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

This weekend brings the Taipans' long-awaited homecoming to the Snake Pit, as well as Christmas markets and carols right across the region. 

Cairns is also welcoming a good dose of comedy, cricket, art exhibitions and pool party action. 

The forecast looks to be fairly sunny, clear skies, with only a small chance of showers increasing on Sunday. 


Friday 10 December

ClimateForce is hosting a fundraiser for its project Tropical ReGen, which aims to plant 360,000 trees in depleted Eastern Kuku Yalanji Country. Head to the Cairns Institute at JCU this Friday for a short doco screening, live music, open panel discussions and a raffle! 4.30 to 7.30pm, tickets $17.

UMI Arts launches its latest exhibition, Summer Show, alongside a special screening of a documentary on Ugar and Guuguyimidhirr artist, Kel Williams. The production is the first of a new UMI Arts series on local Elder artists, while the exhibition features an eclectic collection of prints, paintings, carvings, jewellery and artefacts – including some available for sale. 6pm start, RSVPs essential.

Marsh Property Freshwater Christmas Festival is on this weekend, showcasing around 50 stalls filled with all things festive. Live music, carols, face painting, food trucks and a licenced bar will also be on site. Free event at the Freshwater Tennis Club, 5 to 10pm.

Saturday 11 December

It’s the last run of the year for the Mareeba Markets this Saturday, and Centenary Park will be packed to the rafters with local stalls. 7.30am to 12.30pm.

The Barrier Reef Big Bash is turning pink this weekend as part of Pink Stumps Day, in support of the McGrath Foundation. Saturdays matches will coincide with a cake stall fundraiser at Griffiths Park, and spectators are encouraged to also dress in pink threads! Games start at 2pm and 6.30pm.

Today’s the last day to see the Brian Cassey: A Photographer's Life - Part Two collection at the Court House Gallery. The exhibition highlights Cassey’s shift from a long and very successful career in media photography, to work that’s often purely observational. Free to visit. 10am to 4pm.

Motel Nomad is throwing a Pink Noise Pool Party this Saturday, with Ironing Maidens (DJ set), Madam Manana and Eclektia headlining the bill. Think glitz and glamour, poolside fun, all pink-themed attire and drinks. 2 to 10pm, tickets $20.

There's more pool party action over at Crystalbrook Riley, where Wolf Lane Distillery is launching its latest product, the Wild Berry Seltzer. The day features DJ Just Andy, DJ Safage, an espresso martini pop-up bar and plenty of good vibes. $20 tickets include a welcome drink. 1pm to 5pm. 

Kuranda HEARTbeats & Twilight Trading is on this Saturday, with lots of local artist displays, live music and a special quest for the kids! 10am to 10pm.

It’s the Taipans first home game and long-awaited return to the Cairns Convention Centre this weekend. The Orange Army is taking on the Tasmania JackJumpers at 7pm. Tickets from $25.

Sunday 12 December 

The Holloways Beach Markets returns this Sunday, for the last time this year! Along the Esplanade you’ll find scores of stalls selling locally-made gifts and a treasure trove of preloved goods. 8am to 1pm.

The Showgrounds hosts the COUCH Christmas Market this Sunday morning, featuring more than 160 stalls in the Fred Moule Pavilion. Gold coin donation on entry, 8am to 2pm.

As the Council’s annual carols event goes online for a second year, local churches have banded together to put on the Cairns Community Carols in the Showgrounds! Free event, registrations encouraged. 5 to 9pm.

Paramour Cabaret Theatre is hosting comic Mel Buttle at this Sunday, presented by Good Chat Comedy Club. Buttle’s wry yet loveable performance will have you in stitches, next to a bunch of great support acts. 7pm start, tickets from $35.