Skip links and keyboard navigation

Cardwell Post Office - Residence (former)

53 Victoria Street, Cardwell

Add to favourites

Cardwell Post and Telegraph office (2008); EHP

Cardwell Post and Telegraph office (2008)

Cardwell PO and Telegraph (2008); EHP

Cardwell PO and Telegraph (2008)

Cardwell Bush Telegraph (2008); EHP

Cardwell Bush Telegraph (2008)

Cardwell Bush Telegraph museum (2008); EHP

Cardwell Bush Telegraph museum (2008)

The 1870 Cardwell Telegraph Office, now a small museum, represents the significant achievement in building an overland telegraph line from Cardwell to Gilberton and the Gulf of Carpentaria. At the time, it was intended to link to Java, Indonesia, and the world, but was usurped by the line from Adelaide to Darwin. Cardwell town was established in 1864 because of its deep sheltered harbour. Substantial government infrastructure was provided, including a pilot’s quarters, police barracks and lockup, customs house and sub-collector’s residence, lands office, post office and telegraph station. The first post master fulfilled the roles of District Registrar, Sub- collector of Customs, Clerk of Petty sessions and Harbour Master. The Telegraph Office was designed by architects at the Colonial Works Office in Brisbane, overseen at the time by Charles Tiffin. The building was prefabricated and sent to Cardwell for erection. It is one of the earliest examples of prefabricated telegraph/post office building in Queensland. Although decommissioned as a post office in 1967, it continued to serve the community until 1983, when a new post office was built. In recent years it has become a major attraction as a postal museum, known as the ‘Bush Telegraph Heritage Centre’.

Featured in this trail:

Coordinates: -18.2676321, 146.02958851

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