Things to Do around Kuranda
First, there are the wildlife parks. Not only the usual kangaroo - koala park (that, too), but also a great bird aviary, a small place to discover our venomous snakes, and best than anything, the Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary - the only one of its kind in Australia.
It is not without a reason as the park is here - Kuranda is a great place to spot Australia's largest butterflies, and in case you don't have enough luck on your short visit, this is the place to get to see them.
Short visit - exactly. Most people do Kuranda on a day trip from Cairns, taking the Scenic Railway one way and Skyrail the other, maybe even squeezing in Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park to the end of the day, and there you have a day full of activities, having a brief look at Kuranda, but nowhere near complete!
Kuranda is, after all, marketed as a rainforest village for a good reason. There is a whole lot of great rainforest around it, all full of amazing plants, animals, birds, insects, and you won't see any of them on a day trip.
For the easiest option, there is a great Circuit Walk around the town where you do get a glimpse of the rainforest, even a few birds and animals such as kingfishers, and with a bit of luck maybe a Cairns Birdwing Butterfly and an Eastern Water Dragon.
For the second easiest, and a must see is Barron Falls - you see them on the Skyrail and Scenic Railway trips, but in case you drive to Kuranda, do drive out to the falls, in fact they are some of the best ones in the whole tropical north Queensland.
Near the Barron Falls turnoff is a turnoff to Wrights lookout for some good views over Cairns. And after this, we can start talking getting off the beaten track.
At the Wright's Lookout is the start of McDonald's Track - one of the long bushwalking tracks in Barron Gorge National Park. It takes you down to Surprise Creek, then to the junction of McDonalds and Douglas Track, one end of which goes to Speewah Campground (just south of Kuranda), and the other to Stoney Creek Trailhead in north western Cairns.
They are fantastic tracks to discover the beautiful tropical rainforest and spot its birds and animals, so in case you like bushwalking, consider the option to stay in Kuranda longer than a day and discover all that rainforest that surrounds the village.