KURANDA SCENIC RAILWAY
UPIN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND, this relatively short journey takes about two hours one way, up into the hinterland behind the city of Cairns. Passing spectacular waterfalls and travelling through World Heritage-listed rainforest via some 15 tunnels and 55 bridges, the Scenic Railway is one of Australia’s most popular rail experiences. It was originally built to service the mining industry between Kuranda and Herberton in the 1880s, when supplies could not get through to mining camps because of torrential rain. Several miners starved, but many more rail workers lost their lives during the dangerous decade of construction. After roads were improved from Cairns, the railway was converted to tourist use in the 1930s.