Cairns’ Creative Corners | Cairns Tours

Cairns’ Creative Corners

By James Dixon | 12th August 2015


You would be forgiven for thinking that Cairns is all beautiful beaches, fresh air and sunshine, but on closer inspection, Cairns is so much more; The region boasts an impressive array of historical sites, arts and cultural venues, ranging from traditional Indigenous arts to contemporary and unique works.

Find out how Cairns evolved from a quaint little frontier town to the cosmopolitan metropolis it is today. By digging a little deeper into Cairns captivating history – either by guided or self-guided tours – you will be mesmerised by its fascinating and sometimes tortuous beginnings. These heritage sites scattered around the city offer fascinating historical insights either through architectural remnants, artefacts (such as implements and utensils used by our forefathers), guided interpretive tours, spoken word or images and documents relating to Cairns past. Gain an understanding of the trials and tribulations of our earliest settlers or discover intimate facts about influential people that shaped Cairns future, stretching back to 1896. Discover our native Indigenous people’s arts and culture that has been passed down for 40,000 years.

Why not have a wander around some of Cairns’ amazing historical locations, including old dance halls, Floating Sea Baths, Paronella Park, Rusty’s Market, Chinatown, Lit Sung Goong Temple, Barbary Coast, Marlin Marina, the Indigenous Hospital Camp and the Red Light District, or go back in time to the 1920s and experience the incredible hardships our Italian migrants had to endure. Get closer to nature and the spiritual places of interest of our Australian Indigenous people in the Daintree National Park. Explore the areas that were discovered by Captain Cook by visiting Cape Tribulation and learning of the first contact.

Here are a few great options for exploring the history, arts and culture of beautiful Cairns:

Creative Crawl

Periodically organised by the Council, these incredibly popular guided tours visit some of Cairns CBDs assorted arts and cultural venues. In an open-top, double-decker bus, you’ll have a ball of fun visiting a number of local arts sites. Soak up the eclectic creativity and celebrate Cairns’ cultural diversity.

Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

National and international travellers interested in the diverse cultural heritage of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders will be fascinated at what this park offers. Learn about the world’s oldest living culture, dating back to over 40,000 years. You can experience this park day or night, sample traditional bush foods, arts and dance. With an all-weather, pram and wheelchair friendly facility, you will definitely be delighted.

Daintree Walkabout

The Kuku Yalanji Dreamtime Walk takes you through he lush, thriving Daintree Rainforest – a world almost unchanged since before Europeans touched down on our shores. You’ll pass crystal clear streams and under canopy areas dotted with traditional Indigenous bark huts in areas of cultural significance. Your friendly local Indigenous guide will teach you the way of his or her ancestors, including bush tucker and medicine, the significance of cave paintings and Dreamtime stories.

The Tanks Art Centre

Situated amidst lush tropical rainforest, the Tanks Art Centre is housed in three converted naval oil storage tanks, remnants from World War II. This contemporary and innovative arts facility is a multi-use facility that presents and organises local art and cultural displays and events, as well as organises cultural expression activities within the broader community. Well worth a visit!