Koala bear day!
20.10.2009 - 20.10.2009 21 °C
Today was the Kuranda Railway All Inclusive Day trip. We were picked up from our accommodations and taken to coach buses that transported us to the Kuranda Freshwater Railway Station. We boarded the Kuranda Scenic Railway for our trip up to Kuranda. I decided to upgrade to the "Gold" class of this trip and will tell you it was well worth it. "Gold" passengers rode in a luxury coach with nice chairs and hardwood floors. There were only seven of us on this day in our car. We had a hostess who fed us the whole way with biscuits, sandwiches, scones, muffins. And any beverage we wanted. I had white tea (tea with milk) and then some Sparkling Australian Wine. There were four other Americans on this train so we enjoying chattering about our visit to Australia. Shout out to Kelly & Jason and Alix and Bill from the LA Area! The ride up the mountain on the train was very nice. It took about 90 minutes to climb. There were some spectacular views including Barron Falls. The water was not running heavily for this time of year, but it was still nice.
Once we got to the town of Kuranda, three of us jumped on the bus to get to the top of the village to get to the Koala area. This was a definite highlight of my trip. You have to pay (of course) to enter this area and pay extra to hold the Koala. But worth every penny. The Koala we were able to hold was called "Chibby". She was the cutest thing. Koala's are much heavier than you would think. She clunged on to you, but did not scratch. I could have held her all day long. Was able to feed the Kangaroos and Wallaby's at this location which was awesome. Kangaroos are so funny in the way they scratch themselves.
After the Koalas, wandered around the shops in Kuranda and made my way back down to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Alix and Bill were there so I traveled down in their car. Historically I would have been as nervous as Alix was, but mind-over-matter I decided to just enjoy the ride down. You are suspended high in the air in these cable cars that basically lifts you over the tall Rainforest trees up the one side of the mountain and back down the other. There were two vista stops on the way down where Bill and I got off and took pictures. Alix sat back at the cableway and silently cursed that her husband was doing the cableway as she was really scared. Bill was extremely nice and understanding to her and very appreciative that she took the cableway so he could experience. Our hostess rode with us from the last vista stop. She is a native of Australia originally from Perth and then relocated to Cairns. She had just come back from 18 month maternity leave. (Australia is very generous with leave for raising kids).
The Cableway did offer fantastic views of the valley and sea below.
At the bottom of the Cableway we arrived at Caravonica and enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Tjapukai Restaurant. (another perk of the "Gold" package). After lunch we enjoyed different shows and demonstrations at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. We watched shows about their music where they did this fun dance imitating the kangaroos including their funny scratching activities. We learned about how they used the different plants for medication. We got to throw a boomerang and throw a spear. We watched a couple shows about the history of Aboriginies. After the show, we were returned back to our hotel.
Highly Recommend this trip if you visit to Cairns!! yes, it is touristy stuff, but well worth it I believe.
I wandered around Cairns a bit after our return and then just relaxed back at the hostel for the evening.