Tag Archives: R. Doug Wicker

Fun Photo Friday — Circumnavigating Australia; Kuranda Favorites


A “Splash” of Color

Today’s Fun Photo Friday favorites feature fantastic photographs of fleeting feats of fearlessness.

Hanging by a Thread

High Above the Barron River

A “Splash” of Color

Kuranda Scenic Railway Station

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Circumnavigating Australia — Kuranda Railway


Kuranda Scenic Railway

After a rather long Skyrail Rainforest Cableway trip, with two station stops along the way, we arrived into the village of Kuranda. This was our transfer point between the Skyrail and the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Kuranda Railway Station — transfer point from Skyway to Railway

The station included a couple of plaques of interest. One gave a history of the railway. Construction began in 1886, and passenger service started five years later:

History of Kuranda Scenic Railway

The second plaque consisted of a trip guide:

Scenic Railway Trip Guide

But I’ll give you a better view of what we did this day with the Wikipedia image below. This gives you a better perspective on how the Skyrail relates to the Railway. We boarded the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (Monday’s article) near Yorky’s Knob (left center) and traversed over the Kuranda Range northwest-bound along the Barron River until reaching Kuranda. In Kuranda we took a short bus ride from the Skyrail station to the Railway station. From there, we took the train along the opposite side of Barron River, first heading south and then turning east to Freshwater Station.

Kuranda Skyrail Cableway and Scenic Railway

Oh, my. Look at the time. All Aboard!

All Aboard!

Now let’s find some seats inside the charming carriage to which we were assigned:

Railway car

There are a lot of curves on this trip, which afford the photographer some great train shots along the way.

Peeking through the rainforest

Railway winding through Barron Gorge National Park

Remember from Monday the Skyway stop at Barron Falls? I mentioned that the view was better from the train side that day, especially with the afternoon light. Fortunately, I didn’t have to snap a shot from a moving train, as we made a stop here and were allowed to exit at a great lookout point:

Barron Falls

But my favorite shots this day were of the train as it navigated curves, especially when suspended above the rainforest floor on spindly trestles.

Goin’ Round the Bend

Crossing a bridge with a waterfall backdrop

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Circumnavigating Australia — Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway


Ursula enjoying Barron Falls

On February 14 Radiance of the Seas anchored off Yorkey’s Knob. From offshore we would tender into the port that serves Cairns, but Cairns was not on today’s agenda. We were instead slated to visit the oldest rainforest in the world, older even than the Amazon.

Kuranda Skyrail map

Getting there would entail taking an aerial tramway, not my favorite form of transport to be sure. You would think someone who spent over 34 years working in tall, skinny control towers, one with an open-air stairway, would not have a fear of heights. Guess again. That queasiness still remains.

The old Davis-Monthan A.F.B. Control Tower

But returning to today’s topic, this is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Fortunately, this was a one-way trip. Our return was decidedly more grounded, as you’ll see Wednesday when I take you aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway for the return trip.

Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway station was just a short bus ride from Yorky’s Knob, lasting but a few minutes. We boarded our gondola and rose high above the Barron Gorge National Park.

Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Along the way we made a stop at the Red Peak station, where we alighted from our gondola and strolled into the rainforest. Here you’ll find a 575-foot/175-meter elevated boardwalk:

Walking around the rainforest at Red Peak Station

Here’s an interesting piece of Kuranda flora known  as a basket fern growing high atop a tree:

Basket fern at Red Peak Station

We had another stop along the way, and this was at the Barron Falls station. Alas, Barron Falls was not running very impressively today, and the view from this lookout was less impressive than the view of it during the return railway trip (which you’ll see Wednesday):

Barron Falls was a mere trickle this day

Still, the rainforest flora here was worth a view:

Flora at the Barron Falls station

One last look from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway high above the Barron Gorge rainforest:

The world’s oldest rainforest — older than the Amazon!

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