The Parklands underwent significant modernisation in 2015/16 and incorporates an earlier memorial to the Munro Martin sisters, widely regarded for their philanthropic work in the region. Military cadets and the Kennedy Regiment used the park, then known as Norman Park, as a drill area in the lead up to and during, the First World War. In 1916 it was the primary focus for the first ANZAC commemoration during which volunteers, later known as the 'Cane Beetles', arrived in Cairns from the region's southern towns. In 1919 returning First World War service personnel, including Henry (Harry) Dalziel VC and Caleb Shang DCM and Bar, MM, were formally welcomed home in Norman Park. Historical aspects of the park, along with several biographies of individuals associated with the park, are incorporated in new interpretive signage. Among them is a biographical plaque to Caleb Shang and a sign labelled 'A Military Takeover', outlining the Parklands' lengthy military heritage.
Munro Martin Parklands also forms part of the Cairns Region ANZAC Trail. To see more information about this trail, see the below links: