Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly flight aviary and exhibit in Australia
Barron Gorge National Park has great cultural and historical significance, with dramatic scenery and World Heritage-listed rainforest. The local Aboriginal people developed trails through the area, which later became the first pack routes used by Europeans to link the hinterland goldfields to the coast. Today, you can walk the same trails for pleasure! Walk to a lookout to view Barron Falls (spectacular after good rainfall). Take the Skyrail cableway for views over the forest canopy and out to the coast. Jump aboard the famous Kuranda railway as it winds past ravines and picturesque waterfalls. Explore the rainforest along the walking tracks from Speewah or Kamerunga. Join a white-water rafting tour for an up-close experience of the river.
BatReach, located in Kuranda, is a bat and wildlife care centre, focusing on flying foxes. Pam Tully, creator of the centre, began looking after flying foxes around 1990 in the suburb of Edge Hill in Cairns. She then started a bat and wildlife rescue and care centre at Zillie Falls near Milla Milla on the Atherton tablelands. She later relocated to Kuranda at the top of the range overlooking Cairns. In 1999, after noticing that people walking past seemed horrified at the flying foxes in the recovery cages, making comments like "look at those ghastly creatures
Home to the largest single collection of free flying birds in Australia (some 500 of them!), Birdworld Kuranda displays no less than 75 species of the most spectacular birds from all corners of the planet - as well as from the earth's fast diminishing rainforests. Visitors are free to wander through the lush, tropically landscaped aviary to observe the birds in their own specific - yet natural - habitats. Two lakes connected by a tumbling waterfall for example are home to waterbirds such as stilts, herons and Australia's own unique Black Swan.
The Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve is set on 200 acres of open bush land, 40 kilometres west of Cairns. It is home to many of the world's exotic and endangered animals. They have the largest pride of lions in Australasia with 25 in total on the property. They also have Common Hippopotamus, Pigmy Hippopotamus, White Rhinoceros, Syrian Brown Bears, Sumatran Tigers, Bengal Tigers, Cheetahs, Servals, Otters, Ostriches, Deer, Reptiles and many species of Monkeys.
Carrowong Sanctuary is a 90 acre pristine property completely surrounded by World Heritage listed rainforest. This unlogged rainforest gives guests a unique experience to enjoy walking through a pristine area unspoilt by outside interference. They have no cages or fences, and rainforest life is free to roam.
The Cathedral Fig Tree, like the Curtain Fig Tree, is a gigantic 500 year old strangler tree. Located in the Danbulla State Forest, the Cathedral Fig has the reputation of being the best place to hear an early morning bird 'singing' in the Atherton Tablelands. Circumnavigate the base of the tree and giant buttress roots on the easily accessible boardwalk.
In the Chillagoe-Mungana National Park, dry tropical open woodlands hide underground caves of breathtaking natural beauty. Pockets of deciduous vine thicket cling to jagged limestone outcrops. Laid down 400 million years ago, the limestone has been weathered, dissolved and reformed by water to create caverns and passages of significant natural and cultural heritage value. Join a ranger on a guided cave tour to view splendid limestone formations. You can also explore some of the caves on your own. Visit Balancing Rock, an impressive tower karst (limestone pillar). Walk the nine kilometre return track to Royal Arch Bluff, looking for wallabies and birds. Drive the historic interpretive trail at the Chillagoe Smelters.
Part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Curtain Fig National Park contains an endangered type of rainforest called mabi forest. A semi-deciduous canopy allows more sunlight to reach the ground than in other rainforest types. This promotes a well-developed shrub layer. The highlight of this park is a huge, unique fig tree called the Curtain Fig with extended aerial roots dropping 15 metres to the forest floor and forming a 'curtain'. Enjoy the short, elevated boardwalk around the tree. Return at night to spotlight for the elusive Lumholtz's tree-kangaroo and other nocturnal animals.
The Curtain Fig National Park contains the renowned Curtain Fig Tree, an enormous strangler fig tree. Located a short drive out of Yungaburra, a small town in the Atherton Tableland, the giant tree has several aerial roots hanging down from its branches that look like curtains. It's over 500 years old and definitely worth a look! There
Danbulla National Park and State Forest is a spectacular part of the Atherton Tableland, encompassing eucalypt and acacia forests, pine plantations and rainforest; also crater lakes, walks and places of local history and interest. The park and State forest covers 12,000 hectares between Tinaroo and Lamb ranges and borders Lake Tinaroo. Choose a camp site at one of six camping areas. Enjoy a short walk through upland rainforest to Mobo Creek crater or take time to marvel at the enormity and age of the cathedral fig tree.
