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Unforgettable Skyrail adventure! A thrilling and accessible experience for all ages and abilities.

Updated: May 9

I recently went on the awesome Skyrail Rainforest Cableway near Cairns, Queensland.

The Skyrail goes between Smithfield and Kuranda. My family and I had a really wonderful day enjoying the beautiful Wet Tropics World Heritage rainforest.

Here is a map of the where the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway goes and the stops it makes. You can catch it one way if you want to or do the return trip like we did.

The map also shows where the Kuranda Scenic Railway travels. It is a beautiful historic train that you can also catch from Cairns to Kuranda. A lot of people like to catch the Skyrail one way and the train one way. When I was on the Skyrail I saw the train going up the mountain on the other side of the Barron Valley and saw it at the Barron Falls/Dindin station too.

We uploaded the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway App so we could see the map and information about the Skyrail on our trip. It has some lovely, relaxing music on it and when you go along it tells you information. It also has a map and tells you what you can see and do at each stop as well as what you can see and do in Kuranda Village.

I really like the App and enjoyed listening to the music and the information.

When we got to the Smithfield Terminal, we met a very lovely lady called Bec, who greeted us. She was very happy that we were going on Skyrail for the day and said to have a great time. Bec took us into the building to show us where to line up and wait for our gondola. She was very happy to see me wearing my Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard because the staff at Skyrail Rainforest Cableway have all been trained in the program, so they look for people wearing the lanyard and help them if they need any assistance.

The HIdden Disabilities Sunflower program was started in the United Kingdom and has now spread to many countries in the world. It is really awesome that Skyrail are Sunflower friendly as it makes travelling on the Skyrail more accessible for me and others who might need help.

When you go inside the building there's a lot of space to queue up and get your tickets. There are lots of signs to let you know where to stand and which counter to go to and stickers on the ground to show you which direction to go. It is a very light building with lots of lovely photos on the walls and it's very clean. The staff all wear nice Skyrail shirts and have their name badges on so you can find them easily if you need them.

After you get your tickets, you line up to get on the gondolas. There are two lines, one for the normal gondolas and one for the Diamond View gondolas, which have a glass floor so you can see the beautiful scenery while you glide over the top of the rainforest.  We were very lucky because we went on the Diamond View gondola on our way up to Kuranda and it was great. It costs extra to go on these special gondolas, but it is a very lovely experience. There is a big sticker to show you where to wait and you get a sticker on your shirt to show you are in the Diamond View gondola.

When it was our turn to get on the gondola we had to hop on quickly when the gondola slowed down. It was easy to step on and we all got in safely. The staff will stop the gondola if you are in a wheelchair, or if you have a pram or mobility device and need more time to get on. The gondolas can fit up to six people. There are lovely views everywhere you look so it doesn't matter what side of the gondola you sit on. We had four of us in our gondola and there was plenty of space for us all.

I really loved the amazing view from the glass floor because you could look down and see everything clearly as you went over the top of the rainforest. At first, I thought it might be scary, but it goes very slowly so it wasn't scary at all.

The mountains are very beautiful, and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway goes up very high and right over the top of them.

It is very peaceful when you are going along. You can hear the birds and rainforest animals and insects and it is very calm. It was a lovely, sunny day when we went but we have been on Skyrail before in the rain and it is nice then too because you get to go up through the rainclouds.

The view are so great and I really enjoyed taking lots of photos.

The Skyrail stops at two different places where you can get off and go for a walk to see the rainforest and the views. We got off at the first stop after you leave Smithfield, which is Red Peak. They have staff there to help you get off and tell you what you can do.

There was signage in many places showing where ramp access was for those who can’t use stairs.

The rainforests plants are so beautiful and there are some enormous trees you can see.

On the Skyrail App there is also a cool augmented reality feature where animals appear in front of you, like the butterflies in this photo. This was really good fun to see.

There are some great lookouts where you can take photos too and the views are amazing because you are up so high.

The boardwalks are very accessible because they are very wide and flat and easy to walk on and they are suitable for people in wheelchairs or mobility devices and prams too.

The toilets at Red Peak are very clean and nice.

They have unisex toilets and disabled toilets as well.

There are also nice taps and soap to wash your hands.

At Red Peak they have some information about the rainforest and the animals that live there.

If you want to you can also to do a free Ranger Guided tour where the Skyrail rangers tell you all about the rainforest and the animals that live there.

Also, at the Barron Falls/Dindin stop they have a Rainforest Interpretation Centre where you can learn more about the rainforest.

