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

A gin festival, live music, markets and another one of Nu Nu's glorious Eats & Beats events is among your weekend choices, next to two Taipans games and a day at the races.  

The weather's looking like it'll stay sunny and breezy, without too much humidity. Just perfect!


Thursday 24 March

Cairns Art Gallery is currently exhibiting the incredible Archie 100 – a collection of 100 Archibald portraits from the last century. As well as being free to visit, you can book a free guided tour with the knowledgeable Jim Rea. 11.30am and 2.30pm each Thursday. Book here.

Friday 25 March

The annual Feast of the Senses festival takes place in Innisfail this weekend, featuring a range of markets, dinners, food trails, cocktail cruises, kids activities, live music and stacks more! Check out the packed schedule of events here.

The Taipans are back in town this week for a few home games. The first is against S.E. Melbourne on Friday evening, 6.30pm start. Tickets from $25.

Cairns plant store The Secret Jungle is hosting a Poetry and Plants event this Friday evening, inviting all poetry enthusiasts to gather together and workshop ideas. Free event, bookings essential. 7 to 9.30pm.

Daniel Champagne plays live at the Edge Hill Tavern this Friday, from 8pm. Tickets from $35.

Saturday 26 March

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 its eclectic range of fares and wares.

Another free UMI Arts workshop is in store this weekend: Printmaking with Paul Bong at the Court House Gallery. Head here for more details on the Taste of Culture series.

In their new digs at the Mountain View Hotel, the Wolf Lane crew are gathering a bunch of local distillers to throw the Tropical Gin Festival. You can taste tipples from Distil on the Hill, Narrow Tracks and Mt Uncle, among others from around Australia and abroad. Food by Ochre and MV Hotel, and a $10 shuttle bus for good measure! 11am to 5pm, free event.

Head trackside for an afternoon of beers, cheers, racing and live entertainment for the annual Century Cranes Tradies & Ladies Race Day at Cannon Park Racecourse. 10.30am to 5pm. Admission from $10.

Holloways Beach bar Strait on the Beach is welcoming For Fox Sake for some Saturday arvo live music. 3 to 6pm.

Crystalbrook Rocco is turning off the lights to host Dining in the Dark, a four-course blindfolded dinner experience with wines to match. $139pp, 6pm start.

Sunday 27 March

Eight hours of non-stop DJ sets and pool antics is in store for The Benson Hotel this Sunday, as Zic Zac Festival stops in for the afternoon. It plays out from 12pm, before the after party at XS. Tickets from $50.     

Taipans take on the New Zealand Breakers this Sunday afternoon in the Snake Pit. The match kicks off at 4.30pm. Tickets from $25.  

Nu Nu Restaurant’s Eats, Beats & Country Treats is looking like a great way to wind down the weekend. Think Nicko on the smoker and grill beside an outdoor hoe down bar, and a ripper menu to choose from. 4 to 9.30pm, bookings essential for indoor tables.