Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Glide above the ancient rainforest canopy
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Skyrail Rainforest CablewaySkyrail StationsSkyrail TimesDiamond View GondolaCanopy GliderDjabugay Aboriginal Guided TourSkyrail Wheelchair AccessSkyrail Trivia
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Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is considered one of the best and most beautiful rainforest eco experiences in Australia and the world. spanning 7.5kms over pristine rainforest, this multi award winning eco tour will take you on an unforgettable journey gliding just metres above World Heritage listed tropical rainforest.

Comprising of comfortable six-person gondola cabins, the Skyrail journey will allow you to explore the wonders of an ancient tropical rainforest, and learn about one of the most botanically fascinating and diverse areas on earth. Operating from the Cairns suburb of Smithfield to Kuranda Village, this 1.5 hour experience will allow you to see, hear, smell and immerse yourself in the tropical rainforest environment.

Skyrail Stations

Barron Falls Lookout

Smithfield Terminal
Skyrail’s Smithfield Terminal is located just 15 minutes from Cairns and 50 minutes from Port Douglas. Features include reservations, souvenir shop, the Canopy Cafe and entry/exit to the rainforest cableway. Coach transfers can easily be arranged from your hotel to the Skyrail terminal. The terminal also has ample car parking space (including oversize spaces for RVs, caravans and campers) should you prefer to self drive.

The Skyrail rainforest journey begins as your gondola glides over sclerophyll woodlands before revealing the splendour of the World Heritage listed tropical rainforest with its dense canopy and magnificent array of flora and fauna. As you ascend the McAlister Range you’ll enjoy spectacular views of tropical Cairns and the Coral Sea (you can even see Green Island and the fringes of the Great Barrier Reef) before gently descending to the first stop at Red Peak Station.

Travelling time to Red Peak Station is approximately 10 minutes.

Red Peak Station
Red Peak Station Skyrail’s Rangers provide regular guided boardwalk tours sharing their knowledge on these ancient tropical forests. Take a look at the diverse array of plant species, including the towering 400 year-old Kauri Pine. Skyrail's 175 metre rainforest boardwalk will allow you to take a closer look at the lush rainforest surroundings including the towering 400 year-old Lauri Pine. Rainforest displays, touch tables and interpretive signage complete your visit to Red Peak Station.

Barron Falls Station
Barron Falls is the most visited place in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. At 260 metres (853 feet) tall, the majestic Barron Falls can be enjoyed from three lookouts with easy access walkways leading you there. You can also visit the Rainforest Interpretation Centre, which Skyrail developed in conjunction with CSIRO. The centre houses touch screen computers and interactive audio-visual presentations providing an informative and fun learning experience to enhance your appreciation of the rainforest.

Kuranda Skyrail Terminal
The Skyrail Terminal in Kuranda is adjacent to the Kuranda Railway Station and just a short walk from the village. Rainforest walking tracks can take you from Coondoo Street in Kuranda, on a gentle 3km circuit through the Jumrum Creek Conservation Park, along the banks of the Barron River and back to the Kuranda Railway Station.

Skyrail Times

Skyrail Kuranda Station

Smithfield Terminal to Red Peak Station
Depart: Smithfield Terminal
Gondola travelling time: approx 10 minutes
Distance: 2.7 kms

Red Peak Station to Barron Falls Station
Gondola travelling time: approx 12-14 minutes
Distance: 3.1 kms

Barron Falls Station to Kuranda Terminal
Gondola travelling time: approx 7-8 minutes
Distance: 1.7 kms

Diamond View Gondola

Diamond View Gondola

Be amazed by the spectacular tropical rainforest from the unique viewing perspective of Skyrail’s glass floor Diamond View Gondolas. 11 Diamond View Gondolas not only provide guests with panoramic views of the tropical landscape, coral sea and rainforest canopy, but also offer the unique perspective of looking straight down from the treetops to the forest floor below.Diamond View gondolas carrying a maximum of 5 passengers, will depart stations approximately every 7 minutes and passengers travelling on them will enjoy dedicated boarding queues at all terminals and mid-stations.

