Cairns Museum teaches about the history of Cairns.

Cairns is a city steeped in history, and there is no better way to learn about its past than by visiting the Cairns Museum.  Housed in the beautiful heritage-listed School of Arts Building, the museum is a treasure trove of artifacts, photographs, and stories that tell the history of Cairns.

The Cairns Museum is small but filled with fascinating exhibits that bring the city’s history to life.  As you wander the museum, you will learn about the Indigenous people who have lived there for thousands of years.  Then European settlers arrived in the 1800s, and the growth and development of Cairns over the years.


One of the museum’s highlights is the exhibit that tells the story of the Cairns Wharf.  The wharf was once the city’s lifeblood, and the exhibit showcased its importance and impact on the development of Cairns.

Another exhibit that is not to be missed is showcasing the history of the Great Barrier Reef.  The exhibit includes artifacts, photographs, and stories detailing the Reef’s history, including its discovery and the efforts to preserve it.

There are interactive exhibits for children to learn about the history of North Queensland and school holiday activities.

One thing that makes the Cairns Museum unique is that it is run by volunteers passionate about Cairns and its history.  The volunteers are friendly and knowledgeable and always happy to answer any questions.

Opening Hours

Admission to the Cairns Museum is free, but donations are welcome.  Opening hours are daily from 10 am to 4 pm except for Sundays and public holidays.

Here is our list of more fun things to do in Cairns

Next, explore some of Cairns best attractions.