This is the only caravan park and camping opportunity close to the township of Kuranda, there are some other National Park camping options in the tablelands however they are over an hour’s drive from Kuranda. The Kuranda Rainforest Retreat is an old caravan park that has a hostel on site, as well as a few permanent residents, a large option of powered campsites and a few less than great unpowered camping sites.
Address: 88 Kuranda Heights Rd, Kuranda
Location: A short drive from the township of Kuranda. You can also walk to the town from the campsite via either the walking path next to the road (approx. 1 hour) or via the railway line (approx. 15 mins).
Cost for an unpowered campsite: $22 for a single person or $30 for two ppl per night.
How to book: Online or by calling (07) 4093 7316
Nights we stayed for: 4 nights in October 2015.
For the price, the site was very small, muddy and there was not enough room to park the car next to your tent. The management was very grumpy and spent more time patrolling the bathrooms to make sure that no one was ‘stealing power’ by charging their mobile phones than actually cleaning the amenities. Had the powered sites been a more reasonably price, we would have booked one.
The management did not speak kindly about the ‘black permanent residents’ and warned us that they might steal from us. The whole experience was less than the hippie getaway we were looking for in Kuranda. We did luckily meet two great guys who were camping next to us and we spent a lot of time with them at the campsite entertaining ourselves playing guitar and sharing travel stories by the campfire.
The unpowered camping section is in a small valley in which all the water flows directly into half of the campsites. This is the rainforest, so it rains a lot. Our campsite was permanently flooded and we left with everything covered in mud. None of the powered sites has this problem and we could not help but think that the unpowered sites were an afterthought and not well designed at all. This maybe different in July, however I would not want to be camping there between November – February.
Facilities and amenities
The caravan park has a swimming pool, camp kitchen and two toilet blocks. The camp kitchen was large and housed a fridge, stove, communal tables and had a lot of the bits and pieces you need to cook up and eat your meals. The camp kitchen was not cleaned for the whole four days that we stayed, only wiped down by us and the boys camped next to us. If the campsite had been busy I would hate to see the state it would end up in.
The bathroom block closest to the unpowered sites had three toilets and three showers per side (male/female) and were only cleaned twice in the four days we stayed. Behind this bathroom block is a laundry where all the power points have been disabled. The management really has a bee in their bonnet about people in unpowered sites charging their phones. The bathroom block closest to the pool and the powered sites is quite nice, with separate cubicles for each shower and toilet. They are old but nice and clean. They were cleaned much more often than the other toilet block and kept in a good condition.
Other alternatives to explore for cheaper accommodation in Kuranda are:
- Airbnb – you can rent a spare room on someone’s house for as little as $25 per night
- Housesitting, like we did in Cairns. We ended up with 2 weeks free accommodation with a pool AND got to hang out with some cool dogs!