Skyrail has to be one of our top family things to do when in Cairns. We travelled on the cableway a few years ago pre-kids and had a fabulous time, but this visit was made even more amazing seeing it through a child’s eyes.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 7.5km cableway that takes you from the foothills of Cairns up to Kuranda – the village in the rainforest.
The excitement starts at the Skyrail station, where you line up in front of glass doors to watch the modern gondolas approaching. Think state of the art, spacious, enclosed ski lifts that pass by at a slow speed to let you jump on before transporting you high into the sky above the magnificent rainforest – with stunning views as far as the eye can see out over the ocean.
Here are 5 reasons why Skyrail is perfect when travelling with kids….
1. Take it at your own pace
This has to be one of my favourite things about Skyrail. Apart from making sure you arrive at your pre-booked time, there are no other time restrictions on your day. There are also no long waits required (the quick self check-in was fab) and the trip itself is broken up into manageable sections so you are not sitting still for too long at any time.
There are 2 stops on the way – Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station where you can choose to hop off the gondola for a look around. If you find you are simply loving soaring through the sky like a super hero you can stay on for the whole journey (you need to change lines at Red Peak but can hop straight back on the next line). If you choose to explore the two stations there are loads of kid friendly things to do….
2. Keeping the kids entertained
Both stations have family friendly activities. Red Peak Station has an easy going boardwalk where the kids can spot Ulysses Butterflies and look out for the elusive Cassowary (did you know that Tropical North QLD is the only place on Earth where this magnificent bird can be spotted?). Barron Falls Station has some really cool old machinery from when the cableway first opened, another easy going boardwalk and a fabulous Rainforest Interpretation Centre.
The centre has lots of interactive things for kids – young kids can play with an interactive wall whilst older kids can enjoy computer games and trivia. There’s a magnifying glass to get up close to some of the specimens found in the rainforest plus a table full of butterflies and bugs to look at. It is air-conditioned too so a lovely escape in the Summer months.
Kids come with a lot of baggage and Skyrail makes it easy to take everything that you need for your day out. If your stroller or pram won’t fit in your gondola the lovely staff will send it up on the next one for you so it will arrive a couple of minutes later. The boardwalks at both stations are pushchair friendly, as are all but one of the lookouts at the stations. Access to the gondolas is really easy (our independent one year old was able to climb on and off himself) and the boardwalks are also perfect for little legs, with gentle slopes and good fences on either side!
Everything about Skyrail feels adventurous – it’s such a unique experience that you can’t help get excited with the kids when it’s time to board. It also brings out the best in kids’ imaginations – you can be a bird, a plane or a superhero while you soar through the sky. There are loads of things to explore along the way too and you don’t have to constantly direct or follow set rules – the kids can lead the way and enjoy the day their way!
We added an extra level of excitement to the trip – on the way up we upgraded to ‘Diamond Class’ and enjoyed a glass bottomed gondola. The kids were hesitant at first and it was so fun to see them testing it out – they soon got used to it and we took it in turns to lie on the floor and get a ‘birds eye’ view of the forest below!
At the top of the cableway you will find the fabulous village of Kuranda where there are loads of family friendly things to do. Our highlights are the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Rainforestation – coming soon on the blog is our top tips for a family day out in Kuranda so watch this space!
Booking is essential for Skyrail so make sure you head over to their website to see all the options for ways to enjoy this fabulous day out – definitely one of the best family activities in Cairns.
For a taste of what’s in store check out our video and imagine yourself there!