Expected to open any day soon , the $35million Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre , above , will be a strong challenge to the 30 year old Townsville Great Barrier Reef Aquarium , below , recently the subject of criticism about the condition of some of its public facilities .
The Cairns venture hopes to attract 500,000 visitors a year , many of them from China , a Chinese airline having recently started direct flights to the city . Recently reopened in the CBD is the renovated over two years at a cost of $10million Cairns Museum, in the School of Arts building , which this blog was unfortunately unable to invade because it was not yet open to the public during a trip north . However, visible from the street , was a display of cane cutters' knives used by toilers over the years .
Harold Jung , keen on body building and martial arts , also researched the life of Michael "Tarzan " Fomenko , called the wild white man, which was eventually made into a book by Cairns Historical Society member Peter Ryle. Fomenko gave up Sydney life to roam about the wild north , at one stage building a canoe on the Jung farm at Deeral ; he made an 800km trip from Cooktown to Dutch New Guinea in another canoe he built . See Little Darwin post MY LONG CHASE AFTER TARZAN , July 17, 2016.
Another exterior wall of the museum displayed large early photographs of the North , including a huge crocodile skin .
An interesting development is the purchase by the Cairns Regional Council of the old Courthouse Hotel which closed . It is right next to the Cairns Regional Art Gallery and it is not clear if it will be turned into an extension of the gallery, which has limited space.