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

It's all about live music this weekend, with the launch of Tjapukai Now bringing Neil Murray to town, next to hip hop, pop and a Queen tribute show. 

The weather in Cairns is looking fine and sunny, with tops of 27 degrees. 


JCU Cairns Eisteddfod kicks off its 16-day schedule this Wednesday, involving over 2500 young people across from Cairns and the Far North. Literary, music, speech, drama and dance are just some of the sessions planned. It will be held initially at the CDJE Hall before heading to CPAC from 20 June, winding up on 1 July.

Friday 17 June

Hailed as one of the world’s best Queen tribute shows, Thomas Crane with his band Bohemian Rhapsody are returning to Cairns to celebrate the iconic band’s 50-year anniversary. CPAC Theatre, 7.30pm start. Tickets are $79.90.  

After a booming first run, NYX Festival returns as the region and Australia’s up and coming underground arts, music and culture experience. The three-day doof kicks off today at a Ravenshoe property. More details here.

A long-loved show in Brisbane for nearly three decades, Women in Voice is coming to Cairns this weekend with a line-up of local and visiting artists. Tanks Arts Centre, 7.30pm. $45 a ticket.

Saturday 18 June

The Malanda Markets are on this weekend, relocating to Jack May Park. 7.30am to 12.30pm. Closer to Cairns, you’ll find the Clifton Beach Markets on from 9.30am.

On the lookout for a four-legged best friend? Four local pet rehoming groups are coming together this weekend to host a Dog Adoption Day at the Aeroglen Dog Park, where you can meet available pets between 9am and 1pm. Cats not included.

Bric-a-brac galore – the Cairns Men’s Shed Garage Sale is on this Saturday morning. You’ll find tools, word-turned items, plants and stacks more. 8am to 12.30pm.

South African stand-up comedian and DJ Kevin Fraser is in Cairns tonight for his ‘Hakuna Matata Tour. Bulmba-ja Arts Centre, 6.30pm entry. Tickets are $45.

Tanks is hosting Aussie hip hop duo Horrorshow tonight on the back their latest energetic release, DMT. 7.30pm start, $37 for tickets.

More hip hop music can be found at Munro Martin Parklands tonight as sideshow festival Inside Out brings together some of Australia’s biggest artists in the genre. Kerser, Illy and ChillinIt are headlining, next to others spanning pop and RNB. 6pm start, tickets are $103.

Tjapukai is reopening its doors to host Neil Murray – a founding member of the pioneering Warumpi Band and its iconic anthems, My Island Home and Blackfella Whitefella. He’ll be supported by Trudy Fatnowna Edgeley. Show starts at 7.30pm, tickets $35.

Sunday 19 June

Fancy a Sunday morning stroll for a good cause? Support Motor Neuron Disease by Walking to D-Feet MND. It kicks off at 9am in Fogharty Park – wearing blue is highly encouraged! Register here.

The Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation Arrow Experience also returns this Sunday morning, with all funds to support breast cancer and melanoma treatment. Get together with a group – it’s not too late! – and choose between a short or long course.

Cheese and bread are, in our tried-and-tested opinion, two of the most perfect pairings on Earth. You can learn to make both this weekend, taking home skills in crafting blue vein, camembert and Persian feta without any fancy equipment. In the afternoon, teacher Elisabeth Fekonia will take you through sourdough and sauerkraut making. 10am to 5pm. $90 for one course of $160 for both – with only a few spots left! Held at the Cairns Senior Citizens Association.