Rainforestation, Kuranda & Skyrail with Tropic Wings
RAINFORESTATION, KURANDA & SKYRAIL WITH TROPIC WINGS
Want a different way to see the rainforest that surrounds the beautiful city of Cairns, Tropical North Queensland? Perhaps you only have 1 day to spare in the region and would like to get up close and personal with a kangaroo! Oh… AND you wouldn’t mind learning about Indigenous culture and see a show as well. How on earth can you do this in such limited time?!?!
Never fear, it is all possible in a day with the reputable family owned and run, Tropic Wings experience to Rainforestation and Kuranda Rainforest Village returning by Skyrail.
How does it work?
On this particular day trip we started our journey meeting at the Skyrail Station at Smithfield. Usually you would get collected from your hotel (transfers included). The comfortable coach transported us up the windy Great Dividing Range through lush rainforest to our first stop of the day, Rainforestation. On the way we were given information about the day and general information on the region by our driver.
Rainforestation is a Cultural & Nature park located in tropical rainforest around 1/2 an hour from Cairns just outside the village of Kuranda. You can visit the park on your own or in a tour with Tropic Wings. You can just visit and pay for one experience in the park or see it in it’s entirety.
This day we were to see all sections of the park. First up, a walk through the Koala & Wildlife Park. We met with famous baby Koala Bon Bon (a social media star!) and were able to hand feed the Wallabies and Kangaroos.
Afterwards we moved to the Rainforest Amphitheater to begin the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. The Pamagirri People are custodians of this land and have lived in this region for thousands of years. This experience is to show us about themselves and share their story. Their dance, their music, their food and their culture.
This kicked off with a fun 20 minute dance by several dancers depicting animals, food gathering and other cultural stories. Of course it was also crowd interactive as they encouraged some audience members to participate in a dance on stage, which is always a lot of fun! It isn’t pretty trying to be an Emu… it turns out looking like you’re in the 80’s Bangles video for Walk Like an Egyptian!
If you pay an additional cost you can join the dancers on Rainforestation’s new Bush Tucker Walk. On this day I did the walk in it’s final developmental stages and it wasn’t open to the public. Over time, the plants they planted for the walk will be lush and fruiting making for an excellent experience if you are interested in Indigenous foods/uses and medicines and how they once lived off the land. This also includes how they create paints from different clays and rocks.
Following this it was time to watch them use a Woomera (spear throwing hand carved device). Let’s just say if they allowed them to enter the Olympics they would win gold hands down… they get some wicked air!!! We also tried our hand at Boomerang throwing and had 3 chances to prove ourselves in front of the group. Was I worthy? NOPE! It turns out I am crap at throwing Boomerangs (no surprise there, I was crap at Javellen, discus and shot put back in high school)but I did get a little curve and return on my 3rd throw which wasn’t too shameful. Following this we were treated to the amazing skills and circular breathing from our guide with his Didgeridoo. All of this was fun and very interesting, even for an Aussie like me. Even better if you are from overseas!
If your program allows, make sure you include the sumptuous BBQ buffet lunch served in the Treehouse Restaurant. There was a bounty to choose from, hot BBQ items of meats, chicken and fish, plenty of fresh salads, desserts and cheeses. On this day for entrée we could try the Crocodile & Corn Soup… just like chicken & corn in flavour and mouthfeel and very delicious! This could be your one and only chance to try crocodile!
Next on the agenda was a 45 minute army duk ride through rainforest and the man made water way (it doesn’t look man made!). The park has a collection of around 12 Amphibious Vehicles used by the USA in WW2 with 6 gears, propeller and rudder. This is a wildlife cruise with an informative driver/guide who points out all the fascinating plants and animals. Look carefully at the logs and branches sticking up out of the water as this is a popular resting spot for small fresh water turtles.
We departed Rainforestation shortly after to make the 10 minute drive into the heart of the rainforest village, Kuranda. We were here to check out the Butterfly Sanctuary for half an hour before a stroll through Kuranda for our Skyrail experience back down the Range. The Butterfly Sanctuary can be pre-booked or you can pay on arrival anytime for a small fee.
Today’s Skyrail journey (I’ve been on Skyrail before) was to be a little more “thrilling” as we had been upgraded to “Diamond View”.
So… what’s that?
It’s a see through floor so not only do you have amazing 360 degree views out the gondola windows you can see directly on top of the rainforest canopy. Yes, there was moments when vertigo washed over me in the beginning (if only brief) which didn’t tarnish the experience at all. I feel this view only enhanced the Skyrail experience for a small cost per person. You have your own VIP line at the stations and the Diamond View gondola’s are every few carriages so you’re not waiting for long
At 2 stations there are short rainforest walks and spectacular views. The journey took no more than 1 1/2 hours back to Smithfield. Your transfer will take you back to your hotel.
Overall, a relaxing day with plenty of variety. You can pretty much switch off and just enjoy it. A great taste of our beautiful Cairns.