are a few geat train trips just south of Cape York.
don't replace driving -
you don't get to do Cape
York by trains,
but they are fun ways to do some bits while up here in case you have
There are some
historical ones like Cooktown - Laura and it would have
been so much fun if they restored them and run them for travellers, but as it is there are three of
them in far
north Queensland and all the three are just south of the
The most popular is the Kuranda
train that takes you from Cairns
to Kuranda (and back although most people choose to return with the
equally famous Skyrail.
crosses the beautiful Barron Gorge
National Park and is the most popular way to visit Kuranda.
The second one is Savannahlander
also starts in Cairns but goes further inland through Cairns Outback
Mareeba, Dimbulah, Almaden, Chillagoe, Mt Surprise and
Undara Lava Tubes as well as Einasleigh to Forsayth and Cobbold
outback trip and popular.
the third of our train trips is Gulflander
- that like
comes from the Gulf - Normanton,
and goes about 150km, along the more
than 120 years old rail route to Croydon, following the Savannah
It has return
trips once a week that are popular.
Scenic Railway does train trips from Cairns to Kuranda.
It is a very popular trip to
for day visitors, and you can combine the trip with the equally popular
Trains depart several
times every day
from Cairns Central, and you can return the same day.
It is a beautiful trip
tropical rainforest, and past some of north Queensland's
impressive waterfalls. The trip
starts at the train
station under Cairns
Central shopping centre.
It follows the main street via north
Cairns, and then turns west towards Freshwater Station
Soon after the Freshwater
Kuranda Scenic Railway starts winding up across the mountain range.
After a few tunnels and some beautiful views, it comes to Stony Creek Falls,
then Red Bluff, Robb's Monument, Mervyn Creek, Rainbow Creek, and
truly impressive. There is a station, so the train
stops there for views.
Not long after Barron Falls the train arrives at Kuranda Station. The
whole trip (one
way) takes about an hour and fourty minutes.
there are the Heritage and the Original Markets,
Sanctuary, Bird Aviary and Koala Gardens, Venom Zoo and a whole lot of
shops, galleries, and nice places to have a lunch.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
was not built
for tourists. Originally it was built for the inland
train goes today. The building took from 1886 to 1891, and you can only
imagine what it took to remove almost three million cubic metres of
earth to build 55 bridges and 15 hand made tunnels for the 1500 workers
that started with nothing but shovels, picks and dynamite.
is an historical train just south of Cape York.
from Cairns via Kuranda and Mareeba to Dimbulah, Almaden and Chillagoe,
and further in to the
outback, to Mount Surprise and Undara Lava Tubes, and
Einasleigh, Forsayth and Cobbold Gorge.
The four day,
850km trip starts once a week in Cairns Central Railway Station.
For much of the trip
there are no other trains on the line, so the driver is happy to stop
anywhere you like. It first
goes the same way as
Scenic Railway, via Barron Gorge National Park to Kuranda, and then it
leaves the rainforests behind and continues to Mareeba.
After Mareeba it's the real outback
and it goes through small townships like Dimbulah, Almaden and
the train stops for the first
night. A side trip to Chillagoe
Caves is possible.
On the second day
through Mt Surprise and Einasleigh to Forsayth, where you can stay at
Forsayth or Gobbold Gorge - a beautiful gorge well worth a visit.
On the third day
Savannahlander drives back from Forsayth via Einasleigh to Mt Surprise
and Undara Lava Tubes, where it stays for the third night.
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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