Resize textTwitterFacebook Instagram

2011 Standards Participants - Cooktown and Tablelands

The 2011 Standards Program worked with a diverse group of galleries and museums from across the Far North Qld regions of Cooktown and Atherton.

M&GSQ is pleased to acknowledge the support of Cooktown & District Historical Society Inc and the Regional Arts Development Fund that made it possible to bring this program to Cooktown. This Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government and Cook Shire Council partnership to support local arts and culture.

M&GSQ is pleased to acknowledge the support of Mareeba Historic Society Inc and the Regional Arts Development Fund that made it possible to bring this program to the Tablelands. This Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government and Tablelands Regional Council partnership to support local arts and culture.

Atherton Chinatown

Hans Pehl's dragon at the entrance to Atherton Chinatown. Credit: Tim Nemeth

The National Trust property, Atherton Chinatown, incorporates an interpretive centre and the Hou Wang Temple. The museum is located in the old Atherton Post Office building.

The exhibitions orient visitors to the Atherton Chinatown site. Information panels, images, objects and interactive displays give the visitors relevant historical insight into Chinese culture and adaptions to day to day life in far north Queensland. Important temple objects including the official temple seal are also on display.

The Hou Wang temple is the only remaining Chinatown building. It is also the only original timber and iron Chinese Temple in Australia and New Zealand. Guided tours of the temple are a highlight of a visit to Atherton Chinatown, however visitors are also able to stroll the grounds and gardens as part of a self guided tour following the interpretive signs at their own pace.

Street address: 86 Herberton Rd, Atherton

Cooktown History Centre

The oldest building in Charlotte St, built in 1876 as the Post and Telegraph office, now repaired and repainted to house the Cooktown History Centre. Credit: David Barker

The Cooktown History Centre resides in the former Shire Offices in Charlotte Street. Built in 1876 as the first Post and Telegraph Office in Cooktown, it is the oldest surviving building in Charlotte Street.

The Centre is the location for a number of functions and facilities of the Cooktown and District Historical Society (CDHS): Cooktown through the years: A comprehensive display details the history of Cooktown’s establishment; archives and research facility; storage for original materials; a library of publications about Cooktown and District; staff office and facilities; local publications and souvenirs for sale.

Street address: 121 Charlotte St, Cooktown

Herberton Mining Museum

Visitors enjoying the Great Northern Mine Walk at the Herberton Mining Museum. Credit: John Philippa, Herberton Mining Museum Volunteer.

Herberton Mining Museum is located on the historic Great Northern Mine site where a tin-rush took place in 1880. Within a year over 150 mines were being worked and Herberton became the first town on the Tablelands. The site is recognised for the rarity and intactness of the surviving steam haulage machinery, which surpasses any other mining place in Queensland.

The Great Northern Mine has a significant place in Queensland’s mining history for its central role in the development of the mining industry on the Atherton Tableland and the development of Cairns as a major port in far north Queensland.

Street address: 1 Jacks Rd, Herberton

James Cook Museum

James Cook Museum building.Credit: James Cook Museum

Housed in a stunning 19th Century convent building, the James Cook Museum in Cooktown showcases the fascinating history of this remarkable town. The museum follows the story of Captain James Cook’s enforced seven week stay at the Endeavour River, during which the first meaningful contact between Europeans and Indigenous Australians took place, to the days of the Palmer River gold rush, as well as personal stories from Cooktown’s early residents.

The museum’s exhibits are rich and varied. The Endeavour Gallery gives a fascinating insight into the time Cook and his crew spent at the site of modern Cooktown repairing their ship after their catastrophic grounding on nearby Endeavour Reef. The highlight of the gallery is the original anchor and cannon from the Endeavour, jettisoned from the ship in 1770 and only retrieved from the reef in the early 1970s. The Endeavour Gallery not only explores the fight for survival Cook and his men faced on the reef, but also documents the many discoveries made by the scientific team during their stay at the Endeavour River. Integral to Australian history and identity is the interaction between Cook and the local Guugu Yimithiir people – the most extensive he experienced in Australia – and this story is told from both perspectives.

