Known in Cairns for being a bit of a hippy town, all most backpackers will ever experience will be the touristy side of it. The main attraction with Kuranda is not Kuranda itself , it is the journey there either by the Kuranda scenic railway and/or skyrail. Well, what is there to do in Kuranda?•the Kuranda markets •the rainforest walk (nowhere near as lush as in Cape Trib but it is free).•the wildlife parks (birdworld,koala park,butterfly sanctuary,bat reach, and Australlian venom zoo. They all have admission fees averaging about $14 each except for bat reach which is donation only. •the rainforest station which is a commercial park that you have to pay for to get the bus (5 mins) there and then an entry fee on top. •shopping, shopping and more of it!
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a very slow moving train that for the most part goes through the rainforest of the Cairns hills which is what makes it interesting. It goes past 2 waterfalls of mention, and at the Barron Falls it stops for about 10 minutes so you can get off and get a pic. The Barron Falls in flood is really something to see so it is definitely worth doing in the wet season. The train takes about 1 3/4 hrs and departs from the station in the Cairns Central Shopping Centre complex. Skyrail goes over the rainforest as opposed to through it. You get to see the jungle from a whole different perspective so most people do 1 way by the train and 1 way by skyrail. The Skyrail takes about 40 minutes of actual riding time but there are 2 stops, one where you can see the Barron Falls (different lookout to the train), and another one where you can do a short walk through the rainforest.
As mentioned before the main attraction of Kuranda is the railway and skyrail there. Tours will cost you a smidgen over $140 with return hostel transfers. It is not really a tour as such as you do your own thing the whole day. •Kuranda/Skyrail with return hostel transfers
You can also easily add on the Tjapukai aboriginal Culture Park since it is right next to the bottom skyrail station. Including your transfers,Tjapukai, the train and skyrail the cost comes in at a little less than $200. Click here to book or get more info. If on the other hand you are looking to do absolutely everything Kuranda has to offer then here is the tour for you.