Tuesday, October 1, 2013


What a full on day it was today,.... we had an early start, had to be at the skyrail station by 8.30am so that we could be picked up by the bus and taken to Freshwater Rail Station where we were to board the train for our trip up to Kuranda. 

I am not sure why we had to be there so early,  the bus didn't pick us up until 8.55am and it was then only a 10 minute drive to the Rail Station.  The train didn't leave till 10am, so we had a good 45-50 minutes to kill at the Freshwater STation,  they have refreshment car there, plus souvenirs, and also a rail museum which we wander through and took photos,

We caught the bus from Skyrail to Freshwater Station
Inside of Freshwater Station. 

 There were an awlful lot of us booked on the train for the trip to Kuranda.  Bus loads in fact, so the station was quite busy by the time we all got there.  We had a quick look around there and then headed for the Museum
Cottage of the Foreman who was in charge of building the rail line to Kuranda
 It was quite a remarkable feat when you consider that it was all done by hand and through thick rainforest, rocky mountains.  They had to dig through the rock to build 15 tunnels.  high bridges to support the train.  During the building there were 23 confirmed deaths and possibly another 9 deaths related to the building.  It was a mammoth task. 
Rail Museum - The History of the Bridge
After looking through the museum, we still had a little time to kill so we went and explored the old carriages.  Steve took some photos of the ornate ceilings, old port racks and fans etc. 
Exploring the old carriages
 By now it was getting close to the arrival of the train.  We had been told that we were to travel in Car 2, so we made our way up to the platform  just opposite our car number.  I was a bit disappointed when I saw a diesel locomotive arrive,  I am not sure why, but I had it in my head that we were going to be travelling in a steam train. We were fortunate that we only had to share our seat with another couple and their young daughter.  They were a lovely couple from Melbourne who were very kind and shared one of the window seats with us, so that we could take photos. 
On the train
 The train trip took just over an hour and a half plus an extra 15 minute stop at Barren Falls so that we were able to take photos.  There was a couple of places where the track did a 189degree bend, so we were able to look out of our window and watch the end of the train follow us around.  Great for taking photos. 
Views of the Barron River and Stoney Creek Falls
 The views were pretty spectacular, and we did pass by two sets of falls.  The first were Stoney Creek Falls, where the train slowed down so that we were able to take photos.  The second set of Falls were Barron Falls, and the train stopped at Barron Station so that we could all get off and go over to the lookout to get a decent view of the falls and take photos. 
Train views on the way to Kuranda
 The stop at Barron Falls, allowed us all to get off the train, and even go for a bit of a walk.  Unfortunately because it is so dry at the moment, there was not a lot of water falling over the falls.  I can only begin to imagine how spectacular they must be in the wet season. 
Checking out Barron Falls from the Rail Station
 It was only a further 10 or 15 minutes after the Barron Falls stop until we reached Kuranda, and our journey was over.  Once we arrived, we had two choices, we could either catch the courtesy bus to the other end of Kuranda or we could walk the couple of kilometres into town.  We decided to take the courtesy bus into town, and decided we would walk back to the Skyrail, later in the afternoon. 
Arriving at Kuranda Station
 The courtesy bus dropped us right at the other end of town, outside the Butterfly Sanctuary.  We decided that since we had seen nothing like this anywhere else, we would spend some time and go through the Butterfly Sanctuary.  Because we had our passes for the skyrail and train, we were entitled to a 10% discount on our admission tickets. 
A visit to the Butterfly Sanctuary.
 We were fortunate that there was a tour starting just as we arrived so we joined in on this.  It was very informative, and we learnt a lot.  We were very fascinated by all that we learnt and also the fact that the butterflies did not seem to be afraid of us at all. 
Different Butterflies from the Butterfly Sanctuary
 I loved this experience, especially see so many Ulysses Butterflies and many other beautiful coloured ones as well.  It was lovely too that they would just come and land on you. 
Different Butterflies from the Butterfly Sanctuary
 At one stage, both Steve and I had several butterflies land on us. 
Enjoying seeing the butterflies land on us. 
Enjoying seeing the butterflies land on us. 
 We would easily have spent a couple of hours here.   We wished that we could have stayed longer, but there was still so much more we wanted to see.   Next we wandered down to the Heritage Markets. 
Heritage Markets at Kuranda
 There were all sorts of weird and wonderful things here.  Lots of leather, jewellery, soaps, candles, sauces, clothes, scarves. etc.  In most cases there was lots of colour.  A couple of the things that caught our eye, were the kangaroo skin bikinis, and the stuffed cane toads. 
Some of the many things we say at the markets. 
 From the markets we wandered into town and paid a visit to the Honey House
Around town in Kuranda
Around town in Kuranda
 By this stage it was nearly 2pm, which meant we only had a little over an hour until we had to board the Skyrail for our trip home.  At this stage we still hadn't eaten lunch, so we went off in search of somewhere to grab something to eat. 
Lunch at Kangazims
 This place looked pretty busy and popular so we thought it must be OK, since it had attracted so many people.  The food was good,  not the best we have ever had, but tasty just the same. 
By the time we had finished eating lunch, we really needed to make our way back to the Skyrail Station, and we still had a bit of a walk to do before we would get there. 
Some of the interesting things we saw about town on our walk back to Skyrail
 Kuranda really is a very pretty little town,  we were amused though by the sign (in the photo above) that was outside the Pub. 
We arrived back at the skyrail with about 10 minutes to spare... just enough time for a pit stop at the toilets, and also to check out some of the souvenirs in the gift show.  
Back at the Skyrail, ready to board for our trip back sown. 
The Skyrail trip back was also an hour and a half, but it did include, two stops along the way, the first being about 15-20 minutes after leaving Kuranda at the Barron Falls.  this time we were viewing them from the opposite directions. 
Great shots of the Barron River
 We decided to get off at the Barron Falls stop.  There was a board walk out to a viewing platform which gave you a good look at the Falls.  There was also an interactive centre that we could go to, to find out all about the building of the rail and skyrail, it also had lots of information on the wildlife and fauna for the Daintree Rainforest also. 
Views of Barron Falls from the Skyrail lookout. 
 Our next stop was at Red Peak Station, the highest point on the trip across.  Once again we were able to get off here and go on a guided tour through the rainforest.  This was very interesting, and we had a guide who came with us  and told us about all the different kind of plants and animals in the rainforest.

The forest walk at Red Peak Station
 Once we left here, we board the skyrail for our final journey back to where we had left the car.  Normally I am a little nervous on these sort of things, but I really enjoyed this ride back.  The views were breathtaking.  The forest so dense, the towers were very tall.  I would recommend this to anyone. 
The final leg of our Skyrail trip. 
 One we got back to the terminal, there was a gift shop, and we had a quick wander around here,  They had some beautiful serving plates with the Ulysses Butterflies on them, I could have been so tempted.  They had lots of lovely stuffed toys that also got our attention, but in the end we resisted. 
Some of the many souveners
 It was a great day.  We came home feeling pretty tired, and we were pleased to get home and put our feet up.  Looking forward to a chilled out day tomorrow where we don't plan to do too much. 


  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP