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

A somewhat quieter weekend on the way after all the Cairns Festival and Amateurs Cup activities, but an exciting one nonetheless. 

After a false start, Flickerfest kicks off this Friday bringing a selection of short films to the Botanic Gardens. 

There's also lots of live music, the Tropical Steampunk Gala, and the Cairns Marathon at the weekends' end. 


Thursday 16 September

Yum Cha Emporium at Miss Chief is on again – an eight-plate parade of delectable dumplings and other signature dishes. $55 per person, includes a glass of wine or beer on arrival. 

Who’s up for a spot of trivia? Salt House is throwing another one of its Trivia Nights, this time supporting Zonta Cairns. 6 to 9pm, $10 per person.

Friday 17 September

Friday Knock-Off’s at Brother Jenkins is back, featuring two extended DJ sets by Jimmy Flipshyt and Daddy Longlegs. Donations at the door encouraged to support Holloways Beach Coastcare. 4 to 9.30pm.

Flickerfest kicks off at the Cairns Botanic Gardens this Friday, with Short Laughs Comedy and its hilarious selection of funny films from across the world. The best part? We have two double passes to give-away here! Screens from 8 to 10pm, tickets essential.

Water Streets’ Creek Sessions plays at Laneway this Friday, for one of the Westcourt venue’s last events before its closure next week. Come along and listen to some unreleased tracks from the Far North group and other local artists. 

Saturday 18 September

Today marks World Clean Up Day, as well as the half-way mark in Cairns Regional Council’s Great Northern Clean Up campaign. There are several clean-up sites this weekend across Trinity Beach, Cairns North, Bentley Park and Edmonton. More details here

Cairns Rock and Roll Dance Club are hosting JUKEBOX DANCE this Saturday, three hours of continuous grooving to all your rock and roll favourites. BYO drinks and food, 7pm start. 

The first of the Tanks’ Local Line-up kicks off this weekend with three stunning local singers, GeorgiaXByrne, Tessa Devine and Vivien Aisi. 7pm start, more details and tickets here

Also at Tanks, you can travel back to a bygone era that never was with the Tropical Steampunk Gala! The annual celebration of live music, decor design, art and costuming kicks off at 6.30pm Tickets essential.

Sunday 19 September

Cheer on marathon runners as they cross the finish line in Fogarty Park this Sunday, as part of the second Cairns Marathon. There’s a few shorter distance races on too, with entries still open until this Friday afternoon! 

Unseen Cinema screens Rosa’s Wedding at BCC Cinemas this Sunday, a joyous new romantic comedy on the story of a woman who finally decides to take charge of her life. 4:30pm start, tickets essential.