Travel Guides

The Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway are two of the most popular trips for people coming to Cairns and Far North Queensland. Another popular trip is to visit one of the Great Barrier Reef islands near Cairns and you can find more out about them here.

Skyrail Cablewayand the Kuranda Train are two excellent trips to do together on the one day, from Cairns to Kuranda on one and return via the other. There are even options to add in a reef trip on the same day which is a great option if you are short of time.

Quick links:

  1. Self Drive
  2. All Skyrail, Skyway & Cablecar Tours
  3. Transfers from Cairns and Northern Beaches
  4. Transfers from Port Douglas

Skyrail & Kuranda Train travel tips

  • Unless you travel up and down the same way you will need at least one transfer as it is too far to walk (10+ Klm) between the Smithfield Skyrail Station and either the Freshwater or Cairns Railway Station.
  • If you staying near the Cairns CBD walk or drive to the Cairns Central Railway Station to start your Train / Skyrail experience.
  • If you are staying outside the Cairns CBD, at the Northern Beaches (Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Yorkeys Knob etc) or Port Douglas and self driving, then there is no need to drive back into the city as you can leave from either Skyrail at Smithfield or the Freshwater Railway Station.
  • Allow at least 1 1/2 hours for a one way journey on Skyrail (7.5 klm). this includes time at the two mid stations.
  • Each Skyrail gondala can carry a maximum of six passengers.
  • A one way journey on the Kuranda Scenic Train takes about 2 hours.

You can travel both ways on either the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or the Kuranda Scenic Railway, but by taking a combined trip you experience both the train and the cableway and see this World Heritage Rainforest from two very different perspectives.

Skyrail Terminals and Stations

Smithfield Terminal

Located a 15 minute drive north of Cairns or just under an hour south of Port Douglas the Smithfield terminal has ample free parking and shuttle services to and from local accommodation and train stations.

Kuranda Terminal

Adjacent to the Kuranda train station and a short walk to the main street of Kuranda, with shuttle buses to the centre of Kuranda available.

Red Peak mid – Station

Here is where you get to explore the rainforest from ground level. There is a 175M boardwalk and guided or self-guided walks. Allow around 25 minutes

Barron Falls mid – Station

Featuring three separate lookouts, all with views of the Barron Falls and the Barron Gorge. There is also the Rainforest Interpretation Centre developed in conjunction with the CSIRO and a display highlighting the history of hydro-electric power in the region. Allow around 25 minutes.

Kuranda Scenic Railway Stations

Cairns Central

Situated at the ground level of Cairns Central Shopping Centre and within walking distance of most CBD hotels. Paid, undercover parking is available at the shopping centre.

Freshwater

The station was built as a tribute to the pioneers that build the railway and is a tourist attraction in itself. Featuring local timbers and Chillagoe marble with a museum and early pioneer cottage. Free parking available nearby.

Kuranda

Adjacent to the Skyrail station and a short walk to Kuranda township, the train station is one of the most photographed railway stations in the world.

Skyrail and Train Stations


Please Click to View the Map & Videos

Add-on Side Tours

To make your day even better there are a number of optional side tours you can add in.
 

Rainforestation

Situated at the top of the Kuranda Range Rainforestation has a little bit of everything. It is home to some of Australia’s iconic animals including kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, cassowary, dingos and a tasmanian devil. You can join the local indigenous guides at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, take the “Bush Tucka Walk”, or tour the rainforest in a World War II army duck.

Kuranda Wildlife Experience

This pass gives you entry to three different wildlife experiences all in the heart of Kuranda. Kuranda Koala Gardens has more than just koalas, there are also freshwater crocodiles, wombats and wallabies. The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary houses Australia’s largest live butterfly display and you can walk among them. Bird World has the largest collection of free flying birds in Australia housed in a huge flight aviary.

Tjapukai Cultural Park

Walking distance from Skyrail’s Smithfield station you can see indigenous performers use traditional dance and art to bring their culture to life. It is not all about watching, this is an experience where you can join in and learn.

Skyrail and Train Tour Review

Want to know more about a Skyrail Rainforest Cable way and Kuranda Scenic Railway tour? One of our staff took the tour in 2016. Read about their experience.

Tour review

Self Drive

Up on Skyrail down on the Train

Drive to Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 10.00am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda. Return from Kuranda on the 3.30pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 5.00pm shuttle bus back to your car at Skyrail Smithfield. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Rainforestation side tour

Drive to Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 9.00am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda before a 12.15pm transfer to Rainforestation. Return from Kuranda on the 3.30pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 5.00pm shuttle bus back to your car at Skyrail Smithfield. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Kuranda Wildlife Experience side tour

Drive to Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 9.00am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda and visit the three attractions included in your Wildlife Experience. Return from Kuranda on the 2.00pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 3.30pm shuttle bus back to your car at Skyrail Smithfield. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Tjapukai side tour

Drive to Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal and walk across to Tjapukai for a 9.30am entry. Return to Skyrail for a 12.00 noon Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda. Return from Kuranda on the 3.30pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 5.00pm shuttle bus back to your car at Skyrail Smithfield. Click here for Tour Page

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Pick -up and Return to Cairns and Northern Beaches Accommodation

Up on Skyrail down on the Train

Your driver will pick you up from your accommodation in time to be at Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 10.00am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda. Return from Kuranda on the 2.00pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 3.30pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Rainforestation side tour

Your driver will pick you up from your accommodation in time to be at Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 9.15am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda before a 12.15pm transfer to Rainforestation. Return from Kuranda on the 3.30pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 5.00pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Kuranda Wildlife Experience side tour

Your driver will pick you up from your accommodation in time to be at Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 9.00am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda and visit the three attractions included in your Wildlife Experience. Return from Kuranda on the 2.00pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 3.30pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Tjapukai side tour

Your driver will pick you up from your accommodation in time to be at Tjapukai for a 9.30am entry. Return to Skyrail for a 12.00 noon Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda. Return from Kuranda on the 3.30pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 5.00pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

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Pick -up and Return to Port Douglas Accommodation

Up on Skyrail down on the Train

Your driver will pick you up from your Port Douglas accommodation around 7.45am in time to be at Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 9.15am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda. Return from Kuranda on the 2.00pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 3.30pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Rainforestation side tour

Your driver will pick you up from your Port Douglas accommodation around 7.45am in time to be at Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 9.15am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda before a 12.15pm transfer to Rainforestation. Return from Kuranda on the 3.30pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 5.00pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Kuranda Wildlife Experience side tour

Your driver will pick you up from your Port Douglas accommodation around 7.45am in time to be at Skyrail’s Smithfield terminal for a 9.15am Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda and visit the three attractions included in your Wildlife Experience. Return from Kuranda on the 2.00pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 3.30pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

Up on Skyrail down on the Train with Tjapukai side tour

Your driver will pick you up from your Port Douglas accommodation around 7.45am in time to be at Tjapukai for a 9.30am entry. Return to Skyrail for a 12.00 noon Gondala departure. Have some free time in Kuranda. Return from Kuranda on the 3.30pm train to the Freshwater Train station and take the 5.00pm shuttle bus back to your accommodation. Click here for Tour Page

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Other Combinations

There are lots of other Skyrail and Train combinations available on our website. Or if you want to add a Gold Class train ticket or a Diamond view Gondala, with a clear floor, then contact the tourstogo.com office on +61 (0)7 4041 3244 during office hours.