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Cairns History

Cairns hotels


The City of Cairns is sited on Trinity Beach which was named by Captain James Cook in 1770. The Aboriginal name for the area was Gimuy. In 1873 George Dalrymple led a Government expedition to survey Trinity inlet and reported favourably on its potential.


Once the gold was discovered at the Hodginson Goldfield in 1876 the inlet developed as a seaport. Cairns was proclaimed a port settlement on 7 October 1876 by the Governor of Queensland William Wellington Cairns. Cairns was made a town on the 28th May 1885 and in 1923 a city. Once the coastal railway opened in 1924 Cairns began to develop.


There is a very useful Cairns Heritage City Walk map available from the Visitor Information Centre at 51 The Esplanade. The walk takes you around some of the historical buildings within the Shield Street, Lake Street area.


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