Alina Polishuk


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Tropic (Long) Weekender: Your curated guide to the best events across the Cairns region this weekend

 We've got a big weekend ahead, folks. Not only is it Australia Day weekend, we're also celebrating Chinese New Year. There's an absolute ton to do, whether you're in the mood for a day of beach and BBQ at Yorkeys Knob, browsing through artisanal goods and fresh produce at the Yungabarra Markets, or want to see the Lunar New Year fireworks on the Esplanade. 

So there might be a slight chance of rain (60% on Saturday and Sunday and 80% on Monday), but don't let that deter you. You've got a three-day mini-break ahead, so get out and enjoy it. 

Friday January 24

1. Craft Beer Appreciation Night at Hemingway's Cairns Wharf 
If you're looking to learn a bit more about beer, what better place to go than Carins' biggest brewery? This informative evening is hosted by Brews News' Pete "Prof" Mitcham and Hemingway's head brewer Anthony Clem. All profits from the $15 event will be donated to the Red Cross as a part of the Beers for Bushfire Relief initiative. More info here

2. Aperitivo at Veloce Espresso Bar
Enjoy your post-work drinks and nibbles the Italian way. More info here.  

3. Chinese New Year kickoff at Cairns Esplanade
Happy year of the rat! Revellers are in for a treat at CADCAI's Chinese New Year kickoff celebrations on the Esplanade this year, with incredible cultural performances (including a collaboration between traditional Chinese lion dancers and local Minjil Indigenous dancers) and fireworks to bring prosperity and ward off bad luck. More info here

Saturday January 25

4. Yungabarra Markets
It's the fourth Sunday of the month, and you know what that means... time for a trip to the Tablelands for yummy local treats, fresh produce, and lots of artisan goodies. More info here

5. Sausage Sizzle Fundraiser at Clifton Beach Butchery
All proceeds will towards bushfire relief in the Snowy Mountains. It doesn't hurt that the sausages are award winning, and there will also be a raffle with some pretty great prizes. More info here

6. GABS Hottest 100 Countdown at Hemingway's Cairns Wharf
Help the Hemingway's crew count down the 100 best Aussie craft beers of 2019. More info here

7. Flamingos Tiki Takeover Pool Party at Pullman Palm Cove
For a taste of Tiki in the tropics, head over to the Pullman Palm Cove for an afternoon of crafty cocktails whipped up by guest bartenders from Flamingos Tiki Bar. More info here.  

8. Lion Dancing at Cairns Central
For those that miss out on Friday night's Esplanade performance. More info here

9. Chinese New Year Banquet at Golden Boat
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a Chinese feast. There will, of course, be more lion dancing! More info here

10. Northlane 4D Regional Tour at Tanks Arts Centre
After a massive national headline tour across the country, metallers Northlane are heading around Oz again on a regional tour. They'll perform tracks their latest Aria-nominated album, Alien. More info here

11. Triple J's Hottest 100 'Deck Party' Countdown at Gilligan's
Countdown the much anticipated Triple J's Hottest 100 2019 with a crowd. Lounge poolside, have a few drinks, and hear the songs that Australians loved the most this year. More info here

12. INXS and Midnight Oil tribute show at The Jack
What better way to celebrate the country than to honour some of its most prolific musical legends? Head to The Jack on Australia Day-eve to soak it all in. More info here

13. At the Edge Oz Rockfest at Edge Hill Tavern
Four local bands will take the stage. More info here

Sunday January 26

14. Boardwalk Social's official opening party
Flynn might not open its doors for overnighters until later, but its marketplace-style eatery will be ready to rock this weekend. Join the Crystalbrook crew for an afternoon and evening of tasty bites and awesome DJ like Brooke Evers and DJ Madison. More info here

15. Australia Day Sunday Session at The Pier Bar
Live music and snags on the BBQ. More info here

16. Make it Rain Bushfire Fundraiser at The Woolshed
As well as putting on a great party, the team at The Woolshed are donating all profits from Great Northern sales to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. There will be huge prize giveaways every half hour, live performance by Kaweyova, local DJs Allan Ay & Faure. Doors open at 6pm so get in early! More info here.

17. Australia Day on the Esplanade
Great Australian Bites is an event hosted by Cairns Regional Council in partnership with the Queensland Government. Restaurants from The Pier will be dishing up plates featuring local ingredients, and a program of live performers will keep everyone entertained. Don't miss the original Connecting Ancient Cultures performance by CADCAI Lions and MINJIL Indigenous dancers, and some distinctly Aussie flavoured fun with Hit FM to judge the Vegemite finger-painting competition. More info here.

18. Australia Day Movie Pool Party at Paradise Palms
Oz day fun for the whole family. More info here

19. Australia Day Beach BBQ at Yorkeys Knob
Grab a free sausage sandwich from 7am and relax on the Yorkeys foreshore with live entertainment, food and market stalls, music, beach activities, martial arts circuit, raffles, prizes, face painting, jumping castle, the cutting of the Australia Day cake and more. Presented by the Cairns Regional Council and supported by Yorkeys Knob Community Progress and Residents Association. More info

20. Beers and BBQ at Hemingway's Cairns Wharf
Is there anything more Aussie than beers and BBQ? Head down to Hemingway's from 2-6pm for live music, Australia Day games for the whole family, and a Bushfire Relief raffle. More info here

21. Australia Day Weekend at Cazalys
The crew at Cazalys have an actioned packed 3-day weekend planned for the entire family. Lunch specials, wildlife shows and jumpy castles will keep the kids entertained, while drinks, live entertainment and "Ocker Bingo" will be fun for the grownups. And don't miss out on a special Aussie brekkie buffet on Sunday! More info here

22. TABOO Cabaret Revue
Do something a little different this Australia Day and head to the Paramour Theatre for a sexy 90-minute comedy-cabaret-burlesque show. There's pre-show entertainment and a post-show party in the brand new Library Bar. More info here. 

23. Mates Helping Mates Bushfire Appeal at Port Douglas Sporting Ground
Celebrate Australia Day by taking care of fellow Australians. All proceeds from the event will go to and state-based CWA organisations. More info here.