Barrier Reef Hotel, Cairns

Barrier Reef Hotel, Cairns

The Barrier Reef Hotel, formerly known as the Empire Hotel, is a historic and heritage-listed establishment. Designed by Lawrence and Lordan in conjunction with Richard Hill, and constructed in 1926 by Carl Peter Jorgensen, the hotel stands as a testament to the region's rich architectural history.

Originally commissioned by PJ Doyle Ltd, wine and spirit merchants of Cairns and Thursday Island, the Barrier Reef Hotel was intended to replace the earlier Empire Hotel that had been operating on the same site since 1898. The hotel was strategically positioned at the corner of Wharf and Abbott Streets, offering visitors and guests a prominent and easily accessible location.

The building itself is a two-storeyed structure made of reinforced concrete, showcasing the architectural styles prevalent during the 1920s. One of its distinctive features is the wide verandah attached to the parapet walls along Wharf and Abbott Streets. Supported by sturdy timber posts, the verandah boasts an evenly spaced design, with the posts on either side of the street intersection deliberately absent—a unique and original touch that adds character to the building.

The verandah exhibits a simple slatted balustrade at the first-floor level, while a later skirt with a segmental profile of slatted boards sits below it between the supporting posts. Although the verandah on Abbott Street has been enclosed at the first-floor level, the building still retains its charm and historical significance.

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Barrier Reef Hotel on Map

Sight Name: Barrier Reef Hotel
Sight Location: Cairns, Australia (See walking tours in Cairns)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cairns, Australia

Create Your Own Walk in Cairns

Create Your Own Walk in Cairns

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cairns is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cairns Introduction Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
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The vibrant port town of Cairns, ensconced on the verdant fringes of Australia's sun-kissed northeastern coast, stands as a live manifestation of its storied past, adorned with a collection of historical edifices that exude an air of refined antiquity and cultural grandeur. Each architectural gem, a chapter in the city's chronicle, beckons admirers to embark upon a journey through time.
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles