Visit our facts, figures and history web page for information on:

  • Cairns historic milestones
  • Street names and suburb history
  • Council timeline
  • Indigenous culture and history
  • Heritage trails

Library heritage resources

Phone 4044 3730 or contact via the Cairns Libraries website

The Regional Resources Collection is housed at the City Library and contains titles which relate to Cairns and the FNQ area, including information on the history, culture, environment, and the development of the region.  This collection, which may not be borrowed, includes:

  • Books relating to the history, culture, geography and development of the region, including locally authored and published material.
  • Material published by local organisations
  • Street directories
  • Profiles, reports and studies produced by local government
  • The Cairns Post (1884-1893, 1909-present) on microfilm
  • Maps (including topographical, nautical, cadastral, and aerial)

The City Library also holds an extensive collection of books, microfiche, microfilm, and CD-ROMS to assist with researching family history. The collection mainly focuses on Australian material with an emphasis on Queensland.

  • Birth, Death and Marriage indexes for all Australian states and territories accessible through ancestory.com or any of our seven Cairns library branches.
  • The Cairns Post newspaper on microfilm
  • Cemetery indexes and monumental inscriptions, including theCairns Cemeteries database
  • Early directories, electoral rolls,
  • naturalisations and convict indents
  • Guides to researching cultural and ethnic groups as well as specific countries
  • Pre - 1856 NSW Birth, Death and Marriage certificates are available on microfilm
  • Pre - 1900 Tasmanian Birth, Death and Marriage certificates available on microfilm* Immigration and shipping records

McLeod Street Pioneer Cemetery

This heritage registered Pioneer Cemetery is located alongside the Kuranda-Cairns railway line. It holds a wealth of information about the early residents of the district.

Educational resources

Guided walks

Cairns and District Family History Society, in conjunction with Cairns Regional Council, provides both primary and secondary schools with guided walks through McLeod Street Pioneer Cemetery. During the walk students will actively learn about the history of the cemetery, interpretation of the headstones and stories of some of the early pioneers and what life was like in their time.

The Cairns and District Family History Society will provide support to ensure the walk is tailored to specific curriculum objectives.

For bookings, contact the Cairns and District Family History Society Inc at secretary@cdfhs.org

Tanks Arts Centre history tours

Take your students on a free, guided tour of the Tanks Arts Centre – and let us tailor this to suit your specific age group needs and curriculum objectives, with topics covered including:

  • History - exploring the role the Tanks played in WWII and how the oil storage facility was used
  • Visual Art - with a curator’s talk about a current exhibition
  • Venue Management - with a behind-the-scenes tour of a multi-arts centre
  • Architecture - with a talk about the design challenges and solutions for the Tanks Arts Centre and/or the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre

Tours include up to half an hour with a Tanks Arts Centre staff member plus self-guided inspection of the current exhibition and site.

School visits are welcome any time during opening hours, but guided tours must be booked.

TO BOOK A TOUR: info@tanksartscentre.com or phone 4032 6600

Last updated: 16 June 2020