Cairns: A Day in Kuranda

My volunteering at Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre complete, I found myself with a couple of free days in Cairns. So on Saturday I took a day trip to Kuranda, a village in the nearby rainforest. My first stop, however, was at Tjakupai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a series of demonstrations.

I learned about local foods and their preparation, the dirigidoo, and weapons (primarily boomerangs and spears). The morning also offered a dance demonstration that included a dance during which we saw how aboriginal people made fire without a match. And as I chose to sit in the front row, I even found myself joining the cast for a dance. I am SO glad there’s no video evidence! Finally, I learned how to throw a spear (not well) and a boomerang. On my second attempt the boomerang actually came back to me. In fact it came so close to bashing me on the head that the instructor was quite alarmed.

Then I boarded the Skyrail, a cable journey above the canopy of the rainforest that brought me to Kuranda. There I stopped at the Koala Gardens to visit some of the great Australian wildlife I’ve grown to love.

Next door is Birdworld Kuranda, a small exhibit but one packed with a variety of very colorful birds, including the Cassowary, a large flightless bird I had not yet seen. After all that, I boarded the Kuranda Scenic Railway for the return to Cairns. The rail line was originally built in the 19th century but now only passengers enjoy the lovely views while riding in century-old carriages.

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