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A Railway trip your family will go loco over!

Embark on an exciting new journey in Cairns.

A fantastic experience for the whole family these school holidays.

5 Things Kuranda Scenic Railway has to offer

1. Breathtaking views

2. Welcoming staff

3. Chance for kids to learn something new

4. Extra excursions available

5. Running all year round

Our ride along the Kuranda Scenic Railway

Our loco-mad kids couldn’t believe their luck when they were invited to hang with the train driver and have their photo taken. But welcoming staff and exceptional customer service are just two of the many reasons the Kuranda Scenic Railway experience is must see when visiting Cairns. Whether your children are train lovers or not, they’ll get a kick out of the 37km voyage through 15 hand-carved tunnels, 55 bridges and epic scenery including majestic waterfalls.


All aboard!

We boarded the historical railway line at Freshwater Station, but not before getting a coffee and refreshments to sustain us for the one-hour and 40-minute journey. I was a little worried my children might get bored but it never happened. They loved the running commentary playing in the carriages. Among other interesting facts, it explained that it took 1500 men to build the track and got into details about how the workers lived.


Each time we went through a tunnel the kids squealed with delight, and while it’s not a fast trip there’s plenty to see and learn along the way. The kids saw bush turkeys out the window, waved to workers fixing the line and were blown away by stunning views of the world heritage-listed rainforest and Cairns from above.

Our kids’ jaws dropped as we traversed across Stoney Creek Falls bridge, it was completed in 1890s and stands on three trestle piers. Because it’s a tight curve, the train slows down enough so you can see the carriages in front of you weaving up the mountain, it’s quite a sight! The sun shone in just the right spot so the waterfall created a rainbow – day made!


Vast landscapes and breathtaking views

We got to alight the train at Barron Falls Station and for 10 minutes could stretch our legs and take in views of the waterfall across a massive valley at 329m above sea level. A few minutes later we arrived Kuranda Station, located 327 metres above sea level. We were treated to a heritage listed Federation-style station complete with tearooms, toilets and other goodies.


Additional activities available

While you can opt to take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway back down the mountain, it was closed for maintenance while we there. As such as, we took a return trip on the train a few hours later after wandering around Kuranda township; where there’s markets, eateries and activities. Surprisingly, chugging down was equally as enjoyable as the trip up and no one got bored or threatened to go off the rails!


A must do activity on your next family holiday to Cairns

I can thoroughly recommend you jump on board the Kuranda Scenic Railway either to or from Kuranda. You’ll learn a lot about the history of the area, enjoy views of untouched countryside and give your kids a lesson that sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

Amenity wise there is water on each carriage and toilets, but no onboard shop so best to bring your own food. You can choose to go heritage or gold class, the difference being seating and refreshments. There is room to store your stroller. It runs every day except Xmas Day and leaves from Cairns Station at 8.30am and 9.30am and arrives at Freshwater Station at 8.50 and 9.50am, and then it leaves Kuranda at 2pm and 3.30pm.

Click here for more details

When former journalist Emily Toxward isn't wrangling her three kids she's juggling the demands of writing and failing fabulously at being a domestic goddess. A writer for 20 years, she's always on the go and looking for an adventure. She lives on the Gold Coast, the ocean is her happy place and she keeps parenting real on her blog Have A Laugh On Me.

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