January 12 – Cairns, Skyrail + Kuranda

Good thing we love animals. Because the animals at Kuranda loved us.

Today, we had the opportunity to spend most of the day in a small town, called Kuranda, which is located right outside of Cairns. We started the day by riding the Skyrail up to the town. The Skyrail is similar to a ski lift, but is consists of an enclosed pod, instead of just a chair. Each compartment could fit six people, so we were able to experience the wonderful views of the forest below with a handful of our classmates. The Skyrail made two stops up the mountain, where we could see the forest and Baron Falls, a waterfall in the area.


The last stop was Kuranda. It is one of my favorite places we have visited because it possessed a little more of the Australia culture than the larger, more populated cities.

Not only were the shops and Aboriginal art interesting to learn about, we also had the opportunity to learn more about some of the local species in the sanctuaries. The town had four different ones: birds, butterflies, venom, and the koala gardens.

Since we were given some free time to explore the town on our own, I choose to go to the koala gardens and bird sanctuary. The koala gardens had a wide range of animals, including wombats, kangaroos, and snakes. You were also able to feed wallabies and hold a koala. I am very much an animal lover, so I really enjoyed getting to interact so closely with some native animals. Even though I was excited to see my first kangaroo on this trip, I’m still hoping we can see one in the wild. The bird sanctuary contained a variety of birds from all over the world. You could feed them, and they would land right on your arm or your backpack. One even stole Ginny’s earring right out of her ear.


After our day in Kuranda, we took a train ride back to Cairns. The train track was created in 1886, the same year that Elon College was founded. Unfortunately, it was extremely foggy, so we couldn’t see to much of the view.


However, the markets of Kuranda are a sight to see. It is here that you can find anything from witty t-shirts to opals to aboriginal art. The further that you venture into the markets the more interesting the shops get. The original market opened in 1978 and it is here where you can find a mini golf course. Kuranda is a beautiful tropical town that one must see!

Overall, it was a great, relaxing day.

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