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

We're in for a packed weekend with the premiere of JUTE Theatre production La Bella Figura, as well as Big Talk One Fire in Fogarty Park, Mau Power at the Tanks and the Cairns Pride Fair Day. 

There's also plenty of Oktoberfest antics to take part in, next to outdoor cinema and food events. 

There could be a few light showers across Cairns this weekend, but warm temps as usual to carry us through. 


Friday 15 October

Crystal Leonardi, a debut author from Julatten, is launching her first book at Smithfield Library this Friday, 10.30am till noon. Boy of Steel is a story of love and resilience, in which Crystal reflects in intimate detail on her son’s recent brain cancer diagnosis.

JUTE Theatre’s latest production premieres this Friday! Featuring an all-local cast and crew, La Bella Figura is a deeply moving but comedic musical drama exploring Italian migration to Australia, and more specifically to FNQ.

Get your groove on at Nu Nu Restaurant’s Rocktober Eats & Beats this Friday. From 5pm, Nicko will be firing up the smoker and grills, next to some rocking live tunes! Bookings essential.

Saturday 16 October

Lake Tinaroo’s the place to catch all the action this Saturday as the annual Grin n Bear It Challenge takes place. Watch multi-sport competitors tackle open water swims, lake paddles, mountain biking and trail runs.

St Therese's School in Bentley Park is hosting a Market Day today, featuring over 40 stalls, food vendors, rides and live music. 2 to 8pm. 

The Salt House Food & Wine Festival has its big hurrah today, celebrating with live music and tropical eats, drinks and cocktails on its Trinity Inlet deck. Open from 12pm, $10 entry.

Starry Night Cinema is back, this Saturday screening Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Botanic Gardens. Bring along a picnic rug and a bite to eat, or grab something from a food truck on site! 7.30pm start, tickets $10-$20.

Fogarty Park becomes home to a cultural wonderland of family-friendly entertainment this Saturday, as the Big Talk One Fire festival returns. Head to the Esplanade from 1pm for the annual celebration of Far North Queensland’s Indigenous cultures. Free event.

As part of its suite of upcoming local gigs, the Tanks is hosting Mau Power this Saturday. Hailing from Thursday Island, the hip hop artist is renowned in his community and internationally as a powerful storyteller. 7.30pm start, tickets essential.

Sunday 17 October

The Cairns Pride Fair Day is set to be a kaleidoscope of culture, entertainment and connection, with plenty of food, stalls and dog shows part of the day’s activities. 10.30am to 4pm, free entry.

Unseen Cinema’s regular Sunday film is Skies of Lebanon this weekend, a story set in the 50s of a young women who leaves the Swiss mountains for the vibrant shores of Beirut. 4.30pm start, tickets essential.