An interpretive trail commemorating the region's First World War history has been recognised with a Silver Heritage Award - Interpretation and Promotion, at the 2017 National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards.
The Cairns Region Anzac Trail was produced by Cairns Regional Council (CRC) with Write Shutter, Nettie O Design and Cairns Historical Society. The Heritage Award judges noted that flexibility, high levels of co-operation, team work and skill blending were necessary for its completion.
As part of wider Anzac centenary commemorations, CRC along with the Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) and Mareeba Shire Council (MRC) developed heritage trails of First World War historic sites in the region.
The trails link diverse sites ranging from cenotaphs and cemeteries to soldier settlement sites, recruitment routes, memorial buildings and plantings. Professionally designed complementary brochures formed the base material, with support material available through the Councils' websites.
The trails have primarily been developed to commemorate the region’s comprehensive association with the First World War. In addition they offer locals and visitors opportunities to explore a range of fascinatingly diverse sites from memorial buildings, parks, cenotaphs, urban cemeteries to resettlement sites and rifle club grounds. they have made a significant contribution to the development and appreciation of cultural heritage tourism.
The research associated with the trails has also provided the relevant Councils to identify future conservation and interpretation needs.
The trails and associated data and displays were developed by Write Shutter (for TRC and CRC), Nettie O Design (TRC, MSC and CRC) and Cairns Historical Society (CRC). The Queensland Anzac Centenary Community Grants Program, a Queensland government initiative, funded the trails, which reflect on the contributions made by individuals and families of the, then, developing tropical regions of Queensland. They link places and people by weaving poignant stories of the men and women who gave their lives and their livelihoods to defend the British Commonwealth, of which Australia was a youthful partner, with tangible heritage places.
About the Cairns Region Anzac Trail
The three trails offer unique opportunities for the public to experience almost forgotten or unknown aspects of the Far North’s history and cultural roots.
Sites relating to the Cairns region’s war efforts extend from Trinity Beach south to Bartle Frere and include many within Cairns city. The trail includes war memorials, cemeteries, memorial parks and buildings, each with a poignant reminder of the invaluable contributions made by the men and women of the Cairns region.
While many sites focus on the volunteers who saw frontline service others recognise the contribution of those who tended the wounded, or had to live with the grief of losing loved ones on the cliffs of Gallipoli or in the muddy trenches of France.
The trail can be experienced as a weekend activity or in a series of leisurely day trips. It can be made even more interesting by linking in with similar trails on the Atherton Tablelands and within the Mareeba district.