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Cairns Attractions: Kuranda Markets and Scenic Railway

Updated on February 5, 2015

Cairns, Far North Queensland

Cairns is located approximately 1700 klms (1056 miles) North of Brisbane, the capital city of the state of Queensland, Australia.

Cairns sits on the East Coast of the Cape York Peninsula and is bounded by the Great Dividing Range to the West and the Coral Sea to the East.

Cairns was originally founded in 1876 and named after the Queensland Governor of the time, William Wellington Cairns. In those days Cairns served as a staging point for equipment and supplies which serviced the Gold miners heading for the Hodgkinson River in the remote Far North.

A vast sugar cane industry later grew up around the city and it became a large central port for the export of gold, minerals, produce grown on the nearby Tablelands, and of course sugar cane.

These days, although there is still a lot of sugar cane grown on farms in the area which employs a large number of people on a working holiday in Australia, it is also more well known as a popular entry point to the Great Barrier Reef.

Attractions In Cairns

There are many attractions in Cairns but these two are my favourites:

  • The community markets at Kuranda.Of course the markets aren't the only attraction to see in Kuranda but they will certainly keep you busy for the best part of a day as you meander in and out of the old and new sections, through the streets and parks alike. There are many wonderful cafes to enjoy and a central park to enjoy a picnic lunch if you prefer.
  • The scenic railway from Freshwater to Kuranda via the Barron Gorge lookout. It is my favourite way to see the country side while in Cairns, and you have the option to return to Cairns on the Sky Rail if you wish, which terminates in the suburb of Caravonica. If you are staying in Cairns city, you will need to arrange transport back into town.

Places to Stay In Cairns

Cairns has an enormous range of accommodation options.

I can personally recommend Lake Placid Tourist Park which is located at Caravonica, if you are camping or caravanning, or if you are looking for clean and comfortable cabin accommodation. It is an extremely well kept park with beautiful swimming pool and undercover bbq area. They have $2 meal nights where they do the cooking, and everyone gets together and enjoys a meal and each others company around the pool.

Of course there are plenty of other options to check out from backpackers to 5 star resorts both in Cairns CBD, on the Northern beaches such as Palm Cove, and on the Resort Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

Cairns Attractions - Kuranda Scenic Railway

Sharon & Helen - two hats are better than one ;)
Sharon & Helen - two hats are better than one ;)

Plane Wreck at Kuranda

The plane wreck in the Kuranda rainforest.
The plane wreck in the Kuranda rainforest.

Kuranda Art and Craft Markets

Kuranda Art & Craft Markets.
Kuranda Art & Craft Markets.


Newly planted rows of sugar cane, Cairns.
Newly planted rows of sugar cane, Cairns.

Kuranda Scenic Railway Carriage

Kuranda Scenic Railway carriage with historical pictures lining the walls
Kuranda Scenic Railway carriage with historical pictures lining the walls

Where Is Cairns, Australia?

A markerCairns -
Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
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Cairns North Queensland

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Please leave a Comment, I would love to hear from you!

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    • aboutaustralia profile image

      aboutaustralia 6 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

      Hi gogogo, How wonderful (for both of us!) that you have come to visit Australia so many times. So nice to know you love it here and yes I am so blessed and so grateful to be able to live in Australia. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Hi Journey* thank you for the vote up! I hope you get to visit Australia soon, I'm sure you would love Cairns. My tip is to try to come in our winter months (June & July are best) as Cairns can be very hot and humid with its tropical climate during the summer. Nice to meet you on hubpages and thanks for leaving a comment.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 6 years ago from USA

      I've never been to Australia and I want to visit one day so badly. I know Australia is on the top lists of places to visit for many people including me. These photos are lovely and I will now keep Cairns in mind for when I make my visit to Australia! Thanks for a great hub. Voted up.

    • profile image

      gogogo 6 years ago

      Cairns is one of my favorite places, I write a lot about Australia, as I have visited the country over 20 times. You are lucky to live there.

    • aboutaustralia profile image

      aboutaustralia 6 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

      Hi fayx24, glad you liked the pics, and the trip down memory lane ;) Thanks for stopping by!

    • fayx24 profile image

      fayx24 6 years ago from Australia

      Loved the piccies! They brought back so many great memories. I loved Cairns and went to all those places! I remember taking a photo by the sign of Lake Placid, which was one of my favourite movies! LOL! Thanks for the trip down memory lane! :)