skyrail and train kuranda prices

Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 03:27 AM
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skyrail and train kuranda prices

folks, we are heading to port douglas in three weeks time but would like to spend the last day in kuranda
i have done the skyrail and train before back in 2006 and even earlier in the 1990's - we were picked up from our hotel and dropped off for the day and then taken home
when i looked at the websites that included skyrail/ train, the fares seemed expensive
we are hiring a car so we wont need any coach pickup
has anyone actually driven and parked at the base and then just caught the skyrail/ train
any idea how much just for that fare?thanks so much
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 06:09 AM
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I too thought the prices for skyrail were expensive. Can you drive to Kuranda?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 06:48 AM
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Lanejohann, The Skyrail website has the information you need. If you want to do a combination Skyrail/Scenic Railway trip without a coach transfer from Port Douglas, you would want tour 3D and it costs AUD 87.50 per adult and AUD 43.75 per child. This tour is for SELF-DRIVE, but note that it includes a coach transfer between the Skyrail terminal (Caravonica) and the Scenic Railway terminal (Freshwater). This is because the Skyrail and Scenic Railway do not start at the same place.

Barbara, although I have not done it, it is possible to drive yourself to Kuranda. However, I think most people feel that the main attraction of Kuranda is the journey via the train and Skyrail.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 07:14 PM
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Barbara, many drive from Kuranda and Atherton Tableland beyond every day to go to work in Cairns area, its a busy road by local standards. The road is twisting and winding, fairly steep in parts with only one tree-cleared lookout where its possible to stop and pull off the road.

As longhorn has noted, the scenery from Skyrail and train is the major attraction for most, although there are some good rainforest walks out of Kuranda Village - Barron Falls lookout is one.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for the replies. We are a family of 7, so the cost of the train and skyrail really adds up, especially when we'll already have a rental car. I really want to hold a koala while in Australia and was thinking the Koala Gardens would be a good place to do it.

My husband works on trains all day, so he wouldn't be interested in the train ride, but skyrail does appeal to me. If we were to do it just one way, which way would be best?

The Barron Falls lookout sounds like a nice stop. Can you play in the water there, or somewhere else along the way?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 10:09 PM
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I've taken the Skyrail twice, but both times it was down from Kuranda so I can't compare it to taking it up to Kuranda. However, I will say that you should definitely plan to get off at both of the stops. Take a boardwalk tour of the rainforest at the Red Peak Station (either on your own or on the free ranger-led tour) and visit the Interpretation Center at the Barron Falls Station.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2008, 11:20 PM
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Barbara, see what you mean with 7 people!

For a one-way Skyrail, one of you could drive to Kuranda and the rest could come back on Skyrail with the driver picking you up there, but that obviously means the driver will miss the Skyrail trip.

If you google Trans North Bus and Coach Service, you'll see the timetable for their coach which runs Cairns-Atherton Tableland and stops at Kuranda. You could leave your car at Skyrail car park, go up to Kuranda on Skyrail and catch bus back (much cheaper than train), the bus stop nearest Skyrail is about 10 minutes walk. Or the driver might drop you off on highway if you give him advance warning, then only a couple of minutes' walk to your car.

No, Barron Falls is not for splashing about in, too steep, rugged and a raging enormous torrent in wet season. You'll also see it from one of the stops on Skyrail trip, but I think the view from the lookout at Kuranda is better.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 03:25 AM
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what a memory ( not) i have! of course you can drive
we drove back in the 1990s - mustve because we got there somehow without getting on the skyrail or the train
for us, this time, the attraction is the kuranda markets because we are wanting to visit the bird sanctuary
thats a must for all who keep tame birds
the birds in kuranda are amazing- what a feat to have so many beautiful parrots and cockatoos flying around you, landing on or beside you and nary a bite!
truly amazing socialising and training!
we will happily drive up
thanks for the confirmation, Longhorn!
...and Barbara - hope youhave a fine trip with your tribe!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 03:28 AM
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ps Barbara
i take people to featherdale wild life park out in the western subs of sydney
cheaper than taronga and less hectic and you can touch the koalas there
theres also the koala park out in westpennant hills but ilike featherdale better
that is if youre going to be in syd
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Lane - thanks so much for letting me jump in on this post. Yes we are planning on staying a week in Sydney after our stay in Queensland. (We are booked for a 3 day liveaboard on the Spirit of Freedom and then four nights at the Mandalay & Shalimar Apartments in Port Douglas). Thanks for the information about the birds at Kuranda. That sounds like it would be really fun.

I had never heard of the Featherdale Wild Life Park, but was planning on going to Taronga. I'll have to check into that one. Thanks!

Pat - thanks for the info. I've been reading your advice for a long time now while I've been planning our trip to Queensland. You're always so kind to answer questions.

