Z EXPERIMENTAL STATION CAIRNS (Z.E.S.)
"THE HOUSE ON THE HILL"
FAIRVIEW FARM, MOOROOBOOL, CAIRNS
The military commandeered "Fairview House" on Fairview Farm at Mooroobool in Cairns, north Queensland during WWII and used it as Cairns (Z-ES) Training School for "Z" Special Operations Commandos. "Fairview House" became known as "The House on the Hill". The area had previously been known as Ah Ching's Hill. "Fairview Farm" was leased by the Royal Australian Navy for 1 Pounds a month.
Fairview House "The House on the Hill"
"The House on the Hill" was used between 1942 and 1944 by Z Special Unit as their Z Experimental Station or Z.E.S. Z Special Unit used "The House on the Hill" to plan Operation Jaywick, the successful mission to blow up Japanese shipping in Singapore Harbour. The fourteen British and Australian Commandos trained in the Barron River and on the beaches north of Cairns on The Krait, an old Japanese fishing vessel in which they left Cairns on 9 August 1943 and travelled the 3,840 kms to Singapore.
ZES Cairns was used as a training and departure location for many Operations carried of by Special Operations Australia.
There is a plaque at the right hand side of the main gate at HMAS Cairns base commemorating the Z Special Unit's role during WWII. During the "Australia Remembers 50 years On" celebrations there was a table displayed at the old Cairns Post Offices of timber from "The House on the Hill".
"The House on the Hill" became a popular night club location in Cairns but later burnt down. Attila Feher-Holan remembers playing in some slit trenches at the rear of the house when he was a young boy until someone filled them all in.
I'd like to thank Attila Feher-Holan for his assistance with this web page.
Can anyone help me with more information?
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 26 November 2007
This page last updated 02 August 2016