Skyrail over the rainforest & Kuranda Scenic Railroad

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July 2nd 2011
Published: July 3rd 2011
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The Skyrail stopped at Barron FallsThe Skyrail stopped at Barron FallsThe Skyrail stopped at Barron Falls

Fortunately, umbrellas were provided!
We were down to three full days left in the Port Douglas/Cairns region and had two full day adventures that we had to fulfill. We decided to make the drive to the SkyRail back toward Cairns and see this area of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest. This area, which includes the Daintree Rainforest, is the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest on earth. Dating back over 100 million years, the rainforest accounts for about a quarter of a percent of Australia's total landmass but house 50% of the continent's bird species, 60% of the butterfly species and large percentages of the ferns and orchids. The SkyRail was an aggressive undertaking and now allows visitors to ride a gondola 7.5 kilometers through the rainforest canopy.

The gondola cars seat 6, so our family had one to ourselves. Immediately after clearing the terminal, we saw a white cockatoo. Like the Rainforest Tower at the Discovery Centre, the perspective from above gives a better idea of the massive scale of the forest. The diversity of the rain forest giant trees is also more evident and amazingly they host various ferns plants 100+ feet above the forest floor. We saw several more cockatoo, which
Jon & Suzy birdingJon & Suzy birdingJon & Suzy birding

Geddy snapped this while we were looking for birds
were fairly easy to identify as they are pure white with a yellow crown and tend to sit on dead branches on the roof of the rainforest canopy.

The SkyRail ended in the rainforest town of Kuranda. Kuranda is a decidedly touristy destination with open air markets, souvenir shops and wildlife attractions. After shopping a bit, grabbing lunch and surveying our options, we decided that we would go in the Koala Gardens exhibit. Here the kids got to hold and take pictures with a koala then they hand fed kangaroos and wallabies. They all loved holding the incredibly soft koalas. The kangaroos (a couple of whom were carrying joeys in their pouches) and wallabies were equally as soft. Our trip back down to Cairns was to be via the Kuranda Scenic Railway. This 90-minute train ride offered stunning views of spectacular falls and the rainforest from across the Barron Gorge. The building of the railway was quite an engineering feet with over 15 tunnels and 55 bridges. We enjoyed the train ride but unanimously preferred the gondola ride.

After returning to the hotel, we spent the evening with flashlights searching for frogs or toads on the resort's golf
The kids with a CassowaryThe kids with a CassowaryThe kids with a Cassowary

This is the male, who cares for the chicks. The female is nearly twice this size!
course and grounds. Amazingly, despite a rainy couple of weeks the course was surprisingly dry and was devoid of frogs or toads. We did see several small lizards around the lights throughout the grounds.

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Geddy hand feeding a kangarooGeddy hand feeding a kangaroo
Geddy hand feeding a kangaroo

You can see the tail of a joey in her pouch
In of the railway's 15 tunnelsIn of the railway's 15 tunnels
In of the railway's 15 tunnels

Probably telling the kids to stick their heads out of a moving train to take this picture wasn't my finest parenting moment!

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