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Kuranda Railway Cairns, Australia


The Kuranda Railway is a holiday experience that encapsulates wonders of the natural world with marvels of human achievement. For 34 kilometres, the 100+ year old railway climbs more than 300 meters through tropical rainforest, through 15 tunnels, bends around 98 curves and over 40 bridges.

The engineering feats involved in the construction of the railway are a monument to the perseverance and ingenuity of the workers of the time.

In addition to the natural beauty of the wilderness that the Kuranda train ventures through, the magnificent feat of engineering ingenuity is an awe-inspiring sight.

The construction of the railway was first proposed after the wet season of 1882, when the tin mining town of Herberton was isolated for several months by floodwaters. Farmers and workers in the area demanded better access and communication to the coast, by road or train. Visiting politicians, in a search for votes, promised the people that a solution would be found to solve all their problems.

Construction began at the Cairns end of the line, cutting through swamps, mangrove forests, and sand ridges before proceeding up the Redlynch valley towards Kuranda. It was made using cement from England that was carried up the mountain by mules. After many years of construction and the deaths of workers on a regular basis from tropical diseases, the railway was completed.


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