CAIRNS, QLD, AUSTRALIA
In an urban society where we are constantly surrounded by the never-ending hustle and bustle of city life, towering skyscrapers, constant traffic and pollution, a trip, albeit a short one, into the heart of nature (not darkness) really is a breath of fresh air. My Cairns holiday was actually my first (and long awaited) getaway since I finished my HSC exams. Maybe it’s the laissez-faire atmosphere and locals, the lack of noise and traffic, the palm trees lining the Esplanade, and the ever-present Daintree Rainforest looming in the background, but there’s something about Cairns that makes you feel just that bit happier, lighter and freer. You breathe easier, you laugh more, you get out of bed more refreshed and ready to take on the day’s adventures.
To be totally honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to trawling through the thousand or so photos I’d taken, but I guess the silver lining is that I was able to relive my adventures, solidify the memories of my trip. And as I type this, this quote from an English text I studied last year comes to mind – ‘Memory, the space in which a thing happens for the second time’ (Paul Auster). Musings aside, I bring all you lovely people the first set of my Cairns travel snaps.
Aptly named ‘The Village in the Rainforest’ (it’s surrounded by the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest), Kuranda is indeed a thriving and independent village, situated 25km northwest of the city. Locals highly recommended taking the Kuranda Scenic Railway (pictured above), a 1720 class locomotive complete with old-fashioned carriages made from Silky Oak timber that date back to the early 1900s, to get to the Kuranda township. The 1h 45 min journey, complete with a commentary, was scenic indeed. Whilst peacefully trundling along 328m above sea level, I remember being in awe of the breathtaking view, the never-ending sea of green, framed by rugged mountains, and the waterfalls tumbling into deep ravines. Although I have legitimately hundreds of photos of just greenery, I decided not to include too many, in fear of boring you to death!
Fun fact – considered an engineering feat of tremendous magnitude, the Cairns-Kuranda Railway was constructed between 1882 and 1891, is 37km long and consists of 15 handmade tunnels, 55 bridges and 98 curves.
Passing a town on the way up through the Rainforest
The spectacular view
One of the many amazing waterfalls
The beautiful view of Barron Falls, which is 329m above sea level and drops 265m, from the Barron Falls Station Lookout, which was also the last stop before Kuranda.
Shall we go left or right? I say right.
More than just a tiny village in the rainforest, Kuranda really does have it all – from the original heritage markets to a supermarket, post office and even a library.
A couple of snaps of market trinkets
I highly recommend paying a visit to The Stillwater Workshops – they create homemade soft sweets that are absolutely delicious! The pineapple flavoured ones are a must try in my opinion :)
Enjoying some local music
And there we have it – the first of a few Cairns travel diaries! I hope you enjoyed the snaps and until next time, happy liminal space exploring you beautiful people!