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

There's plenty to do this weekend, from Cooktown to the Tablelands and right here in Cairns. 

We've brought together the best events – Ecofiesta, Cooktown & Cape York Expo, AFL footy at Cazalys – as well as a few quirkier things to do and see across the region.

Therre's next to no chance of rain, with tops of 29C across the weekend. Perfection.


Friday 11 June

Looking for something different to do? The Mareeba Drive-In is here again with the cooler weather, screening two movies every Friday and Saturday night. Entry is $14pp and include camping onsite.

Cooktown & Cape York Expo kicks off its ten-day fusion of music, traditional dance, food, history and nature today! Tropic Now’s put together a taste of what to expect at the inaugural festival.

Saturday 12 June

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

The annual Festival of the Knob has arrived! Watch Yorkeys residents crown a Queen and King of the Knob, and get among local stalls selling crafts and second-hand treasures. 10am to 4pm, free entry. 

Today Olympic hopefuls from Australia and New Zealand will gather in Port Douglas to compete in the Oceania Standard Distance Championship – one of the first Trans-Tasman events in the past year. All the details and road closures here.

Macro photographer Bridgette Gower’s currently exhibiting a collection of her works at Cairns Botanic Gardens. 'Buggin & Shroomin’ features fungi, frogs, caterpillars and many other fascinating insects found in the Cairns region. Free to view but bookings essential. 

Who’s up for a spot of elite footy in the Far North? The Saints and Crows have got the go ahead for Saturday’s game at Cazalys Stadium. 7:45pm start, tickets through Ticketek.

Sunday 13 June

The Holloways Beach Markets are looking like a good place for a seaside stroll and a bite of brunch this morning. And there's free face painting for the kids! 8am to 1pm. 

Sunflowers are abound in Mareeba this weekend! You can head to this Tolga farm, just north of Atherton, and pick some golden flowers to take home. 10am to 5pm, with ice cream and slow cooked meat trucks onsite. 

Cairns Ecofiesta is back and in a new home at the lush Munro Martin Parklands. Here’s Tropic Now’s guide on what to do, see, eat and acquire at the gala of all things green. 10am to 6pm, free entry. 

Diesel’s in Cairns for one night only, playing at Edge Hill tavern from 7pm – and he’s letting you choose the setlist! Tickets here.