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

The most festive month of the year is here! 

Cairns has Christmas markets galore this weekend, alongside food events, outdoor parties, and exhibition openings. 

The forecast is looking sunny, with only a small chance of showers and temperatures topping 34 degrees.  


Thursday 2 December

One of our favourite monthly activities, Miss Chief’s Yum Cha Emporiums, is back! Eight delectable plates of dumplings and Asian-inspired bites, along with a glass of wine or a beer for $55pp. 7pm start, bookings essential. 

Cairns Art Gallery tonight launches its latest exhibition, Deadly Threads – a collection that explores the emergence and significance of Indigenous jerseys and t-shirts. 6 to 8.30pm, free event but RVSPs required. 

Twilight at Limberlost is returning this Thursday, a celebration of Christmas with a bunch of free activities including plant and craft workshops, face painting, kids entertainment. 5.30 to 7.30pm. 

Friday 3 December

As part of the Just Not Australian exhibition, NorthSite Contemporary Arts will be screening TERROR NULLIUS by Soda Jer this Friday, in partnership with End Credits Film Club. Part political satire, eco-horror and road movie, TERROR NULLIUS is a political revenge fable that offers an unwriting of Australian national mythologies. Free event, bookings essential.

Guyala Café is hosting its another wine and cheese affair, this time welcoming Little Brunswick Wine Co. $65pp includes a selection of traditionally crafted minimal wines paired with gourmet cheeses, alongside a chat to the makers. 5:30pm start, tickets essential.

Making its way around a few favourite local venues recently, Music Bingo is now heading to Bar 94. Free entry and great prizes on offer!

Saturday 4 December

Gordonvale Cottage Markets are on this morning, where you’ll find a huge variety of plants, clothes and handcrafts in Norman Park until midday.

One of Port's newest venues The Smokey Pint is throwing a party, Pig in the Pint. The day features seven hours of live entertainment, pork on the spit, Coral Sea beers plus seltzer on tap, and great tunes by Timber and Wood. $50 at the door or $40 pre-booked online. 2 to 9pm. 

More Christmas markets can be found at Redlynch Valley’s Xavier Herbert Park this weekend. There’ll be food vans, live music, a jumping castle and a surprise visit from Santa! 

Sunday 5 December 

More weekend markets! Palm Cove Markets will be on from 8am to 2pm along the Esplanade, while those spending Sunday in the Tablelands might like to drop into the Tolga Markets from 7:30am till midday.

A Sunday sesh will be in full swing at Shangri-La’s The Backyard this weekend, with a Patron Party in the marina-side outdoor container bar. $80pp includes a four-hour food and drinks package, live entertainment and unlimited wigs! 2.30 to 6.30pm, bookings essential.