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

The school holidays have rolled around again, and with that, stacks of activities to enoy with the kids. 

From the Malanda Show to the Esplanade Dining Precinct opening celebrations, there's plenty of fun (and free) things to check out this weekend. 

Cairns also has a couple live music gigs coming up, along with a drag show, some comedy and a pizza showdown.  


Friday 25 June

Malanda Show kicks off its spectacular three-day schedule today, featuring the best country show antics like woodchopping, animal nurseries, sideshow alleys and fireworks. Find the full program here.

Closer to the CBD, Lennon Bros Circus is open until July 18. Head to the Cairns Jockey Club in Earlville to enjoy an action-packed night of high-flying trapeze, acrobats and clown performances.

Turtle Cove Beach Resort is celebrating Pride Month tonight with a beach party beneath the full moon. With juggling, fire shows, silks aerial acrobatics lined up alongside all your party essentials (*a gin bar), this looks to be a doozy. Tickets essential and include transport from Cairns, Port Douglas, Smithfield and Palm Cove.

Saturday 26 June

White Rock Rocks is here, along with a new a 2.6km loop trail! Drop into Reys Park for a free BBQ, face painting, rock painting, and a treasure hunt. Free event, 9am to 12noon.

Grrrls to the North, featuring Brisbane-based hiphop sensation Jesswar as headline act alongside local budding artists Bellani, Kayla Gagai and Dizzy Doolan, will play at Tanks on Saturday 26 June. Tickets here.

The Pier Bar is hosting local band The Bluebottles ahead of their national tour. Head down to the bar from 8:30pm for a bit of indie, a bit of pop rock. Free entry.

Drag’d Out Late is on again at the Edge Hill Bowls Club, with cabaret, costumes and a whole lot of fun on the agenda. 6pm start, tickets here.

Macalister Brewing Co has another comedy gig lined up tonight, welcoming Anne Howe as part of Guilt Free Comedy. Salty Captain food truck will also be on-site! 7:30pm start, tickets here.

Sunday 27 June

Last Sunday of the month means it's Tanks Markets time again! As always, there'll be a blend of quality local art, craft, produce, vintage clothing and collectables to look through; all in the beautiful setting of the Botanic Gardens.

The new Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct is opening in a big way this Sunday, with live music by more than 50 local musicians, performers and artists. There'll also be a collection of market stalls hosted by Makin' Whoopee Gift Shop, a water combat zone and heaps of activities for kids (and adults!) And not only is everything free ... there's a hundred $20 vouchers up for grabs! 10am to 8pm.

What better way to begin the school holidays than with a new game? A toy swap! Part of the new Esplanade Dining Precinct celebrations, parents are invited to bring a bag of toys to the value of $30 and swap it for someone else’s pre-loved goods. 10am to 1pm.

Who wants to eat a lot of pizza? Who doesn’t? Hopscotch is hosting Ollie’s Italian in a showdown this Sunday afternoon, offering all-you-can-eat with a Peroni or spritz for $40pp. Diners judge on the best of the two pizzerias. Book here.