Our time in Cairns was coming to an end and there was one last thing we wanted to tick off the bucket list – explore the Daintree Rainforest! How do you explore a dense, lush rainforest you may ask? By taking the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway!
Our Day on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Just recently returning from Cape Town and going up the Table Mountain cable car we didn’t entirely know what to expect from the gondola on offer in Cairns. First of all we suggest you see the Cairns Skyrail as a full day experience rather than just a means to get somewhere.
On the Skyrail you have multiple options for your day including tours, different gondola experiences to choose from, the canopy glider and activities in Kuranda when you arrive. We had the opportunity to explore just about every option available as well as stopping off at the 3 terminal stations throughout the cableway.
Canopy Glider Skyrail
If there is one thing to take away from this blog post is save up the extra money and do the Canopy Glider. This one way addition turns the cableway from a simple trip into a journey.
On the Canopy Glider you go on an adventure with a Skyrail Ranger who will strap you into an open-air gondola with 360 unobstructed views of the rainforest. This is honestly the best way to experience the rainforest.
On top of having the best view in the house, your personal ranger will take you on a guided tour at each stop while providing a history of the area and all the fauna and flora you come across.
360 Degree Virtual Reality Photograph Skyrail
If you want to get a real idea of how much fun the Canopy glider is, check out our 360 VR photograph we took for Facebook below. Just use your mouse to look up, down, left and right!
Things to do Kuranda
At first the local Kuranda residents of Atherton Tablelands were against the idea of building a cableway out to their small town but since completion of the Skyrail in the late 90’s Kuranda has turned into a tourist hot spot.
You can expect Kuranda to be one of the most tourist driven spots in all of Cairns, with plenty of gift shops, cafe’s and trinkets to be purchased. There is also plenty to do here once you have eaten your lunch and bought your souvenirs.
Barron Falls: Though technically you get the best view from the Barron Falls station on your cableway tour, you can still explore the falls from Kuranda.
The Kuranda Koala Gardens: Here you can get up close with some indigenous Australian animals including koalas, wallabies and kangaroos.
Birdworld: As the name suggest you can expect to see plenty of local birds here including the native Cassowary which can be extremely hard to spot in the wild.
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary: The butterfly sanctuary is home to over 2000 butterflies in their aviary.
Kuranda Riverboat Cruise: When heading over the rainforest you will notice a beautiful river stretching underneath the cableway. If you are up for it you can go for a cruise along the river.
Kuranda Original Markets: If you are after some local trinkets we suggest you skip the heritage markets and head into the less touristy original markets which began in 1978.
Upgrading to Diamond View on the Skyrail
On the way back from Kuranda we got to experience the Diamond View gondola. The unique part of these 11 gondolas is that your floor is see-through which means you get a perspective not available on any of the other rides.
Oh and did we mention you get to skip the line and go in your own line? Well worth the $12 one way upgrade fee if you are heading back from Kuranda during peak season and exhausted from your day out.
I will honestly say that we never anticipated to have so much fun on a day out on a cable car experience. If you are heading to Cairns we do highly suggest you try out the Canopy Glider as it’s not only way more fun but you also get a guided tour at the same time.
We do feel that the full skyrail is a bit overpriced with our Sky Rail experience coming to around $320 for the both of us. However if you did want to save some money you can easily do Skyrail without the additions for $150 per couple which is on par with most attractions in Cairns.
You can book a Canopy Glider one way for $100 per person, a Skyrail Diamond view one way for $62 per person and Kuranda Wildlife Experience for $48.50 per person.
Flying The Nest was welcomed as a guest of Skyrail, however as always all opinions are our own.