Heritage and Museums

Cardwell bush telegraph building at the cardwell visitor herit rz

Cardwell Museum & Heritage Precinct

Cardwell has a heritage precinct made up of the Bush Telegraph (an historic post office and telegraph station), the J.C. Hubinger Museum (the old Shire Hall), the old court house and gaol.


51-53 Victoria Street (Bruce Highway), Cardwell, at the corner of Balliol St (map)
Ph: 07 4066 2412

Opening Hours

Bush Telegraph & Court House Self Guided

Monday to Thursday 9am to 4:30pm
Saturday 9am to 12noon

J C Hubinger Museum Staffed Hours

Monday to Thursday 9:30am to 12:00pm | 1:00pm to 3:30pm

  • Free admission (donations welcome)
  • Group/school visits encouraged
  • Guided or self-guided tours available
  • Parking in Balliol Street (room for coaches)
  • Wheelchair access

  Img 4473 rz   Inside the cardwell bush telegraph4 rz

About the Bush Telegraph

The old Cardwell Telegraph and Post Office (now known as the Bush Telegraph) was built in 1870 and is one of the oldest buildings in North Queensland. It is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, the Register of the National Trust and the Register of the National Estate of the Australian Heritage Commission.

The telegraph building harks back to Cardwell's earliest days. The old post office, courthouse, lock-up and shire hall tell the story of Cardwell and its vital role in the development of North Queensland. The old hall was badly damaged by Cyclone Yasi in February 2011 but has been lovingly restored.

The buildings were officially opened as a heritage centre in 2003.

Exhibits give visitors an insight into how a telegraph station worked, how we used to communicate and how towns operated in early North Queensland.

Inside the old town hall at the cardwell visitor heritage cent2 rz

Things to Do

Visitors can send a morse code message or ‘race to the top of Australia' in the Journey Room. They can look at old weather instruments and get a feel for the early judicial system in the courthouse and lock-up. School groups are given activity sheets. Themed kits are available for organised group visits.

J.C. Hubinger Museum

The J.C. Hubinger Museum, a heritage-listed building, dates back to 1892 and was originally the Cardwell Shire Hall and centre of shire administration.

Art Gallery

The recently refurbished old School of Arts building dates back to 1923. This is the home of the Hinchinbrook Regional Arts Gallery, and is situated beside the Cardwell Library across the road from the Bush Telegraph.

Innisfail & District Historical Society

The Innisfail & District Historical Society was established to research, preserve and display the history of the Johnstone Shire, to ensure that the heritage of the area is not lost.

Innisfail Museum is housed in the old School of Arts building and occupies the ground floor and one room on the first floor. The collection relates to local history and contains items from all facets of life from the early settlement of Geraldton (name later changed to Innisfail after confusion with Geraldton in Western Australia). Items include personal possessions; rural, recreational, medical, biological, Aboriginal and Chinese artefacts; and a number of early photographs showing cyclone and flood damage, local industries and life in a tropical town. 

For more information please visit www.innisfailhistory.com.au 

Mission Beach Historical Society

Mission Beach Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting all of Mission Beach history, to ensure that future generations may fully see and appreciate the rich heritage of our community.

For more information please visit: www.mbhs.com.au/



Heritage Collections

Cassowary Coast Libraries actively collects and preserves our region's rich history. Our heritage collections contain primary and secondary resources to help with researching local and family history. Go to the Library and Museum Services website for additional information on heritage collections at cassowarycoast.qld.gov.au/libraries