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

The weekend is nearing, bringing with it a whole bunch of events to enjoy in Cairns and the Tablelands. 

We've put together all the details on local live music, outdoor cinema, NAIDOC Week events, Kitty Flanagan comedy show and the Mareeba Rodeo. 

The showers are likely to ease over the weekend, making way for a bit of sun across Saturday and Sunday. 


Friday 9 July

Cairns NAIDOC festivities kick off this morning with a march from Munro Martin Parklands, followed by Indigenous stalls selling handmade arts and craft, food, dances and live music throughout the day at Fogarty Park. 9:30am to 6pm.

Tanks is hosting three mates with three distinct music styles tonight – Alex Lloyd, Jeremy Marou and Brad Butcher. The boys are bringing their campfire songs to the big stage at 7:30pm. Tickets here.

One of our favourite Have You Been Paying Attention contestants is in Cairns – Kitty Flanagan! Catch her for a night of laughs and life lessons at CPAC either tonight or Saturday night. 8pm start, tickets here.

Saturday 10 July

The Mareeba Markets are on again, packed full of 150 stalls selling handcrafted items, locally grown produce, fresh food and much more. 7:30am start.

The Tablelands town is also welcoming the Mareeba Rodeo again! Despite the show being called off earlier this year, it’s returned for Saturday only featuring a full schedule of events. Tickets essential.

Good news: Saturday is Pina Colada Day! The Far North’s leading rum distiller, Mt. Uncle Distillery, is hosting a special event serving a range of fruity cocktails at their Walkamin cellar door – a taste of what’s to come at their soon-to-open CBD bar. Free event, 10am to 4pm.

FNQ local Maggie Slater’s EP launch is on at Laneway tonight, melting together bedroom pop-punk with dreamy vocals. Supporting artists Jelly Oshen and Matilda Duncan will also be in tow. 7pm start, tickets here.  

Starry Night Cinema is back into screening outdoor films in the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Jumanji: The Next Level is on the line-up tonight, starting at 6:30pm. Book your tickets here to avoid missing out at the door.

Sunday 11 July

How about heading to Holloways Beach Markets this morning? There’s a stack of school holiday activities for the kids, plus plenty of nice things for adults to peruse through. 8am to 1pm.

NAIDOC week comes to a close today with the Deadly Fun Run and Walk along the Esplanade, with a 3km fun run followed by a 1km kids colour dash! Free event, pre-registrations required. 8am start.

Unseen Cinema is hosting My Name Is Gulpilil, a feature film on one of the most iconic figures in Australian cinema – David Gulpilil. Head to BCC Cinema Earlville at 4:30pm to enjoy the actor’s mesmerising, electrifying presence.