Cairns History North Queensland

Cairns History started a very long time ago with our with the Traditional owners of this land said to have been here for over 4000 years

What is now the city Cairns Australia  was inhabited by the Walubarra Yidinji People that still recognizes their indigenous property rights. They are known in the local Yideiny language as Gimuy.

North of Cairns is Laura you will find the Quinkan Cultural Centre   this is a good place to  learn about the spectacular Quinkan Rock Art Galleries.  These galleries have been identified between 15000 and 30,000 years old

Guided tours to a number of the world renowned rock sites can be made please click on the above link to find out more

In 1770 James Cook first mapped the future site known as Cairns naming it Trinity Bay.

Several Official expeditions gave the area a closer look 100 years later and decided it had potential for development into a port.

The Palmer River gold rush is certainly some of the most exciting history of North Queensland, certainly its hard to believe how J.V Mulligan discovered payable gold on the Palmer River  bringing 35 thousand men through tangled jungle and treacherous rivers to reach what became known as the river of Gold and if you love history then the Palmer River area is a great place to explore and the book River of Gold by Hector Holthouse is a great read… although i  must warn you I believe Gold Fever is real !

In 1876 Cairns was founded and was greatly needed to export gold discovered on the tablelands to the west of the inlet.

The area was mostly mangrove swamps and sand ridges.  .

The swamps were gradually cleared and the sand ridges were filled in with dried mud, sawdust from the local saw mills and ballast from a quarry at Edge Hill.

history of Cairns
Atherton history

Debris collected from the construction of a rail road to Herberton on the Atherton Tableland. This project was started in 1886.

The railway opened up the lands so they could be used for agriculture on the lowlands.

With this agriculture came the creation of a harbour board in 1906 and helps Cairns to establish itself as a port.

This helped support the economic future of Cairns.

During WWII Cairns Australia made its military history with the Allied forces as a staging base for operations in the pacific with US Army Air Force. And the Royal Australian Air Force.

These bases are now the airport. US Navy and Royal Australian Navy had a major military seaplane base in the Trinity Inlet near the current wharf.

Combat missions were flown out of Cairns in support of the Battle of the Coral Sea, in 1942. After the war Cairns developed into a centre for tourism.

The opening of the Cairns International Airport, in 1984 helped the city as a desirable destination for international tourist.

With its rich history and tropical warm climate tourism plays a major role in the economy of Cairns.

The region is the 4th popular destination for international tourists in Australia after Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The city is a great gateway to explore Australia’s  Great Barrier Reef and the wet tropic of Queensland, the Daintree National Park.

The people are friendly and helpful and some even love to tell a story or two.

The region is full of wonderful sights to visit and remember for a lifetime.

You will love Cairns Australia

Cairns History
Cairns History Abbott Street
Cairns history
Abbott and Spence Street, Cairns