Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a must do hero experience when visiting Cairns, Australia. Spanning over 7.5km across World Heritage listed ancient tropical rainforest, Skyrail provides it’s guests with unimpeded views across a vast green canopy and allows them to visit otherwise unaccessible areas of the ancient rainforest.
THE ANCIENT RAINFOREST
It is this rainforest, called The Wet Tropics Rainforest, that is the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth. The oldest areas estimated to be 130 million years old, this rainforest is the ‘great survivor’ surviving the dinosaur extinction and Ice Ages. While the rest of Australia slowly grew drier and the rainforest that once covered the entire continent disappeared, this narrow patch of tropical rainforest stretching from Cooktown to North of Townsville has remained. The Wet Tropics Rainforest also has a spectacular connection to the Great Barrier Reef. Standing side by side, these two World Heritage sites are actually related. The Wet Tropics Rainforest once stretched out across the entire continental shelf, but rising sea levels caused it to floor and hence, the Great Barrier Reef was formed.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
You can explore this rainforest in numerous ways, but the most environmentally friendly way is with Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Situated in Smithfield, a 15 minute drive from the Cairns CBD, Skyrail stretches across the rainforest to Kuranda, the village in the rainforest. There are two stops – Red Peak, with ranger guided tours, and Barron Falls, with a short boardwalk to beautiful views of the Falls and the Gorge.
I used to work at Skyrail so have done the experience over 50 times easily. My favourite time is, unexpectedly, in wet weather. When the mist covers the surrounding mountains, the whole landscape takes on a mysterious ancient feel. You feel like you’ve stepped into a completely different world and it really is breathtaking. Plus, light isn’t patchy on the boardwalks but really consistent. The mist in the air is really stunning… I definitely recommend Skyrail as wet weather experience or a must do for rainy weather in Cairns.
Also fun fact, if you need any further convincing for the beauty of the Wet Tropics Rainforest, this ancient rainforest aided in inspiration for the blockbuster hit Avatar jungle overview scenes.
“For a lot of the jungle overviews, I used photos I had taken from the Kuranda Skyrail near Cairns” – Dylan Cole, designer in the movie Avator
When you visit you really can see how.
See below for examples of what Skyrail looks on a rainy or cloudy day. The photos do all the talking I think.
Barron Falls is absolutely magnificent in flood. Unlike most other waterfalls that remain pumping throughout the wet season, Barron Falls sits just below a dam. This means that it can shut off almost like a tap. It can be very difficult to see Barron Falls in flood, so if you wait too long after a rainy day seeking sunshine you may miss it altogether.
You can see what Barron Falls is doing right now on the Skyrail webcam. This waterfall is so pesky that even on wet weather it can still be relatively small. It makes seeing it in flood extra special and the most likely time you will see it is on a rainy day in Cairns.
My gorgeous friend The Daily Luxe.
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- How to see Barron Falls in flood
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- 101 things to do in Cairns
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