You can walk up the stairs or go up the ramp to get to the Rainforest Interpretation Centre.

Inside the Rainforest Interpretation Centre it's great because there are lots of hands-on things you can touch, like seeds and nuts from the rainforest and screens with information. It is nice and light in there and the information is easy to read. There are also interactive screens with information to find. It is a really cool way to learn about the rainforest.

When you finish looking around at Red Peak or the Barron Falls/Dindin stations you have to queue up to get back on the Skyrail. The walkways where you queue are very wide and clean and there is a good roof to shelter under from the sun or rain. There were lots of people going on Skyrail the day we went because it was school holidays, but it didn't take long to get on a gondola, and we only waited about 10-15 minutes in the line. They also had some chairs people could sit on if they couldn't stand up very long.

One of the most beautiful things to see from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is the Barron/Dindin Falls. These falls are over 125 metres and we were very lucky to see so much water going over the falls as there has been a lot of rain this wet season. It is lovely to hear the falls as you go past and we enjoyed getting off and walking up to the lookout point to see the falls from The Edge Lookout and took some great photos.

There is a glass fence and floor at The Edge Lookout so you can see the view well and this is very helpful to those in wheelchairs or prams so they won't miss out on seeing the fantastic view! Up close the waterfall is loud but I liked hearing it.

We even got to see a very awesome rainbow in the mist from the Barron Falls on the day we went.

When we got to Kuranda we had a good look around the village. There are lots of shops and cafes and restaurants and places to visit like BirdWorld Kuranda , Kuranda Koala Gardens, and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.

These are very fun places to go to see lots of lovely butterflies, birds and Australian animals.

On our way back down to Smithfield the view of Cairns and the ocean is amazing and we took some really great photos. It is so nice to see all the way out to the islands near Cairns and Palm Cove.

I felt very happy on the Skyrail and had so much fun.

There are two giftshops you can visit when you go on Skyrail. One is at Smithfield and one is in Kuranda. They have some great souvenirs to buy, like tea towels, keyrings, cups, water bottles, umbrellas, t-shirts and toys and heaps of other things.

When you are about to get off the gondola they take a lovely photo of you and we decided to buy ours because it is a great way to remember our fun day on the Skyrail.

Our day out on Skyrail was a lot of fun and we all really loved it! It's definitely one of the best ways to experience the beautiful rainforest and see the incredible views of the Barron Falls and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Cairns because it's an amazing trip to do.

Tips from my travelling companion -

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway takes you on the most incredible adventure, gliding only metres above the Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest, one of the most ancient rainforest environments on Earth, dating back 130 million years! It is something everyone should experience when visiting Far North Queensland to fully get a true appreciation of our beautiful landscape and the importance of conserving this 130 million year old rainforest for future generations. As a local, who has travelled on Skyrail at least 5 times over the years,

I still haven't tired of the majesty of this part of the world and would rate a trip on Skyrail as one of my top tourist recommendations for all who visit our region.

One of the great things about Skyrail is that it is also accessible and enjoyable for all ages and abilities, and this could be seen on the day we travelled. The staff were friendly, professional and helpful and worked hard to make sure everyone was included and could access the gondolas and boardwalks, tours and lookout areas. They were clear with their directions and helpful to Flynn in their interactions with him. We saw them assisting several other customers to get onto the gondolas and answering questions. The facilities, buildings and gondolas were all clean and well-maintained and the experience was safe and enjoyable.

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway website has lots of information about what it is like to travel on Skyrail, and viewing this prior helped prepare Flynn for the day. The Accessibility menu on the website is fantastic and allows the user to choose lots of options to make the website easier to use. There's an option for bigger text, an option to hide images and a screen reader where the text is read aloud at whatever speed you choose. You can even change the colour of the text to help if you are visually impaired, colour blind or have ADHD. They have really catered well for a wide range of people with different abilities, which is fantastic.

Skyrail support the Companion Card program so if you have a Companion Card they will let you take a carer with you, free of charge. They also allow support dogs and assistance animals to travel with those who need them. It is fantastic that staff have been trained to look for those wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard too so they can assist those with non-visible disabilities. Information on all of these topics is clearly set out on their Accessibility page, as is their information for wheelchair and mobility users.

We were guests of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway on this occasion, but this has in no way influenced our review of our experience, and I would have to say as a return visitor over the past 28 years Skyrail never disappoints! It is still as beautiful experience now as it was on my first visit and the Skyrail staff are to be commended on working hard in recent times to become even more inclusive and offer outstanding service and facilities for those of all abilities.

Written by Flynn's mum, Jenni

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