top, there’s shuttle buses to the most popular attractions or they are a short walking distance.

You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here. This will help you visit a wide range of attractions in the area.

Kuranda With Kids

Kuranda playground kids

Kuranda is a great place to visit with kids with most of the Kuranda tourist attractions being perfect for families. On our most recent visit, we went to Kuranda with our three kids aged between 5 and 11 and we had a great time. We have also visited on previous trips when they were younger.

Rainforestation is a great place to start with kids – ours loved learning to throw boomerangs and the army duck ride is fun. Who doesn’t get a bit of a thrill out of a vehicle that drives on land and then drives straight into the water. Although our 5 year old did get bored by the stops for explanations.

The Skyrail is also a favourite with the great views from above the rainforest. They found the whole experience very cool.

Birdworld was a big hit too with the kids loving having the birds land on them and being so friendly and Koala Gardens was a top choice.

Add in a visit to the Kuranda Candy House and they couldn’t be happier.

Really, you can’t go wrong with a family trip to Kuranda.

Final Words

Kuranda Visitor Information Centre

Kuranda is a beautiful town in the rainforests around Cairns and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit here whether it’s just for a day or a longer trip. There are a crazy amount of great places to visit in Kuranda and surrounds and you are not going to get bored. In fact, it may even be the highlight of your trip to Far North Queensland.

I hope you enjoyed the guide to the best things to do in Kuranda, Cairns. Find our guide to nearby Cairns here, Palm Cove and Mareeba here. You can read more Queensland travel guides here.

By Anne Sutherland-Smith

Anne Sutherland-Smith is the founder of the Pretraveller and Everywhere Australia blogs which focus on travel planning. Anne has extensively explored her home country of Australia. As a result, she writes from personal experience to help others plan their Australian trips.