A Travellerspoint blog

Kuranda and the Daintreee

Monday 21st September 2015

sunny 27 °C

We are on the move again but a days worth of activities on the Kuranda Railway and Skytrain have been booked before we need to think about making the two hour drive up to the Daintree Rain Forest. We planned to be away from the Kewarra Beach Resort by 8:30am to ensure that we arrived at Freshwater Station in plenty of time to board our 9:50am gold class carriage on the scenic train to Kuranda. When we arrived at the station we were given a complimentary 'mocktail' and then we were invited to board. As soon as we got on the train we could tell that it had been worth paying for the upgrade. The carriages were lovely with individual armchairs and there was plenty of space so we could move around the carriage if we wanted to, although all of the paired seats were on the scenic side of the line. We were given a leaflet showing the scenic highlights and there was also a commentary at key points on the journey.

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We slowly wound our way towards the town of Kuranda passing through numerous tunnels and over a couple of spectacular bridges. The train stopped for about ten minutes or more so that people could look at and photograph the Barron Falls.

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Shortly after this stop we arrived in the town. We found it incredibly touristy and were grateful we hadn't allowed more than a couple of hours there. The high street was full or tourist shops and cafes, ranging from the distinctly tacky to more tasteful galleries. We had decided to go to the Butterfly Sanctuary at the top of the high street. There was a large number of butterflies and it became a bit of a challenge trying to take photographs of them.

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The most stunning was the Ulysses which is a vibrant blue, but this seemed to be the most elusive to photograph because of the speed at which it flitted around.

Once we had finished there having began to tire of the heat, we made our way back towards the station in the hope of getting something to eat in the cafe, although they had little left when we got there. We were booked on the 1:30pm Skytrain, the cable car that would take us back down to near our start point. The times seemed quite flexible so we were able to leave a little early. The ride was a little scary with very high towers, way above the rainforest canopy and it seemed to approach the stations at quite a speed coming to a rather abrupt stop. There were two stopping points, one at the other side of the Barron Falls to the railway station and the other at a short Rainforest boardwalk. The views of the falls was spectacular and in some ways more impressive than before.

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When we got of at the second station we were able to join a guided tour with a ranger who explained a lot about the vegetation during the short walk.

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We spent quite a while at each stop and arrived at the bottom station with about 20 Minutes spare before our scheduled bus would take us back to Freshwater Station. One there we needed to get straight into the car and on our way to Daintree. The drive took about two hours through some very green and attractive countryside, past a lot of sugar cane plantations and up to the Daintree Ferry. We just missed a crossing so had to wait a while for it to return. Once across it was quite a short but slow and winding drive to our accommodation at Daintree Wilderness Lodge. It seemed like we had struck gold again as our accommodation is lovely, really in the depths of the rain forest with raised boardwalks between the lodges and reception/ restaurant. We had preordered dinner for 7pm so had over an hour to settle in before we ate. The food was very tasty and was like good quality home cooked food. We couldn't receive television programmes or connect to the internet from our room which was nice for a few nights, but we borrowed a DVD and half watched/ half snoozed for the rest of the evening.

Posted by Gill's Travels 05:38 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls australia cairns kuranda

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