Kuranda-Western Tablelands


Kuranda is a town and locality on the Atherton Tableland with a population of 2,999 and is situated 25 kilometres from Cairns via the Kuranda Range in the Shire of Mareeba, Far North Queensland, Australia.

Kuranda includes smaller indigenous communities such as Koah, Kowrowa, Mantaka, and Mona Mona. All are surrounded by tropical rainforest and adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage listed Barron Gorge National Park.

Kuranda and its surrounding communities is home to the Djabugay people. The Djabugay speaking people are the traditional Aboriginal people of the Rainforest, the original inhabitants of mountains, gorges, lands and waters of a richly forested part of the Great Dividing Range including the Barron Gorge and surrounding areas within the Wet Tropics of Queensland.

Tourism plays a major key role and offers many attractions including Kuranda Scenic Railway, Skyrail Rainforest cableway, popular short walks around the village including the Jum Rum Creek Environmental Park which includes The River Walk and the Barron Gorge National Park to visit Barron Falls. Other attractions in Kuranda include a bird aviary, butterfly sanctuary, wildlife rescue/rehabilitation centre, reptile park and koala sanctuary, plenty of unique markets, and cruises aboard ‘Kuranda Queen’ on the Barron River.

Projects for Community Development Programmes

K Town (also known as KDM Kuranda Digital Media) is an interesting and unique activity, and fills a void for our colourful and creative people in Kuranda. K Town not only offers a venue for our musical mined people, but an avenue to learn about performance management, stage and lighting set-up, music production and sound mixing, web design, photography, and everything else in-between.

Keeping our Culture Alive is currently running at the Kuranda Amphitheatre and is led by Rhonda Brim, a Djabugay Elder and master basket weaver. Rhonda is teaching participants how to make Biconal, Pandanus, Black Palm and Lamandrus Dilly Bags. As part of the activity, participants learn how to collect and gather materials from their natural surroundings, and then to prepare, clean and cure materials to weave baskets using traditional techniques.

The Food Prep activity prepares participants to enter the Hospitality industry. Participants learn how to prepare fresh food that is affordable that can be replicated at home to ensure healthy eating and healthy lifestyle for families. The project provides Job seekers with experience in food and beverage preparation that is transferable to employment. Kuranda has a high ratio of restaurants and cafes, including a HACC that are always calling for experienced workers.


Recently completed activity

Mareeba Maintenance – Judo Hall

RISE supported the Mareeba Community with renovations to the existing Judo/Boxing Hall including its surrounding landscapes. This activity aimed to promote active lifestyle for all ages.

This activity provided training for participants in restoration, maintenance, and construction. Horticulture and landscaping with outdoor workout station was included to improve the overall aesthetics of the adjoining parkland.

The project is now completed and has provided an upgraded facility for youth to adult to embrace a healthy lifestyle for many more years to come.

Kuranda-Western Tablelands Posts

From work experience to paid positions for friendly four

Four exceptional young women – Wendy Williams, Jaymee Wason, Ciolla Riley and Tatyana Hudson. Role models in the Kuranda Community, these young ladies have been a close-knit team teaching and learning skills passed from one to the other.

Clean drinking water is a right – Kowrowa

Kuranda’s Social Justice Group Coordinator; Persia Westropp-Hill praises RISE for providing clean drinkable water to Kowrowa’s community. Persia writes to RISE Kowrowa is a community less than 50 km from Cairns, Nth QLD not a third world country, however the Kowrowa community have been living in third world conditions in regard to the condition of…

Western Tablelands Community Development Programme

The Kowrowa Indigenous Community is located approximately 15km from Kuranda in Far North Queensland. The Kowrowa Pride is a furniture-making activity that has seen the completion and readying for sale of many products over the past few years. Cabinet Making is a major and very popular activity within Kowrowa. Our job seekers gain experience in…

Kowanyama ladies use funds from market day sales to purchase towels for children to use at the pool

There was a lot of excitement at the Kowanyama pool from the children when new towels arrived recently, thanks to the entrepreneurship of the Kowanyama ladies   RISE’s Creative Industries WfD Activity at Kuranda were asked to embroider the company’s logo on the towels and RISE owner Duncan Angus presented the towels to the children…