Kuranda, Village in the Rainforest, is an iconic Cairns attraction. Situated within the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth on the Atherton Tablelands, Kuranda has been attracting tourists and visitors for over 100 years.

While it is located about a 45 minute drive from Cairns City, Kuranda Village is more commonly accessed via Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or the Kuranda Scenic Railway (with most visitors combining both experiences for a comprehensive rainforest day out).

The traditional home of the Djabugay people for 10, 000+ years; this area was taken over in the late 1800s where a railway line (now Kuranda Scenic Railway) was constructed. For over 100 years now it has been a tourist destination and today, there are a range of experiences to enjoy.

Things to do in Kuranda

From the Kuranda Original Markets to wandering along the Barron River, mingling with eclectic locals and enjoying local delicacies at the many cafes and restaurants, there are a range of things to do in the ‘Village in the Rainforest’. And for those who want to meet some friendly faces the Kuranda Wildlife Experience is the perfect choice for you.

Kuranda Wildlife Experience

The Kuranda Wildlife Experience is a 3 Park Pass that combines the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld Kuranda and the Kuranda Koala Gardens.

All situated within walking distance of each other (with Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld located beside each other), the 3 parks enable you to see a lot of different Australian animals in a short period of time.

As a general rule, I would recommend allowing 2 hours to explore all 3 parks, but this is up to you and how much time you want to spend with the different animals. My favourite place is the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary so I have spent the majority of my time wandering through the butterfly aviary (as you will see most of my photos are from there!) but it really is up to you!

I have been on the Kuranda Wildlife Experience 3 times now, so these photos are a mixture of all occasions.

Kuranda Koala Gardens

We start with Kuranda Koala Gardens. Not only is this wildlife park home to a number of (as the name suggests) koalas, it is also home to a range of kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, quokkas, snakes and crocodiles!

Kuranda Koala Gardens koala
Kuranda Koala Gardens koala in a tree
Kuranda Koala Gardens koala sitting in tree
Sleepy fellas
Wombat at Kuranda Koala Gardens
Cute!
Kuranda Koala Gardens
Kuranda Koala Gardens
Kuranda Koala Gardens wallaby
Friendly locals

At Kuranda Koala Gardens you can hand feed wallabies and kangaroos as well as get the classic cuddling a koala picture (at an extra cost).

Kuranda Koala Gardens feeding wallaby

The Gardens also feature a walk through noctarium where visitors are able to experience animals that they would otherwise be unlikely to come across as they sleep in the day and are active only at night.

Kuranda Koala Gardens Nocturnal Wonders Noctarium
Kuranda Koala Gardens Nocturnal Wonders Noctarium

Birdworld

After getting your cuddle fix, head right on next door to enter Birdworld.

Birdworld allows birds to fly freely through the aviary and interact with their human guests. You can purchase bird food to entice them to join you for a photo op or walk around at your own pace.

There are some truly impressive birds here – with very bright and vibrant colours.

Birdworld Kuranda parrot on girls arm
Birdworld Kuranda parrot climbing girls arm
Birdworld Kuranda
Birdworld Kuranda
Birdworld Kuranda

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Ah, my favourite part of the entire experience – the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. A very calming place; I can spend hours here walking amongst the butterflies.

You can join a guided tour of the sanctuary and learn all about the different butterflies and how they hatch, grow and conserve the large variety of species at the sanctuary or you are welcome to walk through at your own pace. Set in a beautiful garden complete with small ponds and bridges, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary feels like a mini fairytale.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary gardens
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
I brought my parents along one of the trips!
Australian Butterfly Sancutary gardens
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary gardens
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary Gardens

While the tickets can be sold as a ‘3 Park Pass’ if only one or two parks take your fancy, tickets are also sold individually. You can also combine your Kuranda Wildlife Experience 3 Park Pass with a one-way Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and one-way Kuranda Scenic Railway for the ultimate day out.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Kuranda Scenic Railway