Many visitors choose Kuranda as the best place to experience Australia's tropical rainforest and world-class eco-tours.
Just 25km from Cairns, the mountain retreat of Kuranda Village has come a long way from its origins and reputation as a hippy village in the 1960s.
The rail, which is privately owned, crosses the Barron Gorge National Park and its owners waited seven-and-a-half years before the project went through legislation. They wanted to show one of Australia's great natural treasures to visitors, but were fully aware of the importance of protecting it.
Thirty-six 10x10 metre clearings were made for the towers. The plants that were removed to allow construction were put in a national park nursery and replanted as close as possible to their original growing place.
The trip takes about one-and-a-half hours including two station stops along the way. You can start at Kuranda Station or Caravonica Station. From Carvonica to Red Peak, the first station, takes about 10 minutes and on the way you can see views of Cairns, the Barron River Delta and Green Island, 27km from Cairns.
The first leg ascends the McAllister Range, the top end of the Great Dividing Range, over an open eucalypt forest which sharply changes into dense tropical rainforest.
The Red Peak stop is about 20 minutes where you can walk along the boardwalk to the site which was the timber cutters' camp in the 1800s. A guide will explain which plant species are which, and why they are so important to Aboriginals in terms of medicines and face paints.
The next station is Barron Falls, about 15 minutes away. Underneath the gondola is a forest thick with acacia and melaleuca and the Barron Falls. They are quite spectacular in the wet season, but even in the dry season when they flow to about a quarter of their capacity, they are still a wonderful sight.
The Barron Gorge National Park covers about 2820 hectares and is Queensland's most visited park. It holds thousands of species of rainforest trees and is home to a population of cassowaries, musky tree rat kangaroos and a fascinating variety of birdlife and butterflies.