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If you’re short on time and you’re travelling with children, one of the best day trips from Cairns is the Rainforestation Nature Park in Kuranda. A trip here will enable you to tick three main things off your ‘Australia To-Do’ list: native animals, rainforest tour and aboriginal cultural activities.

You can easily spend the entire day at Rainforestation as there is so much to see and do. It even has a really nice restaurant overlooking a billabong so you can eat lunch there and make a day of it.

So, what’s on offer?

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]aboriginal culture[/headline]

aboriginal spear throwingMy kids can’t get enough of anything to do with Aboriginal culture so we headed straight off to watch the Pamagirri dance troupe.

If you’ve never seen Aboriginal dancing before its fascinating to watch their interpretations of a silent snake, the hunting skills of the cassowary and hunting in mangroves whilst avoiding mosquitoes.

Our favourite dance was the kangaroo dance where a young kangaroo challenges an older kangaroo to a fight over territorial grounds.

You can also learn from Indigenous guides on a half-hour guided Dreamtime walk, watch spear throwing, didgeridoo playing and then having a turn at boomerang throwing yourself.

I have to admit that boomerang throwing is not as easy as it looks.

It’s pretty tricky but certainly fun trying.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]army duck rainforest tour[/headline]

There are lots of different ways of experiencing the rainforest in North Queensland but not many places offer you the chance to ride in an amphibious World War II army duck!

rainforestation army duckThe Rainforestation Nature Park has 12, which it uses to takes up to 30 people at a time on a 45-minute tour of the rainforest.

Along the way the driver points out various plants such as orchids, ferns and dangerous stinger trees as well as termite nests, giant spider webs, butterflies, birds, spiders and reptiles.

We were lucky enough to see golden orb spiders, lots of colourful butterflies and loads of tropical plants.

Then our army duck splashed into the lake and we cruised through the water spotting dragonflies hovering above lily pads, water dragons, turtles and a range of birdlife.

The army duck was an unusual experience but it seemed like everyone enjoyed it from young kids all the way up to the older tourists.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]koala and wildlife park[/headline]

rainforestation crocodileAnd, last but not least, make sure you pop into the wildlife park to feed the kangaroos. This is always a favourite with kids.

You can also watch Jack the Ripper (the big croc) being fed and check out a variety of other native Aussie animals including koalas, cassowaries, dingoes, kookaburras, Tasmanian devils, snakes, lizards and wallabies.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]travel nq fast facts:[/headline]

  • Rainforestation Nature Park is on the Kennedy Highway at the top of the Kuranda Range
  • A regular shuttle bus service operates between Rainforestation and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda
  • Rainforestation Nature Park, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Cairns Dome and Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas are all CaPTA group attractions and discounts are available if booking more than one attraction at the one time