If you are visiting Cairns, you know one of the best things to do in Tropical North Queensland is experience Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Situated between Smithfield (in Cairns) and Kuranda (Google Maps location here), Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 7.5km cable car that enables you to experience otherwise inaccessible areas of the ancient rainforest. As you skim above the tree tops and dip below to explore the two rainforest floor spots (Red Peak and Barron Falls) you’re going to want to take a lot of photos to capture your day. Whether you’re looking for the most Instagrammable locations in Cairns (yes, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is one of them) or just love taking photos, read on to discover the best photo spots at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns.
Suggested read: How to experience the Cairns rainforest
1. The incredible view across Cairns
While Skyrail Rainforest Cableway may be known as an incredible rainforest experience, thanks to the heights you need to reach to traverse across the rainforest canopy, it also provides spectacular views across the Cairns region. As you journey between Smithfield (the Cairns stop) and Red Peak (one of the two rainforest floor spots) enjoy panoramic views of Cairns, the Northern Beaches, the Coral Sea and on a clear day even right out to Green Island!
Scared of heights? For the most part while on the Skyrail gondolas you are only mere metres above the canopy and rarely see the forest floor, so although you may be high up it doesn’t always feel that way. There are parts (when crossing the Barron River and approaching Smithfield from Red Peak) where you will notice the heights but other parts you will not.
2. Glance down at the tree tops from Diamond View
While the surrounding views may capture you, don’t forget to look down as you explore the rainforest. Especially if you have upgraded to Skyrail Rainforest Cableway’s Diamond View option. The Diamond View gondolas come with a glass floor providing the perfect photo opportunities at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The best time to take a photo is when overlooking the ferns between as you traverse between Smithfield and Red Peak.
3. Capture Rainforest Road
One of the most Instagrammable and popular photo spots on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is Rainforest Road. As Skyrail heads from Smithfield (in Cairns) to Kuranda, it glides above the Kuranda Range and Kuranda Range road. The juxtaposition of the road snaking its way through the trees beneath you makes for a great photo opportunity at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway so be sure to have your camera ready. If you miss it, don’t worry there are also other spots to capture this Skyrail Rainforest Cableway photo shot within a minute or so.
4. Admire the Kauri Pine at Red Peak
Although the views across Cairns are beautiful, the real magic of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway begins when you reach Red Peak. This is part of the ancient rainforest that is otherwise inaccessible and thanks to the specially designed boardwalks, you can experience this marvellous section of the rainforest without leaving even a footprint behind. Get your camera at the ready because Red Peak is one of the best spots to snap a photo at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
The Kauri Pine at Red Peak is definitely star of the show, shooting up through the rainforest. Two great spots to capture a photo is from the Red Peak cable car station (where you first get off the gondola) as shown in the first photo below or looking back at the Kauri Pine after you’ve passed in on the boardwalk (as shown in the second photo below). The Kauri Pine is truly the king of the jungle and an absolute giant, making it one of the best photo opportunities at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
5. A very good looking tree
The next photo spot at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is one particularly good looking tree. If you are journeying from Smithfield (Cairns) to Kuranda, you’ll find this tree on your right as you leave Red Peak in gondola, or if you are journeying the opposite way, you’ll find this tree on your left just before you arrive at Red Peak in gondola. This tree stands out among the rainforest canopy and, if you’re lucky to spot them, is home to a couple of white cockatoos. As you have to snap this Skyrail Rainforest Cableway photo from a moving gondola be sure to have your camera ready to go as you approach this photo spot.
6. The never-ending rainforest canopy
Did you know the designer who worked on the Avatar films said he was inspired while creating Pandora by looking at the photos he had taken from the Skyrail gondolas of the surrounding rainforest? As you traverse the rainforest, particularly between Red Peak and Barron Falls rainforest spots, you’ll likely to be able to see what he means – the rainforest truly feels never-ending and provides you with many photo opportunities at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
7. The spectacular Barron Gorge from Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
One of the jaw-dropping moments of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway experience is when you pass by Barron Gorge. For only the briefest of moments, you’ll be met with this scene below (so be sure to have your camera prepared). This Skyrail Rainforest Cableway photo spot will be visible on the left if you’re approaching Barron Falls or on the right if you’re leaving Barron Falls. After you’ve quickly snapped this photo op, keep your camera ready as the next one is about 5 seconds away…
8. Barron Falls in flood from Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Right beside Barron Gorge is the mighty Barron Falls. If you have a return Skyrail Rainforest Cableway ticket booked or are doing the one-way journey from Kuranda to Smithfield (Cairns), you’ll get a particularly good Skyrail Rainforest Cableway photo opportunity of capturing both Barron Falls and a Skyrail gondola in the photo for context and perspective. Remember, Barron Falls doesn’t flood all year round so for your best chance to experience it in flood, read: How to see Barron Falls in flood.
9. The Edge Lookout
It is always worth getting out of the gondola to explore at the Barron Falls rainforest stop. In addition to a beautiful short walk through the rainforest, The Edge Lookout is a standout attraction at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Reaching out into the gorge and beside the falls, you can get closer than ever to Barron Falls – plus enjoy beautiful views into Barron Gorge. Many Skyrail Rainforest Cableway photo opportunities exist at The Edge Lookout thanks to the views of the rainforest, the waterfall and from the glass floor section!
10. Don’t forget to visit in the rain!
There’s a reason why almost all of these Skyrail Rainforest Cableway photo were taken in the rain. The rain can be the best time to visit Skyrail Rainforest Cableway – especially if you want to take photos! One of the best Skyrail Rainforest Cableway photo opportunities is to visit on the misty, cloudy days as the mist brings out a whole new side to the rainforest – the greens seem greener and the entire rainforest feels magical and out-of-this-world.
If you are interested in The best photo spots at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns, you may also be interested in:
- How to experience the Cairns rainforest
- Things to do in Kuranda
- How to see Barron Falls in flood
- Visiting the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda