When we left the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, we took the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over the adjacent Barron Gorge National Park. The cable cars hold up to six people and provide exquisite views of Australia’s tropical rainforest. We rode through the mountains for about an hour and a half, stopping at a couple lookout points within the forest. Eventually, we reached Kuranda, a unique village in the middle of the rainforest.
At Kuranda, there are a few restaurants as well as many shops to get Aboriginal/rainforest souvenirs. A few of us decided to instead take a riverboat cruise down the Barron River. The river runs through the rainforest and allowed us to get much closer to some of the wildlife. We fed fish and ducks, and we also saw many other animals such as turtles and crocodiles.
The tropical rainforests of Australia are the oldest surviving tropical rainforests on the planet, dating back over 120 million years. They have shrunk significantly in size over the years, but are still extremely diverse and home to many interesting species. Hundreds of rare plant species can be found in these tropical rainforests, as well as thousands of others. They are also home to various types of kangaroos, including two types of tree kangaroos and the most primitive – the Musky Rat Kangaroo. Another unique creature found in the forest is the Southern Cassowary, Australia’s largest flightless bird.
The rainforest was definitely one of the best parts of the trip, right next to the Great Barrier Reef. In 1998, the tropical rainforests of Australia were added to the World Heritage list, ensuring their protection and preservation. Neither words nor pictures can do justice to the beauty of Barron Gorge National Park, but it was definitely an experience I will not soon forget.