I only promote and work with brands I would use myself as a traveler. I received a complimentary ticket for the Cairns Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for the purpose of seeing what it was like and to share what I wanted to about it on my website. All opinions in this article remain my own, based on the experiences I had. I would not hesitate to purchase a ticket for the Cairns Skyrail Rainforest Cableway on another visit.
Cairns is a real highlight to visit when you find yourself in Far North Queensland. But, Cairns itself is not the only place to explore here. It lies right within some pretty incredible options which is what led me to want to experience the Cairns Skyrail when I was visiting in January.
As a lover of rainforests, the Skyrail is one experience all visitors to Cairns should undertake if they want to immerse themselves inside the world’s oldest tropical rainforest: The Wet Tropics Rainforest. This rainforest is World Heritage listed and a must on any visit within this area. The Skyrail Cableway offers the ultimate birds eye perspective of the rainforest. It is a lot of fun, it’s a family friendly activity and I can’t comprehend why anyone would bypass doing this if they are in the area. You will miss out on seeing some iconic Australian landmarks.
So what does the Cairns Skyrail Experience offer? Here are the highlights that my mum and I had when we explored the Wet Tropics in January so you can see what it’s like before you go. This experience was far more than even we expected – and is far more than just a cableway getting you to and from Cairns and Kuranda.
Checking In For The Cairns Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
When purchasing your ticket at the Cairns Skyrail website you will select a date and time to depart and return from the Smithfield Terminal – which is about 15 minutes drive from the Cairns CBD area. This ensures the Cairns Skyrail doesn’t get too crowded at specific times. We opted for a 10am departure and a 3pm return and it was a perfect amount of time to enjoy all that was available to us between Cairns and Kuranda.
It’s so important that you get to enjoy your visit and not have to rush around seeing everything. For this reason, I do recommend taking 4-5 hours to experience it all at a timely pace.
We boarded the cableway and began our ascent into the rainforest. The views were beyond stunning and we could even see the ocean in the distance. It was amazing! The Skyrail has an app which you should download before you go – I tested it out and it was really cool. It plays audio, depending on where you are telling you about what you are looking at below. The information was really insightful and made for a more interesting journey. So have a full battery before you go so you can use this at least on the way up.
The best part about the cableway is the perspective you get from looking down on the rainforest. As an Australian, I have seen a lot of rainforests before, but I have never seen one from this point of view which gave me a new experience and a whole new appreciation for what our beautiful country offers us.
First Stop On The Cairns Skyrail – Red Peak
There are three stops on the Cairns Skyrail Cableway. The first one was Red Peak – a stunning stop which allowed us to enjoy our first experience inside the Wet Tropics Rainforest. There is a boardwalk and an outlook point which makes this more than just a quick stop along the way. We really took our time here to enjoy the views.
From our first stop, we really noticed that the staff were so helpful in how they interacted with us, as we de-boarded and re-boarded the cableway, giving us information about where we were and what we could see and how long we should ideally spend there. I was really surprised because often this kind of service isn’t prioritized. It made us appreciate where we were even more and excited for what we were about to see.
Second Stop On The Cairns Skyrail – Barron Falls
Our second stop was Barron Falls. Barron Falls is a waterfall. It is 260 metres in height and one of the most iconic Queensland landmarks on offer. It had been raining prior to our visit, so the waterfall was full which was great.
Coming into Barron Falls station was also a treat, because the aerial views of the waterfall were truly spectacular. I will never forget that view.
Third & Final Stop On The Cairns Skyrail – Kuranda
Kuranda is the final stop on the Cairns Skyrail, and is a place you want to spend a good few hours. If you don’t want to take the cable way up and back, you can take the scenic railway – which is a little more expensive. I found the cableway journey quite good coming up and back, if that’s what you decide to do on your visit. With all of the stops it is about a 90 minute journey from Cairns to Kuranda.
Kuranda has a small township which is walkable from the Skyrail exit, but there is a free shuttle which gets those less mobile into the main street. Otherwise, it is a 10 minute walk. Kuranda has some stores, restaurants and a marketplace which makes it a worthwhile place to spend the afternoon.
We also had lunch here at the Rainforest View Restaurant which has stunning views of the rainforest…and delicious food too!
Alongside this, there are attractions for the family or adults like us which are available in Kuranda. Mum and I did purchase a Kuranda Wildlife Experience pass for $49.50. Mum had seniors, so she paid admission at each attraction to get the discount, which worked out cheaper for her. The pass gained us access into animal based attractions, Kuranda Koala Gardens, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Bird World.
Koala Gardens, Kuranda
The Koala Gardens was a nice attraction with everything from Crocodiles to Koalas to Snakes.
We spent about 20 minutes here and enjoyed it all. Visitors can feed the animals as they roam freely around their enclosures. Many endangered animals are housed here, and in some cases, rescue animals from as far away as Madagascar are here after being caught up in illegal trade practices, which was great to see.
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuranda
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary was really cool, and I scored some awesome photos of butterflies. The Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest aviary in Australia and has re-created the butterfly’s natural tropical habitat through its design. Operating for over 20 years, it is a really nice experience to wander around.
Bird World, Kuranda
Bird World was a cool experience as well.
The aviary these birds are housed in is so big that they can fly around at their leisure in one of Australia’s largest free flight aviaries. There are bird feeders everywhere and guests can hand feed the birds seed or fruits in different areas. I found one bird which talked to me and asked how I was – which was really surprising. I have grown up around birds, so seeing them flying around in this was cool because of the size of it all.
There are over 500 bird types in the aviary, including endangered birds like the Amazonian Macaw, so conservation and ensuring the survival of specific breeds is really important to them as well.
The Cairns Skyrail experience was a highlight for our visit to Cairns. I am so glad we managed to do it, because we saw so much and really got a feel for so many areas which exist between Cairns and Kuranda. You really are able to get an up close and personal experience which even for an Aussie like me, taught me so much about the native animals, landmarks and forestry which exists right here.