Cairns Student Lodge’s History

The suburb of Smithfield — named after gold prospector William Smith in 1876 — was originally a township separate from Cairns. It was moved to its current location by 1881 from the banks of the Barron River after a number of floods.

James Cook University (JCU) Cairns Campus opened in 1987, and in 1999 Cairns Student Lodge was built as accommodation for JCU’s students.

The current owner of Cairns Student Lodge purchased the property on the 27 February 2016 and commenced major renovations to student rooms, common areas, and the grounds, bringing Cairns Student Lodge into the 21st century. These renovations were finished in January 2017 and the response from the residents has been very positive.


Acknowledgement of the Traditional Owners


The land upon which the lodge is built is part of the country traditionally owned by the Djabugay (pronounced japurkai), Yirrijandji (pronounced irrikandji) and Gimuy Yidinji (pronounced goom eyeyidinji).

The current owners and staff of Cairns Student Lodge would like to recognise the traditional owner of the site and acknowledge the elders past and present. We recognise the traditional owners’ deep and continuing cultural and spiritual connection to the area.