Trip Start May 18, 2004
54Trip End Jul 08, 2013
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Where I stayed
I was scheduled to join a tour to Kuranda, so I went back to my hostel at around nine and then checked in. The room rate was only AUD 20 and the facility was very satisfying. Actually, the hostel has been selected as one of the best hostels of Australia by Hostelworld.com. I waited for my tour bus in the lounge. The tour bus was almost full, picking up a few more guests and heading for a Skyrail station. It took about 30 minutes to go to the station and another 30 minutes to wait for a ride of Skyrail. The Skyrail was as exciting as I had heard. It was a long ropeway with two stops on the way to Kuranda. A view of the tropical rain forest was spectacular and the Barron Waterfalls were really scenic. A free guided tour was also available at the first station, or Red Peak Station. I learned about bird's nest fern, kauri and rain forest climate and the tour was beneficial. So I expected a similar tour at the second station, Barron Falls Station, but the secon station was just for waterfall observation. So if you catch a great view of the waterfalls from Skyrail, you don't need to get off at the second station.
The last stop was Kuranda. I didn't have a plan for there, but I wanted to ride an Army Duck, amphibious vehicle, in Reinforestation Nature Park
Needless to say, however, the best part of the day was Kuranda Scenic Railway. It was just what I expected. From the beginning, I took many pictures. In addition, a conductor also offered me a photo-taking. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is famous in Japan, because a popular TV show featuring train journeys used the same video footage of the Kuranda Scenic Railway as its opening footage for more than 10 years. For that reason, there were a lot of Japanese tourists on the train and all the announcement in the train was also made in English and Japanese. At Barron Falls Station, I got off and saw the waterfalls. Because it was a dry season in Kuranda, the amount of water was small, but I had known it before I went there, so it was not disappointing
After I came back to the hostel, I tried a night market. Although "night market" is music to my ears, I just love Southeast Asian night markets, or stalls set up on streets only in the evening. Actually, I didn't know exactly where the market was held, but I found it by accident after I had dinner at a food court. My impression about the market was, it was just a cluster of shops opening in the evening and similar to those of Sydney. It looked boring at first, but I was able to buy a chocolate box for gift only for three dollars and happy with it. Then I revisited Esplanade Lagoon Swimming Pool. There was nobody swimming in the pool, but it was lit up and beautiful. I explored a bit around the area and headed back to my hostel.