Tropic Weekender: Our curated guide to the best upcoming events around Cairns

There’s plenty to explore and enjoy this weekend, with the Port Douglas Carnivale kicking off and a stack of other events across Cairns.

The Gallery’s launching a new exhibition, while the annual Children’s Festival hosts a whole range of free, fun things for the kids to enjoy. 

It’ll be absolutely beautiful on the weather front – clear skies, a top of 30 degrees and minimal humidity. 

Friday 14 May

Cairns Cycling Club is hosting a movie night, screening cycling doco All For One. Food, drinks and a raffle included. 6pm start.

Laneway’s hosting its Beat Lab Stereo Lounge from 6:30pm, featuring all original beats buy local DJs. Limited tickets available at the door, cash only.  

The Port Douglas Carnivale kicks off today! The first event in the two-week long lineup is the Wonderland Spiegeltent, an arts and entertainment playground for all ages featuring comedy, cabaret, music and circus. 7:30PM start, tickets essential.

Saturday 15 May

RITUAL the past in the present is the Cairns Art Gallery’s latest exhibition, opening today. The collection showcases local artists and their exploration of complex histories, traditions and beliefs across the Asia Pacific region. 

The Cairns Marlins and Dolphins have their NBL1 season opener tonight, taking on Mackay. Cairns Basketball Stadium, 6pm start. Tickets essential. 

The cosy Brother Jenkins on Martyn Street is hosting some local live music this afternoon. Daniel Champagne and his blues, roots and folk tunes play from 2pm. Limited tickets left. 

Red Hot Summer Tour is rolling into town today, held at the Showgrounds from 1pm. Jimmy Barnes headlines the rock festival alongside five other Aussie artists.

Pro Wrestling Power Carnivale Carnage, part of the Port Douglas Carnivale, is on at the Oaks Resort. The family-friendly event will showcase 10 professional wrestlers in the ring from 6pm.

Port Douglas will also host Tex Perkins, the original bad-ass frontman of Australian rock and roll. He’s joined by equally-celebrated bluesman Matt Walker in the Wonderland Spiegeltent tent, 5pm start. Tickets essential.

Sunday 16 May

What’s better than a garage sale? One that stretches across a whole suburb! The Machans Beach Super Suburb Sale will have stacks of trash n treasure, music, coffee, cakes and camaraderie galore. 8am start. 

A whole scope of Cairns Childrens Festival events are on today, and they’re all free! From Regurgitator's Pogogo Show to puppet performances, bamboo-building exercises, shadow plays, and a Minecraft live build battle, there’s something for all kids. Recommended for ages 12 and under. At the Tanks and the Promenade, 9am to 2pm.

Unseen Cinema’s latest release, The Man in the Hat, is a beautifully framed odyssey of music, story-telling and silent comedy traversing the breath-taking landscapes of France. On at Earlville BCC Cinemas, 4:30pm start.

Monday 17 May

Join the Orange Army on one of their last games of the season. The Taipans play the Perth Wildcats tonight from 7:30pm.