Cairns is truly an amazing place for family holidays. Today we want to concentrate of fantastic fun for young teens. We plan to introduce you to six day-out adventures we know well. We have lined up 6 activities that have a bit of everything, including amazing experiences in nature. Please remember to dress casually according to the season. We don’t stand on ceremony in Far North Queensland, although do remember to bring hats and sun-blocker cream. So let’s get started with Cairns fun for kids right away.
Fun for Kids on the Sky Rail to Kuranda
The Cairns Sky Rail is a cable car experience in which small gondolas ascend gently from the coastal plain to an escarpment above. On the way, it dives through lush rain forest, serenely follows the Barron River, and finds a spectacular waterfall. We slip out from a forest 15 minutes’ drive north of Cairns. We could also have taken the shuttle from the city centre, or several of the northern beaches. The trip will take 90 minutes with stops. As we settle into our comfy private cable car we discover we can see through the floor. Too late for tears. We relax, open soft drinks, and explore our new surroundings.
Our first stop is at Red Peak Station. We come on it quite suddenly as we descend sharply through the forest canopy from our birds eye view above. We discover our tickets include a boardwalk with a ranger who explains things nicely, and is patient with the kids’ excited questions. Then it’s all aboard again for the amazing Barron Falls Station, with three separate dramatic lookouts to discover. The falls are peaceful on the day we visit, although they really thunder down in rainy season. This main drop is 107 metres (350 feet).
The dream continues as we gradually ascend to the top of the waterfall, and look back on Cairns now a distance away. The forest beneath us is 100% natural. They even used helicopters to build the sky way so they left no vehicle tracks behind. The Kuranda Station sweeps suddenly into view. Could we be there already. Could ninety minutes of Cairns fun for kids have passed so fast.
More Fun for Children on the Plateau
Kuranda is an old railway station built to serve the train line we glimpsed through the floor of our gondola as we travelled gracefully through the air. We’ll tell you more about this shortly, when we hop on board a vintage train for our journey back to Cairns. A pioneer village grew like topsy around the railway station in the 1870’s, as streams of prospectors passed through in the hope of finding rich seams of gold on the Atherton Tableland which is a vast, fertile plateau.
The gold is all gone now, but Far North Queenslanders found new treasure worth infinitely more. Kuranda reinvented itself as a magnet for tourists flocking to Australia after World War Two. The Battle of the Coral Sea really put us on the map. Some Kuranda attractions come close to being the best of the Cairns fun for kids we heartily invite you to enjoy. Like feeding parrots and getting close to koala bears and other curious Queensland mammals.
Kuranda is Not Shy with More Cairns Fun
The village and surrounds are packed full with much more fun for kids. Take your pick from the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuranda Riverboat Tours, and the Australian Venom Zoo. There are fabulous cafes and restaurants ranging from formal sit downs, through alfresco eating to delicious takeaways, to DIY sandwiches at Kuranda Foodworks, where they have great choices for all tastes.
Kuranda is also tops for souvenirs and art galleries, and jewelry and opals, and for sweets and treats to. But before we say “all aboard” for Cairns down a steep slope in a vintage train, we want to tell you about the walking trails and tracks that surround this graceful village. So let’s head directly to the rain forest where there are 1,200 species of flowering plants along gentle board walks.
But wait, what was that? That sound was the loco hooter calling from Kuranda Railway Station. Prepare yourself for a fun vintage train ride down the selfsame escarpment we ascended in a peaceful gondola when things seem to stand still, which they won’t now. All aboard, all aboard for more fun for kids. Quick, quick the train wants to go. Toot toot!
All Aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a spectacular way to return to Cairns, offering as it does unsurpassed views across rain forest, down steep ravines, and across to waterfalls. It follows the contours for close to two hours. This was an engineering miracle in its day, but not for people in a hurry. Hundreds of men literally dug it out of the cliff face with picks and shovels for nine years from 1882 t0 1891.
In the process they created 15 tunnels, and 37 bridges along a relatively short distance of 37 kilometres (23 miles). The railways stands as a monument to the determination of early miners, whose only energy source was their own bare hands. After a pleasant journey with several stops, we trundle through Freshwater Connection Station where we might also have alighted, and arrive at length in Cairns Railway Station itself.
Cairns Fun for Kids in a Wildlife Dome
Cairns Wildlife Dome challenges the zoo experience and turns it upside down. Instead of putting wild animals into cages, and viewing them from outside, it reasons how about we put animals and humans in a single cage allowing close-up encounters. Please don’t stress though. Everything happens to high safety standards. However you will still suffer adrenaline rushes as if you were alone in the wild …
Cairns Wildlife Zone is the new home of Cairns Zoo, which has an enviable reputation for creating awareness of fragile life on earth. The spacious ‘pleasure dome’ is on the roof of the famous Reef Hotel Casino so it’s hard to miss. Take your pick between zip lining over giant saltwater crocodiles, feeding exotic parrots and cockatoos, and cradling butterflies in the palm of your hand. Cairns fun for kids simply does not get better.
Take a Swim in Nature for Green Fun
There’s little point in trying to convince children they have a responsibility for preserving the environment. Their minds are too full of daily events, just as we adults often are. We stumbled over the truth ourselves while swimming in sun-kissed rocky pools just outside Cairns. Although it took a while longer to move from conviction to action. That’s when we decided to build our Wanggulay eco retreat to pass on the premise ‘if not us, then who will pass on the message and become Mother Nature’s custodian not just her beneficiaries.
We have wonderful spots in nature for special Cairns fun for kids. Where water safe to drink flows freely through pools, children are children still, and lovers linger longer in secret, private places. We could tell you where to go when you holiday in our Bali-style cottage in the rain forest that’s a symphony of style in organically harvested natural timber. Sure that’s a hard act to follow, but our customers tell us we are among the very few that achieved it. You will have to come and stay because this is now on your bucket list.
The Special Joys of Nature Awaiting You
We have two fab holiday rentals on the western edge of Cairns, set discreetly apart where city life yields on our doorstep to encroaching rain forest filled with wild birds, butterflies. and flowers. Both luxury villas sleep up to thirteen guests. Or just two and a few if you are a young family. We also do couples in search of privacy and romance. What sets us off is unlike other resorts, there are no neighbours, no lifts and staircases to share, no one else around when dining or just relaxing. The place is yours exclusively for as long as you want.
We won’t bother you with tales of infinity pools, luxury spas, and world class technology, including fast wi-fi and latest movies streaming online. Not to mention a food lover’s kitchen with every device you ever wanted. These are all ancillary to our core offering. Our core offering is a perfect rest at night in the comfiest beds ever. And a fresh awakening every morning to the joys of nature and birds calling you outside.