Skyrail Rainforest Cableway - AustraliaSkyrail Rainforest Cableway
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 7.5 km scenic cableway running above the Barron Gorge National Park, in the Wet Tropics of Queensland’s World Heritage Area.
North of Cairns, it has won more than 25 awards.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway journeys through the world's oldest continually surviving rainforest on earth, older than the Amazon Rainforest.
It was the only Australian finalist in the 2014 International Tourism for Tomorrow Award. In 2012, it was the first tourism attraction in the world to receive Platinum EarthCheck Accreditation. It won the 2000 British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow International Environment Award, the 1996 EIBTM European Greening of Business Tourism Most Environmentally Conscious Visitor Attraction Award and the 2008 and 2009 Qantas National Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism. In 2000, it was inducted into the Queensland Qantas Award’s Hall of Fame for Best Tourism Attraction and in 2010 for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism. It was the longest gondola cableway in the world when it was completed in 1995.
The cableway, which travels over the McAlister Range between Smithfield and Kuranda, includes six-person gondola cabins that travel metres above the treetops. A one-way trip takes about 1.5 hours, and a return trip is about 2.5 hours. Two rainforest stations, Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station, allow exploration of the forest floor on boardwalks, interaction with the environment and education of the World Heritage area. A Rainforest Interpretation Centre, developed in conjunction with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), is located at the Barron Falls Station. In 2012, Skyrail, in conjunction with Djabugay Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (DNTAC) developed walking tours with aboriginal guides on a rainforest trail on traditional Djabugay lands, departing from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Barron Falls Station.Skyrail Rainforest Cableway History
The Skyrail concept was put forward in 1987, with construction beginning in June 1994. Pre-construction included consultation with and approval from 23 local, state and federal government agencies and local communities along with numerous assessments including an Environmental Impact Study. It also established an agreement with the Djabugay Tribal Aboriginal Corporation for the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage. Skyrail is owned and operated by the Chapman Group, led by George Chapman, AO, who was named one of Queensland Government’s 2011 Queensland Greats. His son, Dr Ken Chapman, is Skyrail’s managing director and daughter, Karen Hawkins, is a director. The AU$35 million cableway opened to the public on August 31, 1995 with 47 gondolas. A AU$2.5 million upgrade in May 1997 increased the number of gondolas to 114, enabling it to carry over 600 passengers an hour in each direction.
In 2006, it underwent a AU$2.5 million upgrade which included a replacement café, expanded ticketing services and a larger retail store. In November 2013, it introduced 11 Diamond View glass floor gondolas, and in April 2014, the Canopy Glider, a ranger-escorted, open-air gondola, was added. Special guests at Skyrail include Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on March, 2002, former Australian politician Julia Gillard in 2004, and Australian tennis player Pat Rafter in 2013.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Construction
Before construction, the site was surveyed to make sure endangered and rare species would not be affected. The top soil and leaf litter were collected and reintroduced when construction was complete. Plant seedlings removed during construction were replanted in their original locations. Construction began in June 1994 despite protests from conservationists.
The 32 towers at Skyrail were built in 10x10 m clearings, and workers had to sterilise equipment and footwear before entering sites. Russian Kamov helicopters were used extensively to carry equipment, materials and cement to tower sites and rainforest stations. Helicopters carried 900 tonnes of steel, cement and building materials into the Barron Falls Station alone. Because no roads were built during construction, workers walked to the tower sites each day with their equipment.
Skyrail Rainforest Foundation
The Skyrail Rainforest Foundation was established in 2005 to raise and distribute funding for tropical rainforest research and education projects. These include scientific studies of rare and endangered rainforest fauna and flora, canopy ecology and of rainforest species for medical research. The foundation offers funding for students and educators to research into rainforest protection. Since its inception from April 2014, the foundation has provided AU$302,000 towards research projects.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Awards
Skyrail won a number of Australian National Tourism Awards including:
Skyrail holds a number of business and environmental accreditations and certifications, including EarthCheck Platinum, Advanced Ecotourism Certification: Eco Tourism Australia and Climate Action Innovator.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Trivia
The cableway can operate at a speed of 5 m/s (18 km/h, 11 mi/h); however, its normal operating speed is much slower to provide guests with the maximum time to enjoy their rainforest experience.
There are 32 towers in total. The highest tower is Tower 6, at 45 m (133 ft).
Red Peak is Skyrail's highest station, at 545 m (1,788 ft) above sea level. The Kuranda Station is 336 m (1,012 ft) and Smithfield Terminal 5 m (16 ft) above sea level.
