34 km (21 miles) NW of Cairns
Few travelers visit Cairns without making a trip to the mountain village of Kuranda, near the Barron Gorge National Park. Although it’s undeniably touristy, the cool mountain air and mist-wrapped rainforest refuse to be spoiled, no matter how many tourists clutter the streets. The shopping in Kuranda—for leather goods, Australian-wool sweaters, opals, crafts, and more—is more unusual than in Cairns, and the handful of cafes and restaurants are much more atmospheric. The town is easy to negotiate on foot; pick up a visitors’guide and map at the Skyrail gondola station or train station. Aside from the village, you can explore the rainforest, the river esplanade, or Barron Falls along a number of easy walking trails.