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Cairns Court House Complex

38 - 40 Abbott Street, Cairns

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Cairns Court House Complex (2015); Heritage Branch Staff

Cairns Court House Complex (2015)

Courthouse Hotel (2005); Heritage Branch Staff

Courthouse Hotel (2005)

Cairns Courthouse art gallery (2008); EHP

Cairns Courthouse art gallery (2008)

Cairns Court House Hotel (2009); EHP

Cairns Court House Hotel (2009)

Cairns art gallery (2010); EHP

Cairns art gallery (2010)

Cairns Courthouse Complex (2015); Heritage Branch Staff

Cairns Courthouse Complex (2015)

Cairns Court House on Abbot Street Cairns (SLQ); State Library of Queensland

Cairns Court House on Abbot Street Cairns (SLQ)

Cairns Courthouse Complex  (2016); Heritage Branch Staff

Cairns Courthouse Complex (2016)

The combination of the old courthouse and public offices on the corner of Abbott and Shields Streets provides both an art gallery, dining and entertainment venue. Construction of the courthouse commenced in 1919, using returned servicemen as labourers. The project dragged on and the Cairns Post made a brief observation in 1920, “Not Built in a Day – the new Cairns Courthouse resembles Rome in at least one particular.” Progress was indeed slow and one year later the plastering team was still working. The building was completed in January 1922, although the landscaping took a further four years. The beautiful gardens were laid out to commemorate Cairns’ 150th anniversary in 1926. A further courtroom was added in 1968. The Georgian revival building facing Shields Street was completed in 1936 to house the State Government Insurance Office, Government Tourist Bureau, Department of Agriculture and numerous other government offices. It served as such until the 1980s. Both buildings were re-purposed in the early 1990s: the courthouse is now a hotel and the public offices became the Cairns Fine Arts Gallery.

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Coordinates: -16.92131184, 145.77767774

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023