The Diamond View upgrade is available when booking any tour including Skyrail.

Canopy Glider

Skyrail Canopy Glider

Take in this spectacular tropical rainforest adventure from the unique viewing perspective of Skyrail’s Canopy Glider. Accompanied by a Skyrail Ranger and with a maximum of 4 guests, the Canopy Glider combines a thrilling rainforest adventure with personalised interpretation of the plants, animals and history which surround you. Glide above the rainforest in the open-air gondola and enjoy breathtaking, uninterrupted 360 degree panoramic views of the Tropical North Queensland region. This premium rainforest adventure is available to only a select number of guests per day, so please book well in advance. The Canopy Glider operates with 2 departures daily. Check in times are: 9:15am (Smithfield Terminal) and 1:45pm (Kuranda Terminal).

Djabugay Aboriginal Guided Tour

Skyrail Guided Tour

The Djabugay Aboriginal Guided Tour at Barron Falls provides a fascinating insight into the Aboriginal history, language, culture, stories and traditions of the indigenous rainforest people through a personalised, small group [maximum 10 guests per group]. This 40 minute guided walking tour will take you through the rainforest. Walk in the footsteps of the Djabugay people on our natural rainforest trails * and discover “Bulurru” – the Spirit of Creation. The greatest ancestor of all is Gudju Gudju, the Rainbow Serpent. Gudju Gudju could transform into ancestors such as Budaadji, the carpet snake, who created all rivers and creeks of Barron Gorge National Park. Marvel at the traditional bush foods, shelters and Aboriginal history of the rainforests.

Skyrail Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair access on Skyrail

Skyrail gondola cabins can accommodate most standard type wheelchairs. However, due to size restrictions and loading requirements, some types of wheelchairs can not be carried on the cableway. In this case Skyrail can provide complimentary use of a wheelchair (subject to availability) during a Skyrail experience. Please advise reservations staff at the time of booking to confirm your requirements. Please note that wheelchairs are restricted on the coach transfer service and it may be required to book a wheelchair acessible taxi.

Skyrail offers the following

  • Optional use of ramp for loading & unloading
  • Ramp access to all boardwalks
  • Access to the CSIRO Interpretation Centre
  • Access to restroom facilities at all stations.

Wheelchair guidelines
The combined weight of the wheelchair occupant and the wheelchair must be of a manageable weight to allow cableway operators to load the wheelchair.

  • Width cannot exceed 630mm.
  • Length cannot exceed 950mm.
  • Wheelchairs must have handles
  • Wheelchairs must be capable of being tilted backwards

Skyrail Trivia

Skyrail Gondola
  • Skyrail Cableway is 7.5 km (4.7 miles) long.

  • It has a total of 114 gondola cabins (103 standard and 11 Diamond View), each standard gondola is capable of seating 6 passengers and Diamond View 5 passengers, providing a carrying capacity of 700 passengers per hour in each direction.

  • In November 2013, Skyrail introduced 11 'Diamond View' (Glass Floor) gondolas, taking the place of 11 standard gondolas, each with a capacity of 5 passengers.

  • The cableway can operate at a speed of five metres per second (18 kilometres per hour, or 11 miles per hour); however its normal operating speed is much slower to provide guests with the maximum time to enjoy their rainforest experience.

  • There are 32 towers in total. The highest tower is Tower #6 at 40.5 m (133 ft) high.

  • Red Peak is Skyrail’s highest station at 545 m (1,788 ft) above sea level.

  • The Kuranda Station sits at 336 m (1,102ft) and Caravonica Terminal is only 5 m (16 ft) above sea level.

  • The steepest section of the cableway has a slope of 19 degrees.

  • Skyrail Rainforest Cableway has 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) of 40.5 mm galvanised steel rope weighing more than the equivalent of 100 sedan cars. There is a multi-core communications cable which runs in the middle of the towers, between the two lines of haul rope. This carries all the voice and safety circuit communications.

  • The cableway is driven by a 383 kW (500 hp) D.C Electric Motor located at each drive station, the Kuranda and Caravonica Stations. Each drive station has a back-up diesel motor and a further auxiliary Hydrostatic Drive.