Longhorn or Pat - do you know if you can drive to the stops, or can you only get to them from Skyrail?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2008, 03:55 PM
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You can only get to the stops via the Skyrail. They are many meters above the ground.
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Old Jul 24th, 2008, 02:02 AM
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Barbara - tarong is world class and not to be missed
if you had a longer stay in sydney then id go to featherdale as well
just that once youre out in the western suburbs then you dont have much else to do - unless you go on to mountains and stay overnight round katoomba or leura
there are some good markets out at parklea- cheaper souvenirs than in central sydney
be careful buying from the airport- those last minute buys are again cheaper at paddys markets in haymarket and the same merchandise is better priced out at parklea ( suburb of the same name)
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Old Jul 24th, 2008, 02:04 AM
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Pat -sorry i overlooked you - most remiss of me! thanks so much for the local knowledge!
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Old Jul 24th, 2008, 05:25 AM
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That's ok, lanejohn and so agree with you about Birdworld at Kuranda. Mostly natives but some exotics and they all seem to get along fine and are approachable with humans.

Obviously, birds are of interest to you, north of PD and before the Daintree River (on RHS going north)is Daintree Mangrove Sanctuary, amazing collection of native parrots and finches, plus other local wildlife - www.daintreewild.com.au
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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thank you Pat - youre a gem! didnt know about the daintree sanctuary - hope we can squeeze it in, too!
we spend hours in places like that! really appreciate the link! cheers!
ps...hows the weather been??
spoke to someone who went to port douglas last week and she said that some days were CLOUDY!!!!
in the dry season? whats going on here? i dont remember any cloudy days btw may and oct when i was working in the top end!
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Old Jul 28th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Yes, lanejohn there has been cloud and wind recently, yesterday and today not a cloud to be seen, but cooler than usual for July with a max of 23 and tonight's minimum is only 11. Cold to a wuss like me. Forecast says its warming up in the next few days though.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 04:27 AM
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thanks Pat...23 is not really beachy weather but pleasant enough
im a big wuss, too
11 degrees is cooooooooooooooold! glad you told me- will pack some layers
( initially i thought id be in sarongs but that calls for temps of around 28 degrees for me)

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Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 05:36 AM
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lanejohn, its warming up - tomorrow's max is 26 but still cool at night at about 13.

Was talking yesterday to Donna from Daintree Wild, (the link I gave you with the native birds and animals), they have a litter of 5 week old dingo pups there at the moment to add to the wildlife assortment.

Have a great trip in FNQ!


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Old Aug 3rd, 2008, 06:03 AM
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I've done the train trip to Kuranda several times and also been driven to Kuranda by friends who live in the Cairns area. The last time there we took the Skyrail up from Cairns and our friends drove up so we could all drive down together.

I was not that impressed by the trip up on the Skyrail, especially given the price which seems steep to me. If I were to do it again, though, I would definitely take it on the way DOWN as the views looking out over the water would be better as you descend.

I have always enjoyed the train trip and if you have any history buffs or train enthusiasts they will likely be impressed. The train is old style and the history of the building of the railroad (and of the difficulties encountered) is worth knowing. My husband was a little worried sometimes because the railroad just hugs the mountains and it seems precarious at times.

As for Kuranda you should know what to expect. It is mainly a small town with one wide street lined with cute shops and some huge tropical banyan trees that give it a pleasant feel. This can seem very touristy to some, but others enjoy it. It isn't really "quaint" to me but they have marketed themselves well so it has become a must-do for many tourists.

Last time there we went to Bird World, which we enjoyed and also to the Butterfly Sanctuary...also a hit. My family enjoyed this better than the shopping so I'm glad they are trying to add some other things at Kuranda to make it worth the trip. I've also gone to the place that has the noctural animals, but didn't like that as much as the birds and the butterflies.

As for zoo experiences, you should look into going to the zoo at Cairns. This used to be called Wild World, and is now called the Cairns Tropical Zoo:
http://www.cairnstropicalzoo.com.au/

This is a really sweet place...with lovely grounds and not so big that you get overwhelmed...which can be the case at the zoo in Sydney for us...they aren't really comparable zoos as the one is Sydney would be called world class, I guess...but we enjoyed the one in Cairns more...it is just more intimate and enough zoo experience without being too much. Lots of hands-on opportunities at the Cairns zoo

(Also, I found something good to take home as gifts at one stall near Bird World in Kuranda...wooden tongs with a springy metal piece connecting them...very nicely made, lightweight and unbreakable...my friends seem to like them as they all continue to use them for serving tossed salad)
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 05:00 AM
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dingo puppies????
oh wow
i love those little guys,Pat!
saw a litter at featherdale- rollypolly furballs- hard to believe theyre wild

thanks for the update about the weather
still cold at night as you point out so i have packed some layers

it'll be great savouring what you guys take for granted lol lol!
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