History of Chinatown Hou Wang temple Museum & interpretation Visit Chinatown Other sites
Museum display

new directions

Gone are the sounds of a busy community - no steaming pork at festivals, no clatter of drays full of maize, nor the crack of the teamsters’ whips. While little of Chinatown remains to be seen, the memories linger.

The Temple of Hou Wang still fulfils one of its official roles – a place where the ancestors are venerated.
Beneath the grass lies the archaeological story, and in the archives and the minds of descendants and neighbours, lie what remains of those challenging years.


interactive interpretation

Through the work of archaeologists and historians, the museum at Atherton Chinatown brings together stories of the community that once stood here.

Names like See Poy, Jue Sue, Gee Kee, Fong On, Low Choy and others, are an integral part of North Queensland history. Through a series of interactive multimedia displays, guided tours and exhibits, their stories are brought to life.

A visit to Atherton Chinatown includes:

• Chinatown museum: interactive diplays, oral histories and artefacts recovered from the Chinatown site
• 30 minute guided tour of Hou Wang Temple and Meeting Hall
• Chinatown gift shop


restoration of chinatown

Atherton Chinatown is a rich source of history. The entire area is heritage listed as a significant archaeological site.

During 2000 - 2002 Atherton Chinatown was the focus of a conservation and interpretation project funded by the Queensland Heritage Trails Network.

A total of $1.3 million was spent restoring the temple complex and developing the interpretive centre.


Atherton Chinatown has received the 2003 National Trust of Queensland Gold Award for excellence in cultural tourism.

2003 Tourism Awards Winner
Atherton Chinatown has received the 2003 Tropical North Queensland award for New Tourism Development.


In order to help care for the Temple, the Friends of Hou Wang Temple was formed in 1995. With the completion of conservation, this group disbanded and has since formed the Tablelands branch of the National Trust of Queensland.

Volunteers at work

Enthusiastic members, have spent many hours as volunteer conservators, guides and custodians.


Coin symbol from Hou Wang Temple TTNQ Award winners 2003

Artefacts on display
Artefacts recovered from the site estabiish a link with the people who once lived here.
Caretakers kitchen
The temple caretakers quarters - part
of the Hou Wang Temple complex.
Main street 1916
Main street Chinatown, 1916.
The temple, located towards the end of the street is set back from the road.
Main street 2003
Main street Chinatown, 2003.
Welcome to Atherton Chinatown