High in the Lamb Range, Dinden National Park protects rainforest and eucalypt woodland. The clear waters of Davies Creek flow over smooth granite boulders and make a refreshing place to relax. Picnic or bush camp beside Davies Creek. Spend a day climbing to Kahlpahlim Rock (Lamb Range
At Emerald Creek, Dinden State Forest, the waters of Emerald Creek tumble down a granite rock face, forming the picturesque Emerald Creek Falls. Smooth-barked water gums with graphically twisted trunks create a natural arch above the creek. Bottlebrush trees, with red flowers in season, sprout from between the rocks. Dragonflies and damselflies hover around the water. Picnic in the day-use area beside the creek. Follow the easy one kilometre track to the falls through dry open forest characterised by eucalypts, acacias and grevilleas, with pandanus trees in the moister gullies.
Eubenagee Swamp National Park
Fitzroy Island National Park and its surrounding waters form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This densely forested island offers bushwalking as well as swimming and snorkelling. The island rises to 269 metres, offering grand vistas from almost any vantage point. In winter (June to August), watch from the lighthouse for humpback whales. Walk to the disused lighthouse and continue on the 4.4 kilometre circuit walk via the summit, or return to Welcome Bay to swim and snorkel. Look for some of the island
Welcome to Flecker Botanic Gardens, the only wet tropic botanic gardens in Australia. At Flecker Botanic Gardens, the collections reflect their tropical diversity, with plants from the steamy jungles of South East Asia, South America and Africa easily adapting to the warm, wet climate of Cairns. These gardens have a fairytale-like feel for many plant collectors, with the most outstanding flowering and foliage plants arranged in natural landscape style.
Hallorans Hill Lookout is an ideal spot for a barbecue or picnic, watching the sunset or just enjoying the view of the surrounding areas, farmland and rolling hills. The best way to enjoy this is to start from the Environmental Park on Louise Street, follow the walking track right to the top of the hill. Best times are early morning or late afternoon when you can watch the sun set. Walking track takes approximately two hours return.
Hallorans Hills Conservation Park protects eucalypt forest and a remnant of the endangered mabi forest on an extinct volcanic cone. The cone is part of the legacy of the tableland's fiery geological past.
Hasties Swamp is a large seasonal wetland renowned for its diverse range of resident and migratory birds. A two-storey bird hide has wheelchair access and is big enough to hold a school group. Observe the birds from the comfort of the hide, using the signs as a guide to species identification. At least 220 bird species have been recorded, mainly in the wetland and open woodland.
Atherton Chinatown is the Award-winning site of the unique Hou Wang Temple and interpretive museum. Located just over a scenic hours drive south west of Cairns, the National Trust of Queensland property ensures visitors of a fascinating insight into part of North Queensland's history and heritage. The site was chosen by the Chinese settlers during the 1800s. The temple is the only one of its type remaining and the only temple dedicated to Hou Wang outside of China still existing. It has an ornate interior with original wood carvings that can be seen during the guided tour of the property.
At Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran National Park, the waters of Josephine Creek plunge over granite boulders forming a turbulent waterfall at the base of Queensland
Jumrum Creek Conservation Park protects a small pocket of rainforest on the edge of Kuranda village. A 750 metres path and boardwalk winds through the rainforest to the creek and then climbs up to meet Barron Falls Road.
Kahlpahlim Rock, also known as Lambs Head, is the highest point in the Lamb Range and presents a challenging adventure for the experienced bushwalker. The sheer size of the rocks and the views over the Davies Creek catchment, if the weather is clear, are impressive.
The picturesque mountain retreat of Kuranda Village is just 25 kilometres northwest of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is a vibrant little town surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest. Travelling to Kuranda is a highlight in itself. Visitors can travel to Kuranda on Kuranda's Historic Scenic Railway, by car or bus, via the spectacular Kuranda Road, or above the rainforest canopy on Skyrail - the world's longest rainforest Cableway.
The Kuranda Cooperative Arts Gallery features all locally produced arts and fine craft. The spacious gallery, situated by the Butterfly Sanctuary is staffed by volunteer artists. Browse through the extensive range of ceramics, wood, metal, glass paintings, sculpture and indigenous art. Public internet access is also available. Look for the colourful flags.
The hand-made candy making process is fascinating to watch and they at Kuranda Candy Kitchen aim to make your experience not only fascinating to watch but tasty as well.
This award winning boutique style wildlife experience, Kuranda Koala Gardens, is in Kuranda Village right at the Heritage Markets. This is the only place in Kuranda village where you can enjoy the 'Cuddle a Koala' opportunity. A small fee applies and this includes a digital souvenir photo.
Lake Barrine is a volcanic maar surrounded by rainforest. The five kilometre track around the lake allows for forest-fringed views of the lake and its wildlife.
