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

With the cold weather seemingly behind us, we're not mad to welcome back the classic FNQ winter with temperatures hovering between the mid teens and 20s.

There's plenty on this weekend, with many events kicking off a little earlier. The Italian Festival is finally here, as well as FNQ Growers Field Day in Mareeba.

This weekend also has plenty of live music and outdoor activities to get amongst, with music out on the lawn of the Court House, an opportunity to traverse Mount Bartle Frere, and National Tree Planting Day.


Friday 29 July

The Cairns Italian Festival kicks off and runs through to 8 August. Offering a range of events, you'll have the opportunity to see if you've got what it takes and get involved in some interactive theatre with the Italian Wedding Theatre Restaurant. Staying on theme, throughout the week there's also Opera on the Reef, a collection of Italian movie and comedy nights, and naturally there'll be plenty of food and wine.

The JUTE Theatre is hosting a Creative Development Showcase of O, Ophelia – a walking tragedy, who's fate is dictated by circumstances of misfortune, grief and naivety. The play is by Amber Grossmann, a young theatre maker and artistic director of her company Overall Arts. She is also currently a writer-in-residence for JUTE. Tickets via trybooking

The Mareeba Turf Club is in for a wild one with the FNQ Growers R&D Field Day. 

The weather's a little milder this week, making outdoor live music Out On The Lawn at the Court House a viable option to kick off the weekend. Music begins from 6pm.

Guyala Wine and Cheese Nights are back. A nice slide into weekend mode, this evening offers six wines for tasting, supported by a selection of gourmet cheeses. Tickets can be purchased from eventbrite.

There's a new addition to the bar scene in town with Edge at Hilton Cairns opening its doors this weekend. There'll be live music every Friday and Saturday.

Saturday 30 July

A local group is setting on an overnight adventure to make the most of Mt Bartle Frere at dusk and dawn. Find out how to tag along here.

If you're after a new addition to the bunch, Skypark Cairns is hosting a day full of Dogs & Donuts. They've partnered with North Queensland Animal Rescue to bring you a dog adoption day, with a few added bonuses. All activities will be 25 per cent off for one day only with the promo code SWEET25. Book online and take the opportunity to adopt a pup. 

The Ten Tenors are performing their latest production at CPAC tonight. The show is set to feature some country fan favourites, alongside other classic hits. Buy tickets from Ticketlink.

Over at the Tanks, you'll find The Whitlams' alt-country offshoot, The Black Stump Band. The band has 55 Gold Guitars and 10 ARIAs between them, with tracks spanning campfire intimacy to rollicking country rock. 7.30pm start, tickets are $55. 

Another round of Music Bingo is up at Macalister's. It's fast become a regular favourite at the local brewery, drawing people with free entry and great prizes. 7.30pm start. 

Sunday 31 July

The Cairns Italian Festival is hosting an event at place at Salt House, La Dolce Vita – Cocktails and Ferraris. A unique event celebrating Italy's football wins, accompanied by Italian food and live music by Siesta Cartel. Tickets can be purchased via the venue.

Over 4000 trees are set to be planted at Redlynch Master Plan site in an effort to improve riparian zone health and future canopy this National Tree Planting Day.

End Credits Film Club will be showing an Oscar nominated Bhutanese film LUNANA: A Yak in the Classroom at the Earlville Cinemas. Tickets can be purchased online.