Australian Geographic - - Your Society -

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.

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