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Kuranda Scenic Railway tours from Cairns

Many of the great wonders of the world have to be seen in order to be believed - and they often have to be discovered on foot. It’s great for one’s health, it’s great to experience the fresh air, and it’s also important to feel every single sense and bask in what it is you’re witnessing.

Yet with all that being said, it’s also important not to put the joys of public transport to one side, and that’s especially true within the context of rail travel.

Some nations seem to handle train journeys better than others but regardless of the destination, there’s something really magical about riding the rail and seeing where it ends up.

So then, it’s easy to imagine our excitement when discussing the great Kuranda Scenic Railway tours from Cairns.

How long does it take to reach Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns?

At the heart of the Kuranda Scenic Railway experience is the gateway city of Cairns, as it is used as the primary hub between the two locations.

The morning commute from Cairns is one that can be enjoyed in multiple ways, and the nature of hopping on a train ensures that there’s a very good chance you’ll always arrive on time. The journey tends to take around 1 hour 55 minutes from Cairns to Kuranda, but as we all know, there’s a whole lot more to it than that.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Kuranda Scenic Railway?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kuranda Scenic Railway tours from Cairns run on a one-return service per day system. The plan for them is to eventually bump that back up to two services by April 2021 which, depending on when you’re reading this, may have already happened.

The initial service learns Cairns at 9.30am and arrives in Kuranda at 11.25am, with a stop in Freshwater around 9.55am. Upon arrival there are many different activities and events to engage in including separate tours, explorations around Kuranda and the Rainforest, and of course, a good old bite to eat.

The current return leg of the venture leaves at 3.30pm local time and stops back in Freshwater at roughly 5.02pm. Then, at 5.25pm, you’ll be back in Cairns to reflect on your day and prepare for the evening ahead.

Trust us - you’ll need some time to unwind given just how different these two spots really are.

Kuranda Scenic Railway tours from Cairns, obviously, all tend to focus their attention on the actual railway itself - and it’s not hard to understand why. From transportation to your chosen guide, everything can bespoke. However, there are a few more intricacies behind this route that shouldn’t go unnoticed, including the two main types of class tickets.

Heritage Class Ticket

Within the authentic timber carriages, this is the classic way of seeing the splendour of the Kuranda Scenic Railway. The decor is magnificent, some of the carriages are over 100 years old and part of you will feel like you’re heading to an Australian version of Hogwarts - in all the best ways.

Gold Class Ticket

Fancy riding in style? We don’t blame you. The Gold Class ticket option means that the Kuranda Scenic Railway can be taken from an A grade to an A+ in the blink of an eye. Travellers will get to skip the queue, enjoy premium seating and even complimentary refreshments.

Nature Park Tour

The best way to learn more about Australian wildlife and greenery is through Rainforestation Nature Park. It’s the ultimate educational insight into a land that’ll showcase some of the finest animals this great country host.

Are there any combo tours including other places to visit?

The stunning beauty of the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Kuranda specifically shouldn’t be pushed to one side. It’s a place that Australians can be proud of, hidden in the depths of an area best known for the gorgeous Great Barrier Reef.

Thankfully there are some other cool spots and tours available in association with this one too, which is what makes it such a well-rounded holiday option.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway extends over the Barron Falls and will leave your jaw on the floor within seconds. After being constrained to the ground below on the railway, you’ll now be offered the opportunity to see what it’s like from the heavens above.

Freshwater Station

The Freshwater Connection is the middle man between Cairns and Kuranda, and it serves that role pretty effectively. Many really enjoy the surrounding mountains as well as the authentic railway carriages, with a Theatrette and Restaurant being available before boarding the next train to Kuranda.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest flight aviary in Australia and if you don’t believe us, check the Guinness World Book of Records. This place is amazing and truly does represent a beacon of hope and light in the Southern Hemisphere, and it’s also quite the escape from the norm.

Kuranda Village

At the core of Kuranda lies the Kuranda Village, and even though you might not think we’d have to say it, experiencing everything the Village has to offer should be one of your visit’s focal points. Some take the Scenic Railway in the name of visiting somewhere nearby, but the Kuranda Village itself is so quirky and so warm in its own right.

Travel tips

  • Prepare your meals accordingly for the railway journey because while it may be an enjoyable ride, some folks are still bound to get travel sickness regardless of how eager you are to see the sights. It’s important to get everything you want out of the adventure, but it’s also vital to stay fit and healthy.
  • Being sociable is important but if you’re someone who likes to share the experience with others, make sure your phone is fully charged before the train starts rolling. Why? Because they’ve got free wifi, and as much as we hate to say it, that’s a pretty big deal in the modern era.
  • Get as much rest as you possibly can the night before this trip. It isn’t going to be the earliest pick-up time you’ve ever had but there’s a good chance the carriages will be busy, and in addition to that, those who get too comfortable on board could risk falling asleep. If that happens, so many gorgeous views and scenery will be missed.