One of the funnest things to do in Cairns is take a ride on skyrail. It’s a unique way to experience world-heritage-listed rainforest.
When I first came to Cairns in the mid-1990s a man was living in a tree in the middle of the Kuranda rainforest.
The tree had been earmarked for removal to make way for the building of Skyrail and he was part of a movement protesting against the building of Skyrail.
Today, as you glide silently just metres above the canopy of World Heritage rainforest, it’s hard to see what all the fuss was about.
During construction the impact on the rainforest was kept to such a minimum that even the supporting towers were flown in and put in place by helicopter.
The cableway doesn’t seem to have had much impact on the rainforest and Skyrail has since won numerous international awards for environmental tourism.
What strikes me whenever I go on Skyrail is the silence! I guess we’re so used to transport involving some kind of noise.
On Skyrail there’s just a complete silence…except for the sound of birds in the rainforest canopy.
Construction on Skyrail began in 1994 after seven years of planning and approvals and the cableway was completed in August 1995.
Skyrail runs for 7.5 kilometres through the Barron Gorge National Park and takes about an hour and a half in either direction.
Skyrail has a total of 114 gondola cabins, each capable of seating 6 passengers. There are 32 towers in total, the highest being is 40.5 metres (133 feet) high.
There are four Skyrail stations – one at each end (Caravonica Station and Kuranda Station) and two in between (Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station).
Red Peak Station is the highest point on the cableway at 545 metres (1788 feet) above sea level. At Red Peak Station Skyrail’s Rangers will take you on a 175 metre rainforest boardwalk.
At the Barron Falls Station there are boardwalks leading to three different lookouts from which you can view the Barron Falls.
Photo courtesy of shichahn
The most spectacular time to see the Falls is during the wet season, from January to March, when the rains turn the Barron Falls into a raging torrent.
Clouds of mist envelop you and the ground beneath your feet trembles with the tons of water cascading over the Falls.
The Barron Falls in flood is mesmerizing and most visitors list it as one of the highlights of their Cairns visit.
The Kuranda Skyrail is one of the best ways in the world to see and experience ancient rainforest and you’ll get stunning views of the rainforest canopy, the Cairns coastline and the Cairns hinterland.
I highly recommend this ride!