Earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel to the city of Cairns in tropical Far North Queensland. I came to Brisbane about two years ago and since then I have always heard fascinating stories about the natural beauty in this region. I was particularly looking forward to seeing the sights from above on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
I flew to Cairns from Brisbane airport. The airfare was approximately $100 one-way with a flight time of 2 hours and 25 minutes. I booked my accommodation through Airbnb and I was surprised to find a number of property listings with great facilities at affordable prices. The first night I spent in the city centre; I explored the Cairns Esplanade, and visiting bars and restaurants. A popular spot with visitors is the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, which provides magnificent views of the Coral Sea.
However, for me the fun really began the next morning when I went to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The journey began at the Smithfield Terminal which is only 15 minutes drive from the city centre, with plenty of parking available. The inside of the terminal is really modern with a shop to grab a coffee and buy some local souvenirs too.
The Skyrail spans over a total length of 7.5 kms and is split into four sections: Smithfield, Red Peak, Barron Falls and Kuranda.
The Skyrail travels just metres above the rainforest canopy making the experience even more thrilling. For me, it was the first time I saw an aerial view of the majestic rainforest which spans nearly 900,000 square hectares. The journey began with a steep ascent and soon enough the Cairns city came into view.
After a short journey of about 15 minutes, the first stop of the Skyrail was Red Peak Station. It is 545 metres above sea level and has a long boardwalk to explore the rainforest. There are guided tours available as well.
After Red Peak Station, the next stop is Barron Falls. Both these stations are built in the heart of the rainforest so the views got even more spectacular as the journey progressed. The platforms at Barron Falls provided a breathtaking view of the rainforest, the waterfall and a glimpse of the train that goes to the Kuranda Terminal. This is also the last stop on the Skyrail journey.
Kuranda village is famous for its diverse range of shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants and relaxed environment to enjoy the natural beauty. Moreover, the journey between Barron Falls and Kuranda became even more special because of Barron River. The village is only 25 kms from Cairns and provides plenty of tourist activities.
I spent about couple of hours in Kuranda experiencing its unique blend of modern and traditional offerings. The village is filled with lots of great people who are really happy to talk about the village’s history and share some fascinating stories about the land. After a long and rewarding day, I started my journey back to Smithfield and the image below explains my emotions – high and flying.