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

The sun's out and heat is rising, winter in August is shaping up to be a tropical dream, and we've got another ripper of a weekend with plenty on around town. The Italian Festival wraps up with the Carnevale Gala Ball, Pete Murray and Greta Stanley have shows on, and the FNQ Emergency Services ball is back for another year. 


Thursday 4 August

Iconic musician Pete Murray is playing at CPAC tonight, on the back of his new EP, Before I Go. With seven albums to his name, Murray is one of few Australian artists achieve over one million album sales. Tickets are $45.

Friday 5 August

A new Friday regular, Cairns Latin Dance Club takes over Pachamama at Crystalbrook Bailey tonight. You’ll find salsa on the rooftop from 6.30 to 8.30pm. Free event.

Priday Nights are back at the Cotton Club, with this weekend’s event hosting DJ GlennW and DJ Sonya. Head to the Shields St venue for one of Cairns’ only queer parties. 9pm start, free entry.

Saturday 6 August

The Gordonvale Markets are on this morning, offering a huge variety of items to attract locals and tourists alike. 7am to 2pm.

Kicking off the Cairns Festival a little early, the Cairns Festival Turns 60 exhibition starts today at the Court House Gallery. From croc races to the crowning of ‘Miss Cairns’, the city’s signature arts and culture festival has a history as vibrant as its surroundings. Visit between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday.    

Leaving Jackson The Johnny Cash and June Carter Show is on at CPAC. Dedicated to their music and love story, this concert will run through all the big hits - you can purchase tickets online.

The FNQ Emergency Services Charity Ball is on tonight at the Convention Centre – tickets are sold out. We hope all our frontline heroes have an awesome night!

An electronic dance extravaganza is going down at Elixir Bar tonight, brought to you by Leon Tussie, Dave Masters and DJ Daddy Longlegs. 8pm start, free entry.

Local indie pop singer Greta Stanley shot to national fame this year after the release of her sophomore album, Real Love in Real Life. She’s finishing up her national tour in Cairns this weekend with a gig at the Tanks. Supported by former Cooktown crooner Yazmindi, who's now based on Byron Bay. It's a 7.30pm start, tickets are $28.

The Great Northern Bullriding Series heads to Innisfail tonight. A small arena will be assembled inside the Innisfail Pony Club Grounds, allowing you to get face-to-face with the action. Gates open at 5pm for a 7pm start.

Sunday 7 August

The vegetation space in Brinsmead’s Glenoma Park sadly burnt down back in May, and this weekend, locals are banding together to replant native species. It starts at 8am to finish up with a cuppa and some morning tea.

Live music is being held every Sunday at Hemingway’s Cairns. This weekend brings Katie Richards to the Wharf, 2pm to 5pm.

Cairns Brass is throwing a concert event at CPAC - Brass, Sweat and Tears. featuring music from some of the 20th Century’s greatest composers.