Kuranda Vs Cape Tribulation Which is Better? What Can I See?

Kuranda Village West of Cairns.

Kuranda Vs Cape Tribulation Which is Better? What Can I See?


After receiving hundreds of emails asking this very question, today we are going to answer: Kuranda Vs Cape Tribulation, which is better? What Can I See?


Both destinations Kuranda and Cape Tribulation have their highs and lows. At the end of this article, you should be able to make an informed decision about which is the better and what types of things you will see. Read on to find out the nitty gritty!



Kuranda is a small village located East of Cairns. Getting there involves taking a scenic train called the Kuranda Scenic Rail. It takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. The train stops at Barron Waterfall’s lookout for 10 minutes. Here you get off the train take some pictures, get back on the train and enjoy the last 15minutes before arriving into the village of Kuranda.


Kuranda has many markets, coffee shops, art galleries, mini wildlife parks, restaurants and food stalls. Made famous in the 1980’s because of the village’s unique location in the heart of the rainforest located next to the Barron River.


After visiting the village allow 2/3 hours to see most of it. Typically, you then join the Skyrail a rainforest cableway that travels all the way back down the mountain. There are two stations you can disembark and take a boardwalk to experience spectacular views of Barron waterfalls. After your short walk board, re-join the Skyrail journey all the way to the bottom of the mountain. The main Skyrail station at the bottom of the mountain is located at Caravonica, about a 20 minute drive North of Cairns city itself.


Can I drive Myself to Kuranda?


Yes, you can drive to Kuranda on the Bruce Highway, but the highlight of visiting Kuranda is the scenic train and Skyrail. But if you do not like trains or Skyrail then you should drive.


Can I drive my car to the Skyrail Terminal?


Yes, if you have a car and you would like to experience the train and Skyrail. You can purchase a tour ticket that lets you drive yourself to the Skyrail terminal. Park your car in the carpark. Free parking all day. At 9:10am a bus will pick you up and transfer you over to the Freshwater Train Station. It is here you will board the Scenic Train for the journey to Kuranda.


After spending time in the village you can then board the Skyrail. There is a gondola departing Kuranda every 30 seconds all day. The Skyrail company do ask you to join at a specific time, but because the Gondolas leave every 30 secs all day. You can be a pretty flexible with your departure time.


After boarding the Skyrail in Kuranda it takes 1 hour 15 minutes to travel down the mountain and be back at your car.


For more information on this visit The Self Drive Kuranda Tour! If you do not have a car you can buy a day ticket that includes a bus pick up and drop off at your Cairns Hotel. See Kuranda Day Tours for more information.





Cape Tribulation is a peninsula located in Daintree National Park. It became a famous landmark from when Capitan Cook the British Explorer ran his ship up onto a reef called Endeavour Reef. With some frustration, they had to find shelter and repair the damage. It was at around this same time allot of his crew became sick with scurvy so upon discovering this pointy Cape that protruded from the mainland he went on to name it Cape Tribulation.


Cape Tribulation has a beautiful long white sandy beach where the locals call” Where the Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef”.


Part of the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park. Cape Tribulation is a place to visit, you can walk along the beach, enjoy flat boardwalks in the thick tropical rainforest.


The area known for diverse flora and fauna has some of World’s the oldest living Rainforest. Due to this significance is what makes visiting Cape Tribulation and Daintree National Park a must do on most travellers lists.


Can I drive myself to Cape Tribulation?


Yes, you should depart early around 8am, it takes nearly 2.5 hours to drive to Cape Tribulation from Cairns. It is a scenic drive and there are many lookouts, walking tracks and beaches to stop off at along the way.


If driving is not your thing or perhaps you are a little pushed for time, then taking a day tour is a better option for you. Day tours usually consist of a very experienced guide, a person with allot of local knowledge on the plants, animals and aboriginal cultures that exist in the Rainforest.


What can I see in Cape Tribulation?


Good question and depending on what time of the year, you can find wild Cassowary a large flightless bird with large bone protruding from its head. Mostly placid shy animals Cassowary’s have been known to attack humans with their large talon-like feet if you get to close to their chicks. Or if it is mating season the large males can become a little more aggressive.


Boyd’s Rainforest Dragons, these are a rainforest lizard usually found hugging the side of small trees. Their body’s perfectly designed to camouflage with the natural environment. They can be very hard to spot to the naked eye. Most local guides have been spotting these for years and have a well-trained eye.


Large Saltwater Crocodiles can be found along the rivers, saltwater estuaries and beaches. In general, it is advised not to swim at any of the beach’s creeks or rivers. Treat all water bodies as if they have a crocodile living in there. Unfortunately, there have been Crocodile attacks and humans have been taken in this area. There are large warning signs at all the main water locations where crocodiles are known to live.


For those that are inquisitive, there are Daintree river crocodile cruises along the Daintree River. These depart every hour or so and you can just buy your ticket on the day.



So Which is Better? Kuranda or Cape Tribulation?


The answer is both!


Both locations offer travellers a different unique experience. In general, you should think about Kuranda as a relaxed leisurely day with great scenic views of Barron Gorge. You also experience great views out to the Great Barrier Reef, Northern Beaches, and Cairns city. Looking for a day tour into this region visit our – Kuranda Day Tours.


Cape Tribulation and Daintree is a more adventurous day, longer driving times due to the distances you need to travel. But the chance to walk around in the oldest living Rainforest in the World, a chance to see Wild Salt Water Crocodiles and Rainforest Animals. A chance to relax on the beach and soak up this untouched part of the World.  Looking for a day tour into this region visit our – Cape Tribulation Day Tours.



Cairns Tour Info is committed to offering unbiased informative travel information to Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef and surround World Heritage listed national Parks. If you have any questions we have not answered or are interested in a tour to this part of the World contact our reservation team on EMAIL: info@cairnstourinfo.com.au or PHONE: 07 40 411635.