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From $10 per person | Direct Enquiry

Cairns Museum Local Year Pass | From $ 25

Expires 31 Mar 2018

Cairns Museum Local Year Pass includes free membership to the Cairns Historical Society plus all these benefits

• Free entry to the Cairns Museum for the named member
• Free access to the Research Centre
• Monthly Members Only e-bulletins o... More
Cairns Museum Local Year Pass includes free membership to the Cairns Historical Society plus all these benefits

• Free entry to the Cairns Museum for the named member
• Free access to the Research Centre
• Monthly Members Only e-bulletins of local history
Bi-Monthly eNewsletter to keep up to date with Society matters, events and activities occurring at the Museum
• Invitations to Cairns Historical Society and Cairns Museum Exhibitions, excursions and Events

Individual: $25
Family: $40
Organisations & Corporates: $55
Student: $20

Direct Enquiry

About Cairns Museum



The Cairns Museum has amazing stories to share about living in the tropics.

Stories of heat, sweat and hard work. Of cane, railways, rainforests and reefs. Of White Australia, Aboriginal resistance and European isolation. Tales of tourists, hippies and local celebrations, amidst humidity, cyclones, toads, mould and mozzies.

The Cairns Museum showcases the Cairns Historical Society’s amazing collection of objects, photographs and archival records. This collection holds the secrets and memories of the people, places, events and changing the environment of Cairns and Far North Queensland.

Come in and discover the real Cairns! 


  • Adult: $10
  • Child (under 14): $5
  • Family (2 parents or grandparents + 3 kids): $25
  • Pensioner/Senior/Concession: $8
  • Members: FREE


The Cairns Museum is owned and operated by the Cairns Historical Society.

The Society's extensive archival and photographic collections are open to anyone with a research interest in Cairns or Far North Queensland.

If you have an interest in history, you need to visit the Cairns Museum and the CHS Research Centre at the Cairns School of Arts


The Cairns Historical Society is a membership organisation. Your annual membership helps pay for the materials we need to develop, conserve and interpret our nationally significant collection.


  • 12 months free entry to the Cairns Museum
  • 12 months free access to the Research Centre
  • Monthly bulletins of local history
  • Bi-monthly newsletters to keep up to date with Society matters
  • Invitations to all CHS events and excursions


  • Individual: $25
  • Family: $40
  • Student: $20

News By Cairns Museum

Cairns Museum won the best Gallery or Museum project in Queensland!

Cairns Museum won best Gallery or Museum project in Queensland!

By Cairns Museum

06 Nov 2017

Cairns Museum redevelopment named the Best in State The Cairns Historical Society has been awarded the best Museum and Gallery project in Queensland for its redevelopment of the Cairns Museum.

The Museum and Galleries Achievement Awards (GAMMA) are an annual award that recognises excellence in the Museum and Gallery sector across Queensland.

The Historical Society entered the Cairns Museum in the 2017 GAMMAs as the end result of a 7-year process of rethinking and reimagining a Museum for Cairns. The GAMMA judges noted that the reimagining of the Cairns Museum represented an enormous undertaking for a volunteer-run Society, supported by funding from Cairns Regional Council.

Society President Clive Skarott said the Society was honoured to receive the “Best Project” GAMMA.
‘This award is recognition for everyone who gave their heart and soul to realise the Cairns Museum – our volunteer curatorial, research and photographic teams, the community groups and families who assisted, the Traditional Owners who came on board, our members, our supporters in Cairns Regional Council, our internal management team and our professional consultant team’, he said.
‘The Museum is the end result of a huge creative and community effort, all in the name of Cairns.’
Museums and Galleries Queensland (M&G QLD) Executive Director Rebekah Butler praised the planning undertaken by the Society.

‘The Society’s process for the ‘reimagining’ included investigating the role of a Museum in a regional city, Cairns’ existing cultural infrastructure and the significance of the existing CHS collection. It created a contemporary thematic framework ‘Living in the Tropics’ that became the foundation for delivering a Museum about the past and the present of Cairns as a tropical city, rather than a more generic Museum about the olden days.’

Museum Manager Suzanne Gibson said the Museum was worth the effort
‘Museums matter. If we don’t tell our stories here in Cairns, no-one else is going to’, she said.
‘We have to thank the Council for recognising this and for backing the Society to create something special’, she said.

Cairns Museum to showcase crocs, toads and all ‘fun things’ about living in the Far North

Cairns Museum to showcase crocs, toads and all ‘fun things’ about living in the Far North

By Cairns Museum

17 Jul 2017

Cairns Museum manager Suzanne Gibson said the collection included “lots of crocs and toads and all the fun things about living in the tropics” but also focused on the region’s long indigenous history as well as the history of rail and industry.

Cr Manning said the three-storey museum, the latest part of his plan to make the city north Australia’s culture capital, brought a tear to his eye when he first glimpsed it this week.

“This is a great asset for the city, this will be visited by people who live here, will be visited by tourists and will play an active part in the next 40 to 50 years in this city,” he said.

“It is so important that localities, cities and districts protect their history.

Volunteer guide Persis Armstrong talks to students from Lau Kam Lung secondary college in Hong Kong were some of the first people to experience the new Cairns Museum PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
“For the first time in the history of this city we are now developing attractions within the CBD, this building and operation in particular, the aquarium, Munro Martin Park, the performing arts complex, the art gallery and the extension of that into the Courthouse and in the Mulgrave Shire building.”

And it impressed Hong Kong student Yoyo Chan who had a go at lifting a 35kg bag of sugar, one of the many interactive displays inside the museum.

“It’s not boring, it’s very fun,” she said.

“I was most surprised at the old fridge and washing machines and I want to return.”

Museum volunteer Persis Armstrong moved from Melbourne to Cairns 20 years ago and was passionate about the region’s history.

“The contribution that individuals can make is often not realised,” she said. “There are lots of examples in here like Johnno and the Woodward family.”


Cairns Museum Reviews


0 Lisa L

If you would like a really authentic museum experience this is where you will get it! The tour guides are as old as the exhibits and brimming with actual knowledge and experience of the pieces they love to educate about.


0 Gordon G

The museum is currently being refurbished and re-opens in 2017 with new displays but the collections are still available for research. The society has one of the most extensive photographic collections of any regional museum/ historical society. The range of other documentary material is also impressive for local history buffs. Volunteers do an incredible job at helping gather material.

How to get to Cairns Museum

Cnr Lake and Shields Streets Cairns QLD 4870

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Hours: Mon - Sat: 10:00AM - 4:00PM

Cnr Lake and Shields Streets Cairns QLD 4870

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