The steepest section of the cableway has a slope of 19°
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway has 15 km (9.3 mi) of 40.5 mm galvanised steel rope, weighing more than the equivalent of 100 sedan cars.
There is a multi-core communications cable, which runs in the middle of the towers, between the two lines of haul rope. It carries all the voice and safety circuit communications.
The cableway is driven by a 383 kW (500 hp) direct current electric motor located at each drive station: the Kuranda and Smithfield Stations. Each drive station has a backup diesel motor and a further auxiliary Hydrostatic Drive.
There are two streaming webcams providing live footage and views from the cableway. The cameras are located on top of Towers 7 and 25.
Quick Guide to Australia Country Guides & Australia Tourism Attractions
Country Guides - Days Out - Tourism Attractions - Theme Parks - Family Days Out - Tourism Guides
Quick Guide to Australia Places to Visit & Australia Cultural Tourism
Theatres - Museums - Art Galleries - Cathederals - Synagogues - Mosques - Temples
Festivals - Concerts - Gigs - Sport Stadiums - Sport Events - Airports
Zoological Gardens - Aquariums - Racing Tracks - Racing Circuits - Athletics Tracks
Quick Guide to Australia Rail Guides & Australia Rail Tourism
Rail Tickets - Railway Maps - Railway Tourism Advice - Rail Passes - Rail Tours - Eurostar
Eurail - Interrail - Train Stations - Metro Stations - Underground Stations
Railway Modelling - Railway News
Train Tickets - Rail Tours - Luxury Rail Tours - Europe Rail Pass - Steam Trains - Rail Journeys
HS2 - Mountain Trains - Heritage Trains - Cog Trains - High Speed Rail - Escorted Rail Tours
Cable Cars - Funicular - Gondola Lifts - Tramways - Ski Lifts - Ski Pass
Railway Companies of the World - Heritage Railways - Steam Trains - Luxury Rail Journeys
Airport Shuttles - Night Trains - Sleeper Rail Cars - High Speed Trains - TGV - Eurostar
Cog Railways - Swiss Mountain Railways - Train Journeys - Express Trains
Quick Guide to World Train Companies
Amtrak - Orient Express - Rovos Rail - Rocky Mountaineer - Glacier Express
Jungfrau Express - Gotthard Panorama Express - Jungfrau Travel Pass- Express Trains
Eurostar - British Pullman - Bernina Express - Shongololo Express - Blue Train - Danube Express
Trans Siberian Express - GoldenPass Panoramic - Golden Eagle Train - Andean Explorer
Swiss Travel Pass - Jacobite - El Transcantabrico - Tren Al Andus - Hiram Bingham
Australia Business Centre - Australia Exhibitions
Business Centre - Trade Exhibitions - Trade Shows - Trade Fairs - Trade Events
Trade Exhibition Staff - Trade Exhibition Stands - Trade Show Help
Australia Business Centre - Australia Procurements
Business Incorporation - Procurements - Business Leads - Foreign Exchange
Business Insurance - Shares - Commodities - Futures - Property Sales - Money Transfer
Asset Finance - Asset Leasing - Crowd Funding - Currency Transfer
Australia Business Centre - Australia Freight
Rail Freight - Rail Cargo - Multimodal Freight - Road Freight - Air Freight - Sea Freight
Freight - Cargo - Containers - Pallet Delivery - Letter Delivery - Parcel Delivery
Australia Business Centre - Australia Finance
Business Finance - Business Insurance - Business Cards - Apprentices - Need Staff - Jobs
Vehicle Finance - Car Insurance - Car Leasing - Commercial Property - Foreign Exchange
Utility Swop - Utility Gas - Utility Electricity - Utility Oil - Utility Solar Power
Rail Finance - Business Leasing - Crowd Funding - Currency Transfer
Insurance - Utilities - Savings - Credit Cards - Car Insurances - Car Finance - Pensions
Quick Guide to World Travel & Australia Tourism
Hotels - Hostels - Flights - Car Rental - Flight + Hotel - River Cruises - Cruises
B&B - Holiday Homes - Apartment Rentals - Chalet Rental
Summer Holidays - Holiday Deals - Beach Holidays - Short Trips - Package Holidays
Summer Vacations - Vacation Deals - Beach Vacations - Weekend Breaks - Package Vacations
Winter Holidays - Winter Holiday Deals - Ski Holidays - Ski Lift Passes - Short Breaks
Winter Vacations - Winter Vacation Deals - Ski Vacations - Ski Pass - Weekend Trips