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

'Tis the weekend before Christmas, and our last Tropic Weekender of 2021!

We're ready to get a little merry with art markets for Christmas gift buying, followed by live music and a roaring 20s party. 

The weather looks to be sunny and warm, with next to no chance of rain. 


Thursday 16 December

If you’re on the lookout for some new artwork or the perfect Christmas gift, head to the NorthSite Art Market this Thursday evening. Featuring 28 local and Indigenous artists and studios from across Queensland, there’ll be a diverse collection of fine art prints to peruse or purchase. 5 to 8pm, free event, RVSP here.

Sauce Brewing Co is teaming up with Distil on the Hill to host a Beer and Spirits Degustation. Tickets are $75 and include a four-course set menu, each dish paired with a beer and gin taster. Bookings essential.

Friday 17 December

Jenna’s Secret Jungle is celebrating its new pop-up plant shop on 82 Lake Street with a Candlelight Christmas Party. Head there after 6pm to check out the green space, grab some food and enjoy live music and poetry.

Crate59 is showcasing 100 postcard-sized artworks in its exhibition Wish You Were Here, with each of them up for auction! Head to the opening night tonight where biddings will be finalised. 6pm start, free event.  

Saturday 18 December

Another plant party! Succuliving is hosting a Christmas Log Arrangement workshop, where you’ll fill a repurposed wood log with a collection of succulents – making the perfect Christmas gift or table centrepiece. $85pp includes a drink on arrival, grazing platter to share, and step by step instructions and all materials. 4.30pm, bookings essential.

The Court House’s Out on the Lawn series is bringing a suite of local artists together this Saturday, featuring Steele Syndicate, Mike Rivett Funk Collective, Aurelle Brunjes and The Star Boys. Free event, 6pm start.

Izy, Water Streets, Magik Carpet Ride, Los Caracoles & DJ Kuku are joining musical forces at Elixir Bar this Saturday, with all proceeds going to Free West Papua and Free the Mapuche Nation organisations. 6.30pm start, $10 entry on the door.

The Taipans return to the Snake Pit this Saturday after their big win last weekend. Watch them take on the Adelaide 36ers at 7pm. 

Up for a little roaring 20s? Bar 94 is throwing Speakeasy Gatsby Christmas Ball, featuring international and local DJs Ashcats Soundsystem, Rizon and Sunnyjim, plus pizza specials to keep you partying. $5 entry all night with a free welcome drink, 1920s dress code. 7pm start.

Sunday 19 December 

Has your work year ended early? Pacifico is throwing the ultimate Sunday sesh, with house, garage and jungle beats by four international DJs, free entry all night and a free sausage sizzle. 7pm till midnight.   

For something a little more low-key, House of Commons is welcoming Brisbane-based band Out of Abingdon and their soulful, acoustic, lounge music. 7.30pm start, free event.