Day 6 Kuranda Village and Rainforest

  It was 1882 and the miners of Herberton were on the brink of total starvation, unable to get supplies due to flooding. A route to civilization was desperately needed and adventure bushman Christie Palmerston was charged with finding a starting point for a railway. 

The Premier Sir Samuel Griffiths turned the first sod for athe line which was to be built in three stages. Dense jungle and cliffs with sheer drops of up to 327 metres and a slope as steep as 45 degrees were literal death traps for workers. Somehow, without modern equipment but simply fortitude, dynamite and bare hands the team eventually finished the job. 

After removing 2.3 million metres of earthworks, creating 15 tunnels, 93 curves, dozens of bridges and 75 kilometres of track, a banquet high up on the bridge with General Sir Henry Wiley Norman, Governer of Queensland marked the completion of Stoney Creek Bridge. Shortly after in June of 1891 the line was open for everyone to enjoy. The original Kuranda Scenic Railway is truly a legendary demonstration of man’s ingenuity and nature’s wonder. 

 Our train ride was exciting especially when we made a 180 degree turn and you could see both the front and rear of the train!

Our travels took us through the World Heritage Rain forest. Australia’s Tropical Rainforests cover approximately 900,000 square hectares and are internationally recognised as being one of the most ecologically fascinating natural areas in the world, as one of few remaining truly pristine tropical rainforest places on the planet. These forests contain an amazing array and diversity of flora and fauna. 

Stretching for over 500 kilometres along Tropical North Queensland’s coastline, these rainforests are the oldest continually surviving rainforests on earth and once covered the entire Australian continent.  Read more

Over millions of years, as the climate and geography changed, the Australian rainforests receded to a small band between the coast and and the Great Dividing Range, and stretching from Cooktown in the north to Townsville in the south.

Today these rainforests represent less than one thousandth of the country’s total land mass.

Despite their relatively small size, the rainforests are home to an amazing diversity of life and provide a living record of the ecological and evolutionary processes which have shaped Australia’s plants and animals for over 415 million years.

To protect these rainforests, and to ensure that they are preserved for future generations, they were placed on theWorld Heritage list in 1988. Later we  would travel through the tops of the rain forest as we floated in cable cars back to our starting point.

The picturesque mountain retreat of Kuranda Village is just 25km northwest of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia and is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest. Visitors can travel to Kuranda on Kuranda’s Historic Scenic Railway or by car or bus, via the spectacular Kuranda Range Road or over the rainforest on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.

Kuranda has come a long way from its initial origins as a centre for those choosing an alternative lifestyle in the late 60’s. Historic Buildings from the villages past now house a variety of upmarket restaurants, cafes and bars. It is still laid back, but with a style and sophistication that sets it apart from other Cairns Highlands Venues and Attractions.

Kuranda’s shops and markets with their exotically handcrafted goods, Aboriginal artifacts, restaurants and coffee shops make Kuranda a well known day destination, but to truly enjoy the ambience this village has to offer you really have to stay a few nights. Whether you are looking for a cosy bed and breakfast, a well maintained multi-choice accommodation and camping park, a hotel that when you step inside you feel like you are back in the 1920’s.

We strolled around town taking in the sights and the many shops. For lunch we ate at Rain Forest view Cafe. We were seated on the porch at the edge of the rain forest. Waiting for our lunch to be served we observed an Australian Brush turkey. 

This bird is similar to our wild turkey, but not as large.  This was the male. No we did not have it for lunch! However I did have kangaroo for lunch. I had a kangaroo pie. Similar to a beef pot pie, except no veggies! The meat was like ground beef, did not have a particular taste, but was leaner then beef. Would certainly eat it again.

After lunch it was time to head to the cable car station for our ride down the mountain. The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway experience spans 7.5kms 

over Australia’s pristine tropical rainforests.

We glided just metres above the rainforest canopy before descending through the canopy layers and deep into the heart of the forest at Skyrail’s two rainforest mid-stations for the ultimate tropical rainforest experience. We were able to get off at 2 locations to take a walk around the forest floor, experiencing the rain forest up close. 

Our excursion into the rain forest ended with our departure from Cairns and back to the resort, for a brief rest and supper.

So until tomorrow G’day



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