Everything about Kuranda Scenic Railway
In a previous post we were speaking about our holiday in Australia – But only of the scuba -diving part, in the Great Barrier Reef (The Pride of Australia). Today we want to give you some information about another spectacular journey – The Kuranda Railway.
Impressions from Kuranda Railway’ Journey
Prolonged and torrential rains during the wet season in the early 1880 were making life difficult for the tin miners of North Queensland. It become imperative to improve supply lines to their camps up on the Atheron Tablelands inland from Cairns , and so the line now known as the Kuranda Railway was born. There was fierce initial competition for the route up into the mountains, until the present one, which follows the course of the Barron River, prevailed. Opened in 1891, the line took five years to build and is a remarkable feat of engineering. One thousand five hundred natives, many of Irish and Italian extraction, used little more than hand tools, mules and dynamite to blast out fifteen tunnels and numerous cuts, as well as to built bridges over the many steep-sided creeks.
You can begin your journey at the main station in central Cairns, or better still, join the train at Freshwater Station in the northern suburbs, where there are informative displays about the railway and its history as well as the chance to eat in a restored historic carriage. The line then winds for 30 km through the Barron Gorge, climbing all the way until it reaches Kuranda, an ascent of 330 meters. Each carriage is equipped with an audio-visual commentary meant to enhance the unrivaled views of mountains, precipitous cliff-faces, waterfalls and a World Heritage rainforest. And if you are lucky, your train might be drawn by the 1720 Class Diesel electric locomotive that has been painted to depict “Buda-Dji”, the legendary carpet snake whose story from the Aboriginal Dreamtime you will be hearing during your journey.
Best highlights of Kuranda Railway ‘ Journey
The Horseshoe Bend, a 180-degree curve which marks the start of the climb out of the coastal plain to Kuranda.
Stoney Creek Bridge on its three tall trstle piers.
The views of Barron Falls, especially during the “wet”.
Getting away from the day-trippers and staying overnight in Kuranda , the “village in the rainforest”
What you should know about Kuranda Railway’ Jouney
The last train back from Kuranda leaves at 3.30 pm. For a different perspective on the landscape consider instead taking the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway down to Cairns.