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

The school holidays are here! And with it, lots of activities for the kids, plus plenty to enjoy for the adults. 

It's all a go at the Botanic Gardens with Flickerfest, Tanks Markets and the ENERGY Exhibition, while there's loads of live music, comedy and DJ sets happening cityside.

Perfect weather is in store with next to no chance of rain. 


Thursday 23 September

Cairns Art Gallery is offering Botanical Drawing with Yixy Ruan classes tomorrow morning to kids as part of a suite of school holiday activities. Tickets and more on the activities here.

A contemporary roots 7-piece band hailing from Brisbane’s inner-south, Kurilpa Reach are playing at Elixir Bar this Thursday night. Tickets $10.

Friday 24 September

Flickerfest winds up this Friday in the beautiful Botanic Gardens! The second of two events focuses on the best of Australian short films. Indigenous filmmaker Jahvis Loveday, a Djiru man of Mission Beach, leads the lineup with his short, Bama. Book tickets here.

After five years of comedy, Peter James is saying sayonara to the stage life with a final show at CPAC. 8pm start, tickets here.

Stratford’s latest drinking destination, Narrow Tracks Distillery, is hosting live music by Ally Row this Friday, while Vivien Aisi and Glenn Mashford are playing at Bar 94.

Saturday 25 September

Yungaburra Markets, the longest-running markets on the Atherton Tablelands, will kick-off bright and early Saturday morning. There'll be something for everyone among the eclectic range of fares and wares from across the region.

Cairns Aquarium are this weekend throwing Aquafest, inviting local organisations to share their work on protecting and caring for our region’s native animals. There'll be free snacks, prizes, treasure hunts, and giveaways for the kids across both Saturday and Sunday!

Strait on the Beach at Holloways is hosting local band No More No Less this Saturday arvo, from 3 to 6pm. 

10 hours, 20 plus DJs, poolside antics and performances are what’s in store for Zic Zac Festival at Laneway this Saturday, the bar’s last hurrah before a temporary closure. 2pm start, tickets essential.

Stratford Deli is hosting Busty Bingo this weekend, a night of outrageous banter with drag queen Monica Fusion. 7pm start, tickets essential.

Our favourite indie rock group, Jungle Giants, are doing a DJ set at Gillies this weekend. Earlier in the day the AFL Grand Final is on the big screen from 7.15pm. Free entry till 9pm.

Sunday 26 September

The monthly Tanks Markets are back! Take a stroll through the shady Botanic Gardens are pick up a handcraft or two, with vintage wares and delicious street food to boot.

Also in the gardens you’ll find the annual ENERGY Exhibition, where young artists share their creative energy and insights through vivid visual art works. Open 10am to 2pm on weekends.