An information site for people about Cairns, Australia
Living in Cairns has many benefits, however one of my favourites would have to be Kuranda.
Kuranda is a little rainforest village, 25 km northwest of Cairns. Surrounded by world heritage rainforest, Kuranda is a sleepy little village that attracts residents of the alternative lifestyle persuasion. Kuranda Village has markets running 7 days a week with plenty of activities for couples and the family, making it a favourite for people looking for things to do in Cairns.
You can get to Kuranda by car and bus, however the best way is by Skyrail or train with the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Both are amazing, but I prefer Skyrail as you get to see Cairns from the very top of the mountain.
What I really love about Kuranda is the atmosphere. There is something noticeably spiritual about the area that brings a sense of peace and nirvana. Travelling through (which is a short stroll to go from one end of the main street to the other) is an abundance of shops. You will get the typical typical tourist shops selling the usual Australian memorabilia, then you get some real gems!
If you’re after some arts and craft I recommend Kuranda Markets. Plenty of local products and bargains to be had. I recommend a rainy day. Nothing is better than walking through the undercover markets when there is a downpour.
If you’re hungry I highly recommend German Tucker. Super friendly, awesome German food and a nice range of German beverages. I found it to be an unusual location for a German restaurant but they always seem to be busy, considering how hidden it is. Quite possible the best German sausage in Cairns (pun intended).
Another eatery of note is the Petit Cafe in Kuranda Markets. Sensational food, fantastic service and right at the back of the markets. I was extremely surprised in regards to the quality of the meals, considering this Cafe is located in a market! Highly recommend the pizzas.
If you’re on the hunt for beauty and wonder though, Kuranda has plenty to offer.
There are three venues I highly recommend to see.
Birdworld – hand feed exotic parrots. Amazing! Be sure to hide your jewelry though, those buggers will go to town on it!
Butterfly Sanctuary – apparently the worlds largest butterfly sanctuary. Truly a spectacle to see.
Kuranda Koala Gardens – Cuddle a koala or pat a kangaroo or wallaby. Either way you’re going to have a good day.
If you’re after a drink, you can’t go past the Kuranda Hotel. Old school, amazing character and the bathrooms bring back memories of easier times (you will see what I’m talking about when you visit). Sit on the the balcony outside and soak in the tranquility that is Kuranda. They do a great beer and lunch and I highly recommend that you try the Guinness Pot Pie. It’s the house specialty and a solid meal.
Things of note –
1. The locals can get agitated when visitors are not respectful of others (especially from tourists), so be mindful of your surroundings and walk across the roads where you are supposed to. Remember, people live there.
2. It can get quite humid in Kuranda, so make sure you are hydrated.
3. Kuranda has a few steep hills, so if you are disabled or have limited mobility the best way to get into town is with the courtesy bus that departs regularly from Skyrail.
So whether you are visiting Cairns or living in Cairns, Kuranda is sure to never disappoint. Quite possibly my favourite destination in the region.