Monday, September 01, 2014

Barron Falls, Kuranda and the Scenic Railway

Far North Queensland, as the locals call it, is a tourist magnet with dozens of beautiful, sunny places to visit. One of the most popular is Kuranda in the Barron Falls National Park which I believe is on the tail end of the Great Dividing Range. (I stand corrected).

Kuranda is accessible by road, but many tourists prefer to use the Scenic Railway and Skyway, the latter of which provides a gondola trip through the top of the rain forest. Tickets provide for a return trip using both media either up or down ie, take the Skyway up to Kuranda and return via Kuranda Scenic Railway or vice versa.

Barron Falls
Preying Mantis Statue
Enroute to Kuranda is the Barron Falls which at the time of year we visited (late Winter) was down to a trickle, but still looked outstanding. Barron Falls has a railway station to which one can walk via a well designed and constructed walkway with several lookouts into the falls and local rain forest. Along parts of the walkway are bronze statues of some of the wildlife found in the national park.

Train Entering Station
When the scenic train winds its way to Barron Falls station, people properly situated can see both the train engine and the tail end carriages. Always a novelty.

Kuranda is a smaller township with a moderately "Hippy" marketplace built into the side of a hill on several benches. Shops sell the usual multi-coloured clothing, cheap jewellery, ice cream, other foodstuffs and from memory, I think you can have your chakra balanced, get a Thai massage or have your palms read if you are so inclined. The people at the market, and indeed, all over Kuranda are friendly and accommodating.

In the town itself is a police station (it must be the most comfortable posting in Queensland, if not the prettiest) and numerous shops selling clothing, pharmaceutical supplies, various massage therapies, and art and trinkets to tourists. There are only so many fridge magnets, caps or pens you can have in one lifetime, so we never bought any of the branded tourist wares.

We'd been on the scenic railroad and skyway previously, so this trip decided to drive up and back and take in some of the sites not usually seen from either of the previous eg, those from the walk to Barron Falls. The walk is pleasant and not too demanding and as with many of these type public facilities, seems to have been designed to include people in wheel chairs or who can not traverse stairs.

There's nothing much at the Barron Falls railway station but a few bench seats. At the time we were there the downwards train just happened to pass, so I managed to get a few photographs of it before we headed back to Kuranda along the return walkway.

The trips and visit to Kuranda are well worth doing if at any time you are visiting nearby Cairns.



Tina Miranda said...

Just love the praying mantis piccie..Love to both of you !

Robin Henry said...

Thanks Tina.