Tanks Art Centre

One of the most highly distinctive and dynamic performance spaces in the country. With a strong focus on music, expect to see the best of Australian and international artists working in a range of forms from country to hip hop.


46 Collins Avenue, Edge Hill – 4km north of Cairns CBD adjacent to the Cairns Botanic Gardens, Centenary Lakes and Red and Blue Arrow Walking Trails of Mount Whitfield.

WORLD WAR 2 Tanks site excavation circa. 1942 - image courtesy of the National Archives, Victoria

The demands of naval operations during the Pacific War were responsible for the building of these 3 concrete fuel tanks, completed for the Royal Australian Navy in 1944, and carefully camouflaged under the rainforest shroud of Mount Whitfield to protect them from enemy eyes. 

The tanks held crude type furnace oil and pumped it through an underground pipeline to a fuelling jetty in Trinity Inlet. The Australian Navy used the Tanks for refuelling Australian and visiting American and British ships right up until their decommissioning in 1987. 


In a prescient move, Council purchased the land on which the Tanks stands in 1991 to address the community’s need for more arts space and associated facilities, and to house Council’s Youth Arts programs previously rolled out from the Graft’n’Arts centre.  In 1992 a Federal Government grant was received to allow initial re-development of the site to accommodate all of these requirements.


Whilst being a standalone venue, Tanks is furthermore an integral Current performance spacecomponent of the Cairns Botanic Gardens, the city’s 38 hectare botanic & cultural precinct.  Given the area’s significance to the region, the entire precinct was placed on the State Heritage Register in 2006, and is currently undergoing major redevelopment works to formalise and expand the area into a highly attractive, environmental parkland and must-see destination for the best in tropical botanical and cultural experiences reflective of the region.



Free car parking is available close to the site along Collins Avenue and in Tank 1 car park (close to railway line and Sheridan Street).

Three accessible car parks can be found directly in front of the Main Entrance to Tanks Arts Centre (in front of Tank 4); and one on Collins Avenue in front of Wild Bean Café.



Travel Beats Transfers door to door. SEE HERE for more details $25 per person return