The former Cairns Customs House was erected in 1936-37 by the Commonwealth Department of the Interior, Public Works branch, largely as an employment-generating initiative. It was the third customs house on the site. The customs reserve at Cairns was the first land surveyed after proclamation of the port of Cairns on 1 November 1876. The reserve of just over 1.2 hectares included the whole of the land bounded by Abbott, Spence and Wharf Streets and the Esplanade. By July 1877 the first customs buildings were completed at what was then known as Trinity Bay, but the site was not proclaimed a customs reserve [temporary] until 1886. The buildings faced the Esplanade, and included a customs house, bond store and the sub-collector of customs' residence.
Queensland Government: Queensland Heritage Register. 2016. Cairns customs house.
Retrieved from: https://environment.ehp.qld.gov.au/heritage-register/detail/?id=600377