Situated high in the rainforest mountains, just getting to Kuranda can be a scenic experience. Driving a vehicle of your choice is an easy alternative, hire car firms are numerous, or a chauffeured limousine could be a special treat. Try a taxi or car-for-hire service like Uber or ride share with a knowledgeable local driver to guide you. For the brave, motor bike hire is ideal for a close encounter with the smells of the forest and the added attraction of stopping when and where you choose. The journey lasts around 35-minutes from Cairns.
Travelling by road from Cairns, access to Kuranda Village is to the west along the Kennedy Highway or from the east, up and over the Kuranda Range. The western approach from Mareeba is a journey through orchards, coffee plantations and produce farms. Through the lightly timbered country of the Lamb Range the road climbs easily and the big forest-clad mountains of the Great Dividing Range come into view as you drop down to the outskirts of the Village.
The eastern approach is a steep ascent from the suburb of Smithfield. The mountain road twists its way through the thick jungle of World Heritage forest, a scenic drive along the side of rocky waterfalls and the buttress roots of giant trees, home to a million humming cicadas. Silent gondolas overhead cast shadows on the road, and a lucky day for the traveler when a young cassowary hurries along the edge of the forest. A gap in the trees and, suddenly, a look-out, and there is a breathtaking panorama of the coastal plain and the Coral Sea. Fill the lungs with exhilarating mountain air. With renewed vigor drive on, crossing the high-level bridge over the Barron River, past the Cemetery, worth a visit if only for the view of the magnificent river, and so on to the Village.
© Kuranda 2021