Lake Barrine, in Crater Lakes National Park, is a maar: a crater lake formed by volcanic explosions. The surrounding rainforest is typical of that found on fertile red basalt soils in high rainfall areas. In several places, large kauri pines emerge through the canopy
A clear, blue lake surrounded by cool rainforest, Lake Eacham offers swimming, birdwatching, picnic areas and shady walking tracks.
The Linga Longa International Restaurant has a great menu of international dishes served in a smart casual atmosphere. A dining experience where you can expect excellent food and service, for Cairns locals and tourists alike, located near the Botanical Gardens. This restaurant has been, and will continue to be the local's favourite restaurant. Bring Your Own wine to enjoy with your meal if you wish, or select a drink from their well serviced bar. You can choose from steak, duck, fresh fish and seafood, pasta, or sensational salads - there really is something to suit every taste.
In Malanda Falls Conservation Area, the North Johnstone River flows through dense rainforest, tumbling over Malanda Falls into an artificial swimming pool. The Ngadjon Jii is the Traditional Owners of this area. Have a picnic and take a dip in the pool. Follow the easy one kilometre Tulip Oak walk beside the river and through the rainforest. Watch for platypus from the viewing platforms. Keep an eye out for secretive tree-kangaroos, sometimes seen here. Learn about the region at the Malanda Falls Wet Tropics Visitor Centre.
On the Atherton Tableland, Malanda Falls Conservation Park protects a small rainforest remnant. The falls on the North Johnstone River tumble over an ancient lava flow which originated from the Mount Hypipamee area, 15 kilometres away.
Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is reputedly the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Lying in the rain shadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry open woodland here is in stark contrast with the rainforest which is only kilometres away. This area is rich in World War II history. Picnic in the shady day-use area among the blue gums and ironbarks, or walk down to the viewing area above Millstream Falls. At Little Millstream Falls, enjoy a different perspective by walking the narrow path to the base of the falls.
Mount Hypipamee National Park is centred around a diatreme (a volcanic pipe or vent) thought to have been created by a massive gas explosion. The gaping hole is 70 metres wide with steep granite sides that plunge 58 metres to the lake below. The lake itself is 82 metres deep! The park protects unique high-altitude rainforest and is World Heritage listed. Picnic in the rainforest then walk 400 metres to the viewing deck over the diatreme. Return along the 1.2 kilometre Dinner Falls track. Look for golden bowerbirds, spotted catbirds and riflebirds. Go spotlighting to see green, lemuroid and Herbert River ringtail possums, and long-nosed bandicoots.
The Hypipamee crater is referred to as a volcanic pipe. The pipe was opened upward through surface rocks by gas produced from molten rock below and as a result of tremendous pressure, the vent exploded sending volcanic bombs far across the landscape. It has a diameter of 61 metres at the water level which is 58 metres below the platform. Even 85 metres below the water surface, the pipe hasn't lost any of its dimensions. Approximately 10 minute on concrete path to the Crater and the choice of taking the 'natural' path along to see the different levels of Dinner Falls. Free spotlighting nights are regularly held here as there is an abundance of wildlife throughout the park.
Mulgrave Settlers Museum, next to the sugar mill in Gordonvale, was purpose-built to house objects used by settlers in the area then called Nelson in the late 1800s.
The award-winning Rainforestation Nature Park is a 100 acre (40 hectare) tourist attraction set in the midst of World Heritage Rainforest. 30 minutes by coach from Cairns and five minutes away from Kuranda Village. It
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a unique rainforest experience taking you on an unforgettable journey over Australia's World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforest and deep into the forest.
Enjoy an intriguing insight into the world of bats. The Bat Hospital Visitor Centre has Advanced Ecotourism accreditation and offers a unique 'up close and personal' wildlife experience just outside Atherton. You will meet about ten species of bats. Some will be the small insectivorous microbats that you can sometimes see in the wild at nearby Undara and Paronella Park. Others are the larger fruit and nectar eating megabats like the flying foxes. The Visitor Centre experience includes a short video about the work of the hospital, and world-class interpretive signage.
The Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets are unique and diverse, deeply immersed in local history and culture. Situated in world heritage rainforest, these markets had their humble beginnings in 1978, created by a group of local artists and crafts people.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park showcases the 'People of the Rainforest's' indigenous culture, allowing you to watch theatrical performances and engage in interactive activities to learn the traditional culture and customs of the Tjapukai people.
Wongabel State Forest protects a remnant of the endangered mabi forest, less than two per cent of which now remains. In 1903, red cedar seedlings were planted in the forest to replace mature trees which had been logged. Commercial plantations of hoop, kauri and Caribbean pine now grow beside native forest. Enjoy a 750 metre return walk through the forest or take the longer 2.5 kilometre route. Both tracks have been designed with consideration for walkers who are vision impaired. Braille booklets and audio headsets are available from the visitor centre in Atherton. Both tracks are also wheelchair accessible, but assistance may be required for the longer walk.