Our day trip to Kuranda and Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park was a fantastic day out and a very fitting end to the last official day of our Honeymoon Testers assignment!
We had a pick up from the Sea Temple in Palm Cove to the picuresque Freshwater railway station for a train trip through the region’s most beautiful scenery, past huge waterfalls and spectacular trees.
The trainline was opened in 1891, after removing 2.3 million metres of earth, creating 15 tunnels and 75 kilometres of track, by immigrants without modern equipment and with simple hand tools. It’s a feat of engineering and human determination.
Our stop was to the beautiful and leafy town of Kuranda, home to quirky and original markets, art galleries, bush walks and animal parks such as the Australian Venom Zoo, BatReach, BirdWorld, the Butterfly Sanctuary, Cairns Wildlife Safari Reserve and the Koala Gardens. We had 1.5 hours to explore the town and get some yummy juice and macadamia brownies!
Now came a very exciting part! The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is an amazing experience gliding high above Australia’s World Heritage listed tropical rainforest in specially constructed gondola cabins.
It took about 7 years to get permission to build the Skyrail in the rainforest and only one year to build it. To completely protect the ground, it was constructed from the air by helicopter!
There are several stops along the way for photo-ops, including the Red Peak and Barron Falls lookouts and the state-of-the-art Rainforest Interpretation information centre. It’s truly a wondrous experience, not scary at all and one of the most unique views in the world!
The final stop was next to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a full experience day of indigenous Australian culture, where you are guided through demonstrations and shows in a seamless trip throughout the whole park to touch, taste, smell and experience everything.
You can learn from a Tjapukai warrior how traditional tools and weapons, as well as bush medicine were used 40,000 years ago by the Aboriginal people. Be entertained in the outdoor theatre by the beautiful river, featuring a live performance celebrating traditional Tjapukai corroborees and song and souvenir photographs afterwards with the dancers.
We tried out the boomerang demonstration, which was hilarious as everyone had to hide out in a netted tent together as newbies find it hard to control where their boomerang goes! My first attempt was pathetic but my second was pretty good. Mark however, was a natural as well as being a perfect shot in the spear demonstration, he actually hit the kangaroo dummy right between the eyes!
We finished the afternoon with a live multi-media show in the Creation theatre, which was a spectacular mix of live dancers and 3D technology and then a rousing didgeridoo demonstration. There’s also a beautiful gift shop, so you can take home your own authentic piece of Aboriginal artwork or a didgeridoo.
It was one of the best experience centres I’ve been to, everything is top-class and absolutely fascinating. It’s probably one of the best organised places I’ve seen as well. It really annoys me when places aren’t well designed, but Tjapukai is just beautifully managed, which makes for a relaxed and informative visit.
We were also lucky to have a wedding ceremony by the river with the dancers in order to set our new Guinness World Record for Most Married Couple! It was a fantastic and moving end to our Honeymoon Tester’s assignment and a perfect way to set a new record!
Thank you to Down Under Tours for the fantastic all-inclusive Kuranda and Tjapukai day trip. We were staying at the nearby Sea Temple, see review here, who looked after us very well. Thanks also to Tourism Queensland for organising the great itinerary of our time in Port Douglas.
Tropical North Queensland is a magical place for either a destination wedding or honeymoon. It will be an unforgettable experience. Runaway Bride and Groom can help you organise everything from the flight to every detail of the wedding. Find out more.
The Honeymoon Testers Recommend
Down Under Tours: We enjoyed the full inclusive Kuranda tour (you can do any of these separately) which cost AU$203-219 each and included; hostess escort, hotel pick-up and return, Kuranda Scenic Rail to Kuranda, free time, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, buffet lunch at Tjapukai Restaurant, entry to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, which includes indigenous guiding, all theatres, the famous Tjapukai Dancers, boomerang/spear throwing and bush medicine demonstrations. Find out more.
Stay: Sea Temple and Spa
Rainforest: Daintree Tours with Down Under Tours
Snorkelling: Quicksilver Cruises Low Isles Tour
See native animals: Wildlife Habitat
Evening Cruise: Sailaway Port Douglas