EXHIBITIONS: LIVING IN THE TROPICS

Showcasing the collections held by the Cairns Historic Society, Cairns Museum has four permanent galleries.
Gallery 1: A timeline of Cairns from its Aboriginal Traditional Owners to the dynamic modern city of today
Gallery 2: How Cairns was carved out of swamps and steamy jungle through hard work and industry by people from all over the world
Gallery 3: A fun look at living in the tropics – our locals come in all shapes and sizes and personalities
Gallery 4: Cairns in transition from small tropical port to tourist hot spot
Explore the history of tropical life at the Cairns Museum. Family friendly, air-conditioned and free wi-fi.
Kirrenderri
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS

Kirrenderri

Kirrenderri is a visually striking and narrative rich exhibition chronicling stories from one of Australia’s most remote locations. From 15 March to 16 June.

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Still Life Comes Alive
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS

Still Life Comes Alive

Experience Cairns’ rich history through contemporary still life art at Cairns Museum’s collaborative exhibit with Cairns Art Society. From 3 November 2023 to 9 March 2024.

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50 Treasures Revisited
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS

50 Treasures Revisited

Explore the rich history of James Cook University through a selection of treasures, showcased in a captivating exhibition. From 24 June to 28 October 2023.

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Growing up in the Tropics
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS

Growing up in the Tropics

Growing up in the tropics is a unique experience. We piece together four categories of children’s lives — playing, learning, getting around, and resilience in this exhibition. From 3 March to 17 June 2023.

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Beach Couture: A Haute Mess​
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS

Beach Couture: A Haute Mess​

We don’t know what will remain of us centuries from now but one thing is certain: there will be plastic, lots of plastic. Beach Couture: A Haute Mess from 18 November 2022 to 23 February 2023.

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1 X 4
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS

1 X 4

Museums use objects to tell stories – but which story and from whose perspective? Runs 23 July – 12 Nov 2022

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Sihot’e Nioge
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS

Sihot’e Nioge

Independent curator Joan G Winter is a passionate advocate for the artists and art of the Omie people of Oro Province, Papua New Guinea

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Rediscovering Buk Ti
PREVIOUS EXHIBITIONS

Rediscovering Buk Ti

Curator Dr Sandi Robb had no idea what she was about to discover when the Ingham Family History Association asked for her advice on creating “a little display” ..

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Cairns Over Time
CURRENT EXHIBITION - GALLERY 1

Cairns Over Time

Here you will find the story of Cairns told through the lives of locals, including Cairns Traditional Owners. It’s the tales of our city – the good, the bad and the downright troppo.

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Old Cairns
CURRENT EXHIBITION - GALLERY 2

Old Cairns

Swamps, sweat and sugar. How a port town was imposed on a steamy tropical landscape and the industries that made it prosper.

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Living in the Tropics
CURRENT EXHIBITION - GALLERY 3

Living in the Tropics

Hang out with the locals – including the unwelcome ones! A playful look at what makes life different in the tropical climate.

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Changing Cairns
CURRENT EXHIBITION - GALLERY 4

Changing Cairns

The transformation of a small tropical port to an international tourist city. How travellers have found their way here and how locals have changed their town.

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School of Arts
CURRENT EXHIBITION

School of Arts

Step back into a recreation of the 1907 School of Arts, with its curious collections and photo tables for exploration.

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Anzac Day WWI Tribute
ONLINE ONLY EXHIBITION

Anzac Day WWI Tribute

As an Anzac Day tribute we are displaying a small selection of WorldWar I photos from the Cairns Historical Society collection. Lest we forget.

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The Trouble with Parting
PREVIOUS EXHIBITION

The Trouble with Parting

Have you ever donated something to a museum?  Had it been in your family for ages and did you feel too guilty to throw it out?

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Percy Trezise
PREVIOUS EXHIBITION

Percy Trezise

‘Percy Trezise: the man who loved Cape York Peninsula’ examines the life and legacy of a man whose name was synonymous with Cape York Peninsula for over 30 years.

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Reef Productions
PREVIOUS EXHIBITION

Reef Productions

‘Reef Productions: migrants, makers and merchandise’ featured in the Cairns Museum’s Temporary Gallery from May to August, 2021

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