Cairns Museum
Cairns Museum
4.5
Architectural BuildingsHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The Cairns Museum tells the story of Cairns, right in the heart of the city. Housed in the award-winning School of Arts building, the Museum contains five galleries that showcase the history of Cairns, including Aboriginal Traditional Owners, sugar cane history, WW II, tourism development, local architecture and cyclones, as well as the inside story of living in the tropics - amongst crocs, toads, jellyfish and snakes! Our friendly local guides are on hand to assist and give you genuine advice on what to see and do in Cairns. The Museum also offers free wifi on its tropical verandah and has a range of unique merchandise for sale at reasonable prices.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from AU$15.00
All you need to step foot in the door.
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Top ways to experience Cairns Museum and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
295 reviews
Excellent
196
Very good
81
Average
10
Poor
7
Terrible
1

David L
2 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Solo
Found this museum while walking around Cairns and expected the usual "municipal museum." It greatly exceeded expectations. The staff were welcoming and very helpful, even helping me find areas of my interest that I had missed. The focus is primarily on the European settlement of the area, and it does a phenomenal job of explaining and illustrating that aspect, giving an idea of what life was like at each of the stages, and the factors both motivating and challenging that phase, with a wide range of artifacts to help illustrate what is explained.

There is much less about the First Nations (aboriginal) inhabitants. There is a small section about the original inhabitants, and there is a larger section devoted to aboriginal citizens today and contributions since European settlement.

Definitely worth a visit if you are interested in the history, and well worth the very modest price.
Written 24 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elspeth H
27 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
I came to the museum on a tight time frame, so I didn't get to linger as much as I would have liked. Starting with the top floor, the museum provides an introduction to the traditional custodians of the local lands, rivers and seas before introducing you to stories of colonisation, industry, World War experiences and social history. It's a small, intimate(?) Museum well worth the visit.
Written 19 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SanMeiko
Adelaide, Australia21 contributions
Aug. 2023 • Couples
Great place to spend a few hours learning about the history of this unique town. Includes indigenous, Asian and European history with great interactive displays over 3 levels. Kid friendly. Once you buy a ticket you can use it all day, so go out for a coffee break and come back.
Written 8 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pacificwoman59
Brisbane358 contributions
Jul. 2023 • Couples
Fantastic regional museum. Easy to navigate and some great displays. Loved the video of Cairns life throughout the year. Well worth the admission price.
Written 17 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Manue
Rimouski, Canada24 contributions
Jun. 2023 • Solo
Amazing staff! I was able to tag along a guided tour with a very knowledgeable & engaging guide (I do not know her name but I was there on June 8th in the afternoon). I learned many things about Cairns that I would not have if I had only stayed a couple of days for the reef.... I highly recommend.
Written 9 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Iza Brown
40 contributions
May 2023 • Friends
Modern, interesting and centrally located makes this museum well worth the visit. A guided tour tops it off along with the small gift shop.
Written 1 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HDStripad
Australia903 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
A well curated display of artifacts relating to Cairns history with photographs and story boards about the people and the events that made Cairns what it is today.
Written 1 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matthew G
Melbourne, Australia10 contributions
Upon arrival I was welcomed in a friendly manner, and was given all the information I needed. I was suggested to start on floor 2 and so I did.

On this floor after time has passed by I was greeted by another member of staff (philipa?) she was lovely and shown me the interactive table which I was unsure how to use at first.

Toilets were clean as well as the whole building, and the museum itself was very educational for someone from the UK not knowing a great deal about carins.

Thank you Museum team!!
Written 29 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bart10011
Yarra Glen, Australia19 contributions
Mar. 2023 • Couples
Well worth the visit. Wet day today, so I thought let's do the museum, galleries, and stroll along the Esplanade boardwalk.

Its a small musuem but laid out well. I Learned some history I didn't know about or taught back in my school years ....and should be and was lucky enough to tag along with a local volunteer (retired uni teacher...you'll know who you are! ;) ) museum guide who spoke well on each area adding great context and information to many of the display areas. Even the little things like where the old original building stopped, a bit of it's history, the river sto exaggerate used in the walls.

....feeling so grateful to have had that gentleman's commentary as we followed around.

As a suggestion, you could add a QR code to various areas that brings up a voice commentary of some of the display areas to allow anyone to experience something similar. So impressed, I'd suggest asking this gentleman if he was willing to perform the QR CODE commentary
Written 23 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

missander
Sydney, Australia22 contributions
Mar. 2023 • Family
First rate small museum . We visited when we were in Cairns on a cruise and we were extremely impressed. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. Well laid out with piles of interesting objects and information. I have visited museums all round the world and this one was an unexpected little gem.
Written 7 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cairns Museum: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cairns Museum

Cairns Museum admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost AU$15.38, while a popular guided tour starts around AU$44.03 per person.

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