Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Self Drive

You can visit the picturesque Kuranda, “village in the rainforest“, on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Self Drive. You will discover an eclectic mix of village shops and world-famous markets: Bush-tucker and international cuisines, wildlife and local Aboriginal culture.

The Kuranda Train and Skyrail Self Drive tours are excellent for those who have their car.

Kuranda Scenic Railway

In the 1880s, the construction of the Kuranda Railway began. The railway was needed for Miners from the west to get back to civilisation.

Construction began in 1886 to build 15 hand-made tunnels and 37 bridges along 75.1 kilometres.

During this time, many construction workers lives lost their lives.

Three million cubic metres of earth was excavated, quite a feat for those times. Tourists began using the railway to visit Kuranda in the 1930s.

You will learn all this and more on your journey through the majestic mountain range surrounded by the oldest rainforest on the planet. Stop off at the Barron Falls lookout for the perfect photo opportunity. To see the falls thundering after some rain is very impressive.

Kuranda Skyrail

Not only beautiful but sustainable too! Cairns Skyrail is an excellent example of ecotourism. Specifically engineered for breathtaking views, there’s no better way to see the rainforest! As the Skyrail takes you high above the canopy, your view of the rainforest will be completely unrestricted.

Stop off at not one but two different stations to explore the rainforest from the ground. Red Peak Station provides a beautiful walk along a boardwalk through the trees. Barron Falls Station provides a spectacular view of the famous Barron River Waterfalls.

Tailor the tour to suit you

The choice is yours. Travel up to Kuranda by train and return by Skyrail, or travel up by Skyrail and return by train. Whichever you decide, you will drive to the Skyrail station in Smithfield.

If you opt for the train first, a bus will meet you at the Skyrail station bus stop. There will be a short trip to the Freshwater train station. A charming old-style station. Upon your return on Skyrail from Kuranda, you can jump straight into your car and head back to your accommodation.

If you prefer taking the Skyrail first, you still make your way to Skyrail station. After your return on the Kuranda railway, a shuttle bus will bring you back to your vehicle.

There are heaps of things to see and do in Kuranda. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to experience it all.

Add Some Extras to your day in Kuranda.

  • Historic Scenic train ride
  • Skyrail
  • Kuranda Markets

Train up / Skyrail down

AM 1: Meet at Skyrail at 9:10 am. The train departs at 9:50 am.

Free time exploring in Kuranda.

Skyrail departure times: 1:30 pm or 3:30 pm.


Skyrail up / Train down


AM 1: Meet at Skyrail at 9:30 am.  9:45 am Skyrail departure.

Free time exploring in Kuranda.

Train departure times: 2:00 pm or 3:30 pm**.


AM 2: Meet at Skyrail 10:30 am. 10:45 am Skyrail departure.

Free time exploring in Kuranda.

Train departure times: 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm**.

AM 3: Meet at Skyrail 11:30 am. 11:45 am Skyrail departure.

Train departure times: 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm**.


**Gold Class Upgrade only available on 3:30 pm Train


  • Kuranda Boarding Pass
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • Heritage Markets
  • One way coach transfer between the Skyrail Station and the Scenic Rail Station
  • Free time in Kuranda Village
  • Hostess assisted

The Skyrail station is located at 6 Skyrail Drive, Smithfield QLD, 4878.

It takes around 20 minutes to drive there from the Cairns CBD, with Free Parking available here all day. If you choose to join the Scenic Rail in the morning, you will still need to meet here for your transfer over to the Freshwater Train Station.

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Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Self Drive Tours

Gliding silently over the canopy