Welcome to Kuranda.com.au
The picturesque mountain retreat of Kuranda Village is just 25km northwest of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia and is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest. Visitors can travel to Kuranda on Kuranda’s Historic Scenic Railway or by car or bus, via the spectacular Kuranda Range Road or over the rainforest on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Kuranda has come a long way from its initial origins as a centre for those choosing an alternative lifestyle in the late 60’s. Historic Buildings from the villages past now house a variety of upmarket restaurants, cafes and bars. It is still laid back, but with a style and sophistication that sets it apart from other Cairns Highlands Venues and Attractions.
Kuranda’s shops and markets with their exotically handcrafted goods, Aboriginal artifacts, restaurants and coffee shops make Kuranda a well known day destination, but to truly enjoy the ambience this village has to offer you really have to stay a few nights. Whether you are looking for a cosy bed and breakfast, a well maintained multi-choice accommodation and camping park, a hotel that when you step inside you feel like you are back in the 1920's, a gorgeous resort or a backpackers hostel, you'll find it in Kuranda.
Take the time to visit some of Kuranda’s many first class nature based tourist attractions, which include koalas, butterflies, native and exotic birds, kangaroos and reptiles. Don’t miss the famous Barron Falls, which are breathtaking. You can also see traditional Aboriginal dancers perform, travel on a riverboat on the mighty Barron River or join an Army Duck ride through the rainforest.
In this part of the tropical North the rainforest is home to the Djabugay aboriginal people who have lived here for over 10,000 years. Exploration by Europeans in the early 1800s opened the way for gold prospectors and the timber industry and settlement by the pioneers. Kuranda was first surveyed in 1888 by Thomas Behan, and the building of the railway and the road from the new seaport of Cairns paved the way for trade and the movement of people over the mountains.
At a suitable elevation of 380 metres above sea level coffee was the crop of choice until severe frosts in the early 1900s wiped out the harvest. Kuranda became a destination for locals on holiday and honeymooners and word soon spread telling of the magnificent Barron Falls and the lushness of the rainforest. During the 1940s there was a big military presence in the area; training and rest and recreation for troops and Air Force personnel took precedence over tourism.
In the late 1960s Kuranda was the place to be, spectacular scenery, a wonderful climate, cheap living, grow your own food, do your own thing. So called "hippy" communes flourished for a few years. In the 1970s new settlers arrived; musicians and people with artistic talents and imagination pursuing an alternative lifestyle. Their unusual hand-built houses of bricks and timber were inspired by this unique place. Open-air market stalls sold locally grown produce and an abundance of hand made wares. Buskers and fortune-tellers entertained the crowds. The community prospered. The population grew fast with the improved road allowing commuters to work in Cairns and live in the clean atmosphere of Kuranda.
The Kuranda experience today is an amalgam of all that has gone before, a cosmopolitan and happy village community. The people who live here have a deep appreciation of the beauty around them, and a cheerful welcome for the visitor.
* Images courtesy of Tourism Queensland