Friday 21st May 2004
WOW! might be the word for today. We were up nice and early again
and out standing by the gate into the caravan park by 8:30am, all
ready with cameras and anticipation for a good day of what us tourist
do best - sight seeing.
We were picked up by a tourist bus and taken to the Kuranda Rail
Station to await out train ride up the mountains through the forests
to the town of - yes - Kuranda! This journey was about 34 kilometres
in length and took us about an hour and three quarters to travel.
The first part of the trip provided views back over Cairns, the
ocean and we could even see Green Island in the distance. As the
train climbed higher into the mountains the scenery changed and
we were passing through short tunnels and over bridges that were
all made the hard way, with picks, shovels and rivets way back
in the later part of the 1800's. (about 1894 or so we think)
There was one stop on the way to Kuranda and that was at a platform
that provided magnificent views of Barron Falls and down along
the Barron Gorge. Although the wet season finished about two months
ago, there was enough water flowing over the falls to create a
reasonable effect. The falls are also effected by the Hydro Power
plant that draws the water off the river above the falls and then
discharges it again below the falls.
From Barron Falls we made the rest of the journey up into the
little town of Kuranda. This is a very pleasant little town that
to cater almost solely for tourists. There were markets and numerous
stalls throughout the few streets of the town, along with a fine
array of food outlets, a hotel and shops that seemed to sell all
sorts of artifacts. For those interested in wildlife there were
parks that had various samples of animals and insects etc.
Whilst in Kuranda, 'one of us' expended a considerable amount
of money on souvenirs and gifts for a number of family members.
We also sampled the fruit at one of the stores and later tried
an eighteen hour steak at one of the restaurants. The ice cream
was also tested by 'one of us' and the 'other one' had his arm
twisted until he tried one as well.
The journey home was even more spectacular as this was made on
the Kuranda Sky rail. This is like a chair lift except that the
chairs have been replaced by enclosed gondolas which seat up to
6 people in each one. The views from these gondolas is very spectacular
and unimpeded by anything other than the cables and pylons that
it rides on. The Rainforest under the gondolas has not been disturbed
at all and one can look directly down into the forest and see it
as it has been for thousands of years.
There are two stops on the way back and at each one it is possible
to get off and enjoy the views and even find out more about the
area through the interactive information stations set up for that
purpose. At the second stop there is even a guided 15 minute tour
of the Rainforest along a built up boardwalk. Well worth the time
to take it.
At the end of the Sky rail. journey there were more souvenirs to
be examined before boarding the tourist bus that returned us safely
to the caravan park for the night. (about $350 lighter in our pockets,
This days activities were recommended to us by our youngest daughter
Jay and also our great friends Graham and Jocelyn Robertson. We
now concur with all they said about it and recommend it to anyone
who has the fortune to travel this way in the future.