Street address: 50 Helen St, Cooktown

Mareeba Heritage Centre Incorporated

Converted AEC powered rail motor used from 1949 to the mid 1970's as a Rail Ambulance by the Mareeba Hospitals Board.Credit: Mareeba Heritage Centre

Mareeba Heritage Centre is a vibrant museum and tourist information centre established in 1995 and well supported by its diverse multicultural community. Its collection of over 5,000 items owned, used and proudly donated by members of the community form the basis of its comprehensive and ingenious displays reflecting the heritage and culture of Mareeba and its district.

Mareeba Heritage Centre is the custodian of Australia’s best tobacco industry collection. Mareeba-Dimbulah was the centre of tobacco growing in Australia. A new display tells this powerful story of hard work, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. Anonymous donations of homemade tobacco ‘chop-chop’ and the farmers locally invented machine, used to chop tobacco for home use and in some cases for the black market, capture the reality of local experiences of cat and mouse with authority.

Street address: 345 Byrnes St, Centenary Park, Mareeba

Mareeba Historic Society

Part of the Mareeba Rodeo Collection.Credit: M&GSQ staff

The Mareeba Historic Society was formed in 1993 to seek out, preserve and conserve the history of all areas encompassed by the original Mareeba Shire as well as neighbouring towns and shires.

Our research centre holdings include images, objects and archives, which describe the social, economic, industrial and agricultural history of the area.

We are an excellent resource for researchers and family historians. Our holdings include lists of burials and monumental inscriptions and cemetery lists for most of the 38 cemeteries; a large image collection; a maps and plans collection; an extensive library and archive which includes published works on Mareeba’s history.

The collections also include artifacts and information concerning the First and Second World Wars. Our website about Jack & Newell, concerning local storeowners from 1893 to the mid-1970s, is well worth a visit.

Street address: 345 Byrnes St, Centenary Park, Mareeba

Nature's Powerhouse

Nature's Powerhouse entrance.Credit: Beverley Grant

Nature’s PowerHouse is a large interpretive centre, stunningly located in the beautiful, heritage listed Cooktown Botanic Gardens.  Nature’s PowerHouse houses the Cook Shire Visitor Information Centre, an Art Gallery - the Vera Scarth-Johnson and the Charles Tanner Galleries, a café and gift store.

The Cook Shire Visitor Information Centre provides comprehensive visitor information for people visiting Cape York Peninsula 7 days a week.

The Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery displays the only collection of original botanical illustrations of flora from the region. Many plants can be found in the adjoining Botanic Gardens.  The Tanner Gallery hosts visiting exhibitions throughout the year ranging from large national displays such as the East Coast Encounters exhibition to local exhibitions highlighting the diversity of artistic talent of people living in Cape York Peninsula and Far North Queensland.

Street address: Cooktown Botanic Gardens, 1 Walker St, Cooktown

Tableland Regional Gallery

Tableland Regional Gallery.Credit: TRG

The Tableland Regional Gallery is situated in a region of diverse landscapes including World Heritage Wet Tropics, expansive Savannah country along with a variety of agricultural and pastoral farmlands. This environment has attracted a thriving arts community of fibre artists, potters, photographers, sculptors, artists and teachers. The Tableland Regional Gallery was established in March 2008 to promote regional art and to encourage both emerging and professional artists. It is the only regional gallery in an area slightly larger than Tasmania with a population of 42,000 and it has become an important part of cultural life in Atherton and on the Tablelands.

Street address: 16 Robert Street, Atherton


Museums & Galleries Queensland
122 Gerler Road
Hendra QLD 4011

t: (07) 3059 9740 / Freecall within QLD: 1800 866 101

ABN: 32 109 874 811
ACN: 109 874 811

M&G QLD is supported by

© 2019 Museums & Galleries Queensland
Web design ToadShow