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Cairns Historical Society Museum

Cnr Lake and Shields Street, Cairns QLD 4870
Postal address
Box 319, Cairns, QLD 4870
Opening hours
Monday - Saturday 10am-4pm

The Cairns Museum, part of Cairns Historical Society, is housed in the School of Arts building, one of the oldest heritage listed buildings in Cairns. The School of Arts building celebrated its one hundred year anniversary in 2007 and was originally established as a library and a place of education for the Cairns public. The Historical Society was established within this framework to collect and preserve Cairns’ written, photographic and oral history. The museum continues this charter by displaying the history of the region. 

The Museum displays a unique collection of Aboriginal rainforest artefacts, including swords and shields found only in the North Queensland area, photographs of Aboriginal people with their weapons, basketry and dwellings taken by a well-known photographer of the time, Alf Atkinson and photographs of the construction of the Cairns to Kuranda railway. The Cairns Historical Society Library has an extensive collection of over 20,000 documents and 16,000 photographs, available to researchers. Many of these have been digitised and are available on a searchable database.


Museums & Galleries Queensland
122 Gerler Road
Hendra QLD 4011

t: (07) 3059 9740 / Freecall within QLD: 1800 866 101

ABN: 32 109 874 811
ACN: 109 874 811

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