Tucked away in thick rainforest, arty, alternative Kuranda is one of Cairns' most popular day trips, and for good reason. During the day, this hippie haven swarms with tourists soaking up the vibe, visiting animal sanctuaries and poking around its famous markets and souvenir shops; after the markets close at 3pm, you can almost hear the village sigh as the streets and pubs are reclaimed by mellow locals (and the occasional street-hopping wallaby).
Kuranda and the Barron Gorge region is the traditional home to the Djabugay (Tjapukai) Aboriginal people, many of whom are involved in the local arts and cultural scene. In 2004 the Djabugay successfully gained native title over the Barron Gorge National Park.
Just getting here is an experience: choose between driving a winding forest road, chugging up on a train or soaring over the treetops on Australia's longest gondola cableway.