Cairns on the Skyrail
Today we’re going to take the Skyrail down to Cairns, so we got up around 6am and made breakfast.
It’s a beautiful morning as we walk along the riverbank to the station . Before the tourists arrive for the day is a lovely time in Kuranda. We turn up at the Skyrail station just on 9am, a bit early for our ride. It had rained briefly overnight and all the plants were glistening in the morning sun. The railway station looked stunning with baskets of ferns hanging from the roof over the platforms and the surrounding gardens rich with gingers and heliconias. The odd banana palm was growing along the river bank
We were the only passengers going down on the Skyrail to Cairns, most people do the trip the other way around, from Cairns to Kuranda
The ride down was awesome, we crossed the Barron River fairly early, and stopped at two places on the way, Barron Falls and Red Peak Station. At the Barron Falls Station we walked the boardwalks to all three lookouts. From these points you get a wonderful view of the Barron River, Gorge and the Falls. At this time of year, however, (the dry season), the falls are a mere trickle. In the wet, you can hardly see them for the spray, they are so full of water.
Also at this station is a computer based information centre called the Rainforest Interpretive Centre. Pretty impressive name. This room has several touch-screen computers that people can use to learn more about rainforests and the wildlife that live in them. At the Red Peak station you can again walk the boardwalks through the rainforest. We took heaps of photos on this trip.
As our ride got further down, we noticed more and more people in the cars coming up. By the time we got to the bottom we were just part of the crowd. We didn’t waste much time below, as a bus ride was necessary to get into Cairns, and we’d decided to do that trip on another day in our own car. So we turned around and joined the queues to go back to Kuranda.
We were back in Kuranda by 11am, so we wandered around the shops and markets for a while, where I found a few things I just couldn’t live without, and stopped for lunch in the Frog Restaurant. We chose a table out the back on an open deck overlooking the trees and bush. Constructed around two giant palms, the decking giving the impression that the palms had grown up through the floor and ceiling. In the time we were there, it rained several times in short heavy bursts, and then the sun would come out and it was so warm you could see the steam coming off the trees. No wonder it’s so green up here, and this is not the wet season.
After a leisurely lunch and a few wines, (hic), we strolled around the streets of Kuranda again, taking a few more pictures, and once again found ourselves in a garden bar of one of the pubs. Of course everything closes mid-afternoon except the pubs, so there’s not much else to do in Kuranda. After a couple of drinks we staggered back along the railway line to our tent.
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