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

Our long-awaited long weekend is here!

Friday’s the last day to go to the Cairns Show if you have a hankering for carny food and rollercoasters.

Otherwise, there’s the Kuranda Roots Festival to enjoy, a couple of Paul Kelly shows for those lucky enough to grab a ticket, plus an exciting collection of bespoke small events.

There’s hardly any chance of rain and tops of 29C.


Friday 16 July

If you haven’t dropped into this year’s Cairns Show, today’s your last chance. Open from 9am till 9pm, head to the Showgrounds for all your sideshow alley action and classic festival fare. 

Kuranda Roots Festival kicks off its three-day schedule today, Australia’s longest running outdoor roots and reggae event. Those with tickets have a myriad of live music shows and workshops to enjoy.

Paul Kelly is up at CPAC tonight for his second Cairns show before heading to Port Douglas Yacht Club. All sold out, so if you have a spare ticket – let us know!

Saturday 17 July

The Mareeba Races are on today! Tickets are available at the gate for a day of live races and music, winter fashion on the field and good times.

Pachamama by Crystalbrook is celebrating its recent reopening with a Pachella Pool Party. Drop in from 3pm for a heady afternoon of dancing, drinks and food.

Off the Dome Comedy is returning to Laneway Cairns, featuring five comics with their cleverly crafted jokes and outright stupid stories. $15/ticket, 7pm start.

CPAC is tonight screening the Gutsy Girls Adventure Film Tour, a collection of short films showcasing avid adventuring females across the world. $31/ticket, 7pm start.

Live music for the night includes Andy Martin at Macalister Brewing Company and Casey Barnes at Edge Hill Tavern, while the Professional Bull Riding tour is dropping into the Convention Centre.

Sunday 18 July

Flamingos Tiki Bar is running a Dead Man's Fingers Rum Masterclass this Sunday afternoon. A $25 ticket includes a sample of three rums, and a custom DMF tin and shot glass to take home. Tickets essential.

Unseen Cinema is screening The Godmother this Sunday afternoon, based on the acclaimed novel by Hannelore Cayre. 4:30pm start.