Tropic Weekender: Our guide to the best events and things to do in Cairns

Exciting news – events are starting to creep back into our August calendar!

This weekend comes loaded with live music, country markets, and a chance to chill out with a film or two.

There’s also plenty of adventures to find around the region, with local discounts to boot.


Friday 20 August

Local First Nations singer-songwriter and storyteller, David Hudson, presents the story of his lifetime that is both as epic as The Dreamtime and as intimate as a campfire yarn. From Campfire to Stagelight plays at Bulmba-ja Arts Centre, 6pm start. Tickets essential.

Local artist Tessa Devine is teaming up with fellow indie/rock/roots artist Tullara to play at Bar36 this Friday evening. Free event in the steampunk-style bar.

Also in the CBD is Kaweyova, playing at Roo Bar & Grill from 6.30pm. The local artist has a unique sound after growing up in the Trobriand Islands, PNG, without the influence of radio or television.

Saturday 21 August

Ahead of the Cairns Cup next weekend, Cannon Park Racecourse is hosting the Red Beret Hotel Ladies Day this Saturday. Don those fascinators and catch all the trackside action from midday. Tickets essential.

Gearing up for the Tropical Steampunk Gala in September? Head to the Pier for an upcycled costuming workshop, facilitated by local artist Hayley Gillespie. 10am to midday.

The Mareeba Drive-In is screening two recently released films this weekend, Fast and Furious 8 and Old. $14 per person for the two movies, with hot food cooked on site and camping offered afterward. Pooches are welcome to cuddle up too!

Sunday 22 August

Tessa Devine has another gig lined up this weekend, dropping into Ellis Beach Bar & Grill. Soul music, good food and a golden coastline sounds like the perfect kind of Sunday. 1pm start.

Unseen Cinema has a “deceptively complex” love story in store this Sunday, screening The Two of Us – the tale of two retired women and neighbours who have secretly been in love for decades. BCC Earlville, 4.30pm start.

Today’s also the last day to catch RITUAL: the past in the present at Cairns Art Gallery. Don’t miss this collection of over 30 artists’ work across the themes of history, tradition and beliefs, highlighting contemporary Indigenous artists in our region and others in the Asia Pacific.