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 artefacts, photographs, and stories about the city’s history.

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 Cairns grew and developed over the years.

Join a tour to visit the Cairns Museum and explore more of Cairns.



One of the museum’s highlights is the exhibit telling the story of Cairns Trinity Wharf. The wharf was once the city’s lifeblood and the exhibit showcases its importance and impact on the city’s development.

Another exhibit not to be missed is the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, which showcases the reef’s history. The exhibit includes artefacts, photographs, and stories detailing the reef’s history, including its discovery and the efforts to preserve it.

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

The fact that volunteers who are enthusiastic about Cairns and its history run the museum is one thing that sets it apart.  The volunteers are friendly, knowledgeable, and always happy to answer any questions.

Opening Hours

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

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

Next, explore some of Cairns’s best attractions.