The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, which includes the Barron Gorge National Park, is an internationally recognised biodiversity hot spot. It has more than 1,500 endemic vascular plants (meaning they are found nowhere else on earth) and is home to an amazing array of native fauna. This includes but is not limited to, 60% of Australia’s butterfly species, 40% of Australia’s bird species, 30% of Australia’s mammal species and 29% of Australia’s frog species. While these are just statistics when you read them, they’ll come to life when you visit Kuranda, the Village in the Rainforest. Here you can observe a wealth of Australia’s native animals, birds and butterflies in close proximity in the magnificent habitats in and around the Village and at our award-winning attractions.
For nature in the wild you may take the time to enjoy a jungle walk, a peaceful stroll along the river Esplanade or a boat trip on the river. The tropical forest environment is home to many unusual birds; binoculars combined with a keen sense of hearing will bring this world to life.
If the gods are smiling, a glimpse of a friendly harmless fresh water crocodile, a playful platypus and a green tree snake will surely reward the observant visitor. Take the time to wonder at the magnificence of the superb fig trees lining the main street of the Village. Gaudy parrots, argumentative yellow fig birds, and the luminescent blue Ulysses butterfly are easy to spot among the ferns and orchids crowding the canopy of these big trees.
Watch for “thick-knees”, long legged and chattering looking for nesting sites in the council car park. A visit to some lovely gardens and small parks in and around the Village, will reward you with colour and bird song. Look for lizards warming up in patches of sunshine. Time for a coffee, of course, there’s always time in Kuranda.
Kuranda The Village in the Rainforest is also home to a number of award winning wildlife attractions. A visit to one, or all of these great places, will provide you with the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most beautiful and beloved critters.
Birds and butterflies can be found at the Heritage Markets, which is home to Birdworld and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. At Birdworld over 350 birds roam freely throughout the enclosed habitat, including the iconic Southern Cassowary, colourful rainbow lorikeets, cockatoos and Amazonian macaws. While the Butterfly Sanctuary is home to over 2,000 tropical butterflies, free fluttering and flying amongst rainforest plants and a man-made stream. Watch for the electric blue Ulysses and neon green Cairns Birdwing.
Cuddle a koala and see many more beloved Australian critters, including kangaroos, possums, wombats, water dragons, turtles, snakes, bandicoots, quokkas and so much more at Kuranda Koala Gardens. They’re also located inside the Heritage Markets.
For those who want to go a little further afield, we can suggest Rainforestation Nature Park. This award winning attraction is home to a diverse array of creatures, including koalas, dingoes, snakes and lizards as well as having an extensive tropical fruit orchard and providing Army Duck tours through the rainforest. They are also home to the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. There’s also Paradise Kuranda Guided Rainforest Walks, where locals will share regional history and point out native plants and animals on a leisurely stroll through the forest. Or Kuranda Rainforest Journey’s where you get amongst it on ATV quad bike tours.
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