Yesterday Crista and I ended up going on the Skyrail for the day. *Christa (from Holland) was my roommate when I first came to this hostel. Anyway, I hadn’t really planned on going but, she said she was going and I was welcome to go along. She and I get along pretty well and I figured if she was going to go with or without me I might as well go. It was a very neat experience. The cableway is about 4.7 miles long and only took a year to construct. Because it goes overtop the rainforest they had the towers all lifted into place by helicopter to avoid disturbing the rainforest. There are 2 stations you can stop at along the way and the final station (well, depending on where you start) is in the town of Kuranda. We started on the Cairns end and rode the cableway the whole way to the end and made our stops on the way back. While in Kuranda we decided to try some Crocodile Curry for lunch – I still have no idea what crocodile tastes like though because all you can taste is the curry. We walked through the markets at Kuranda, but due to being poor travellers we decided to skip the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld, and the Kuranda Koala Gardens. Can’t say I was that disappointed at not visiting…
Our next stop was Barron Falls Station which is near (or possibly in) Barron Gorge National Park. It has a beautiful waterfall and had we been wearing shoes could have done a hike around the falls. Somehow we missed the fact that there were Djabugay Aboriginal Guided Tours, or maybe there was a fee and that’s why we forgot about them. Anyway, after stopping at the lookout points and a quick trip to the interactive Rainforest Interpretation Centre we hopped back onto a cablecar and headed for Red Peak Station (the highest point on the cableway – 1,788 feet).
While at Red Peak Station we got our own private Park Ranger Tour. No one else was there when our tour started and no one else ended up joining halfway through either. It was actually quite fascinating. Paul, the park ranger, told us all about the different plants in their rainforest. We’d assumed, while looking at the tops of all the trees on our trip over, that many of the plants were parasitic, but most of them actually aren’t. It’s really quite amazing how God designed all these different plants to be able to survive in the conditions of a rainforest. There had been a python in a tree earlier in the day and Paul had hope it was still there so he could show us, but it was gone. I’m not disappointed at that, at all. He did show us some huge spider though, and it was rather unnerving. I prefer to forget that there are so many huge, and dangerous, spiders here, but that certainly reminded me.
It’s a bit expensive to do the Skyrail (well, it seems expensive because I'm such a cheapskate), but it really is a very neat experience and on a clear day the views of the Coral Sea and the coastline from your cablecar are absolutely spectacular.