Frequently Asked Questions



1. What is included in the Kuranda Scenic Railway experience?
  • A 37 kilometre rail journey onboard authentic vintage carriages through the Barron Gorge National Park (World Heritage-listed rainforest – The Wet Tropics) from Cairns to Kuranda, village in the rainforest.
  • The track rises 327 metres above sea level with the steepest gradient being 1:50. Travelling over 55 bridges, 98 curves & through 15 hand carved tunnels.
  • Audio commentary in each carriage to provide customers with historic information throughout the journey.
  • Complimentary trip guide (available in 11 languages) The guide includes a map of the journey which corresponds with the onboard commentary.
  • Onboard Guest Services Attendants are available to answer questions and assist during the journey.
  • 10-minute photographic stop at Barron Falls Lookout.
  • Water coolers in each carriage.
  • Not all Kuranda Scenic Railway seats have a window however all seats have access to view the scenery.

2. Where does Kuranda Scenic Railway operate from?
  • Cairns Railway Station located centrally in the city of Cairns at Cairns Central Shopping Centre. The station is located on Bunda Street, if you are walking from Cairns city the station is accessible by Cairns Central Shopping Centre or Spence Street.
  • Freshwater Railway Station which is located 15 minutes from Cairns and includes a restaurant and gift shop.  The station is located on Kamerunga Road, Freshwater.  If you are travelling from the Northern Beaches or Port Douglas take the Freshwater exit off the Captain Cook Highway.
  • Kuranda Railway Station located on the banks of the Barron River is a 5-minute walk from the village of Kuranda.

3. What are the hours of operation?
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway operates daily (except Christmas Day 25 Dec)
  • Two morning departures from Cairns Railway Station 8.30am & 9.30am
  • Two morning departures from Freshwater Railway Station 8.50am & 9.50am
  • Two afternoon departures from Kuranda Railway Station 2pm & 3.30pm
  • NOTE: Other closure days may occur due to climatic conditions or track maintenance demands. See our Service Updates page for notifications.

4. What does it cost?

5. How long does the journey take?
  • The one-way journey is 1 hour and 55 minutes from Cairns Railway Station (including 5-minute stop at Freshwater Station to pick up more passengers and 10-minute stop at Barron Falls Lookout.
  • 1 hour and 30 minutes from Freshwater Railway Station (including 10-minute stop at Barron Falls Lookout)

6. How do I get from my accommodation to the station?
  • Cairns Railway Station is generally a small walk/taxi/uber from your central city accommodation.
  • Freshwater Railway Station is suitable for self-drive tour packages as the station is a short 15 minute drive from Cairns City. 
  • If parking at Cairns Railway Station which is located at Cairns Central Shopping Centre, please take your parking ticket with you so that we can validate it (no fee) prior to you exiting the station.  
  • Freshwater and Kuranda Railway Station have free parking around the stations.
  • Campervans and Caravan parking is limited around Cairns Railway Station, Freshwater and Kuranda Railway Station have ample Campervan and Caravan parking.

7. How many classes of service does Kuranda Scenic Railway operate?
  • Two Classes of service:
  • Heritage class: The red vintage carriages with bench style seating, open windows, audio commentary, toilets & water onboard.
  • Gold Class: The green vintage carriages refurbished to carry a maximum of 28 passengers per carriage. Lounge style seating, open windows, audio commentary, toilet, dedicated hostess/host, locally sourced produce served onboard. Morning: selection of savoury & sweet finger food, fruit juice, sparkling wine, white and red wine as well as local beer, coffee & tea. Afternoon: macadamia nuts, cheese & antipasto platter, beer, red & white wine, sparkling wine & soft drinks. Souvenir gift pack.

8. Is there food available at the stations?
  • Cairns Railway Station is located at Cairns Central Shopping Centre, with a large selection of food and retail options nearby.
  • Freshwater Railway Station has a colonial style open restaurant surrounded by tropical gardens. Breakfast and snack items are served daily.
  • Kuranda Railway Station offers a selection of light refreshments including Devonshire Tea and famous Mango Smoothies.

9. How many passengers does the train carry?
  • Generally, we have capacity for over 540 passengers each train service.
  • We can increase this for special events/charters.
  • Each carriage has different seating capacity due to the various vintages of each.

10. How do I book Kuranda Scenic Railway?
  • Advance bookings are recommended you can book direct at +61 7 4036 9333, fax +61 4231 9010 or email ksrres@qr.com.au 
  • Please advise at time of booking if assistance at the stations is required for a passenger.

11. Can I book the Train and Skyrail ticket all with you?
  • Yes, simply speak to your Kuranda Scenic Railway reservations consultant about how to book a package with Skyrail and other attractions.

12. What can I bring with me on the train?
  • A daypack & small folding stroller (no higher than 25cm when folded) can be accommodated onboard our carriages.
  • We have limited facilities for large prams.
  • We do not have facilities for luggage storage at our stations or on Kuranda Scenic Railway.
  • See our Luggage Page for further information.

13. What accessible facilities do you have for passengers?
  • We can accommodate a maximum of four passengers who are confined to wheelchairs, mobility scooters per train service.
  • Our accessible carriages have accessible toilets
  • Cairns Railway Station – accessible facilities include toilets, elevator to platform bridge & ramp for boarding.
  • Freshwater Railway Station – accessible facilities include toilets, ramps throughout station & hydraulic lift for boarding.
  • Kuranda Railway Station – accessible facilities include toilets, elevator to street level and hydraulic lift for boarding.
  • Exception: Barron Falls Lookout does not have facility to entrain/detrain wheelchairs. 

14. What is there to do in Kuranda?
  • Kuranda the ‘village’ in the rainforest is famous for their unique markets, wildlife attractions and locally made arts and crafts.
  • A few must do’s while visiting Kuranda include: Walk in the World Heritage Rainforest around the village, visit the world famous Kuranda Markets, enjoy some spectacular bird watching, take a rainforest cruise on the Barron River, encounter amazing street art around every corner, meet local artists at the many art and craft galleries, hand feed kangaroos and wallabies, have your photo taken with a koala, discover the amazing world of butterflies, check out how bees make honey plus lots lots more.