Known for its natural beauty and creative locals, the Village in the Rainforest is the place to browse galleries and markets, and ride on the scenic railway.
The town of Kuranda is 380 metres above sea level on the Macalister Range, in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforests. It’s known as the “Village in the Rainforest” and is renowned for its thriving arts community.
Artists originally flocked to Kuranda for its natural beauty. The tiny town is surrounded by World Heritage-listed rain forest, mountains and gorges. Today, Kuranda’s streets are lined with shops and galleries that display and sell local art. The town is also well known for its markets, where you can buy arts, crafts and souvenirs. Pick up leather-work, indigenous paintings and handmade jewellery at two different markets. The Heritage Markets is open every day, while the Original Markets are held on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Wander the town’s streets to soak up the relaxed atmosphere. Many of the houses have quirky gardens filled with trinkets and brightly painted walls. Sit at tables under the trees at one of the village’s restaurants or cafés.
There are a number of attractions around Kuranda, including the Koala Garden and Birdworld. Butterfly Sanctuary is home to more than 1,500 winged beauties. Take a walk into the rain forest on any of the marked trails that leave from town.
Don’t miss a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway that travels through the rain forest, past waterfalls and over the Barron Gorge. The railway was built in the 1890s and its trains are made up of authentic timber carriages. The Kuranda station is famous for its gardens. The station is more than 330 metres (1,000 feet) above seal level and is said to be one of the most photographed railway stations in the world. The train trip takes about two hours between Cairns and Kuranda.
Travel to Kuranda by car, on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or Kuranda Scenic Railway. Free parking is available in the centre of the village. There are also regular bus and shuttle services that operate from Cair