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

This weekend we're celebrating Thai culture at the fifth Loy Kra Thong Festival, along with an assortment of live music and theatre. Aloe Blacc brings soulful vibes to the Tanks, while the Beatle Boys deliver an exclusive concert experience. The Teskey Brothers hit the stage at CPAC, and Crooked Colours celebrate 20 years of Gilligan's.

Enjoy some good wine and cheese at Guyala, and make sure to support Mareeba Animal Refuge at Rock N Roar for Paws. Centacare FNQ is also hosting a Women's Empowerment and Self Defence Workshop to support breaking the cycle of victimisation and create a safer community for all.

Don't forget to check in on our Cairns and Tablelands market guides, there are a few on this weekend to get amongst. Plus our Guide to art exhibitions and events dives deep into the local scene.

Thursday 23 November

LA soul sensation Aloe Blacc is bringing his soulful voice to the Tanks. With a captivating voice, he navigates soul, hip-hop, folk, and contemporary pop, drawing inspiration from salsa, merengue, and cumbia. Aloe takes audiences on a musical journey through a medley of human experiences, brought to life by his extraordinary talent.

Relive the magic with The Beatles 50 Years On Beatlemania. In this exclusive two-hour concert experience, the Beatle Boys take you on a journey through the iconic hits that dominated charts worldwide. Direct from sold-out concerts across the globe, experience the timeless sound that made the Beatles the greatest rock 'n' roll band ever.

Friday 24 November

The Teskey Brothers are coming to CPAC as part of The Winding Way Tour and in support of the latest album. Currently making waves in the UK and Europe, the Warrandyte band is celebrated for their soulful, timeless sound.

Guyala Wine and Cheese Night returns for its' November instalment, serving up an evening of wine and gourmet cheese tasting. Attendees can taste a variety of wines, including a glass of prosecco upon arrival. Guyala has also just launched a dinner service with a killer menu, so make sure to check that out.

Further north in Port Douglas, we have a Cheese and Wine Masterclass at the Sheraton. Hosted by Calendar Cheese Specialist, Peter Gross, you'll have the opportunity to explore the flavours of 12 local Australian cheeses expertly paired with matching wines.

The Rondo Theatre is putting on a show with 99 Dalmations: The Pantomime, a whimsical production written and directed by Cath Willacy. Follow Oliver and Grace, owners of two Dalmatians as they navigate the antics of Lou Sefa, a flamboyant influencer, and his bumbling henchmen. When the puppies are at risk, join the cast on a comedic adventure to rescue them.

Saturday 25 November

Centacare FNQ is hosting a Women's Empowerment and Self Defence Workshop for girls 12 and older. The program, led by experienced facilitators Jasmyn Grundy and Marcelle Dieben, focuses on mental and physical strength, covering healthy relationships, setting boundaries, effective communication, core values, and self-defence skills. The goal is to break the cycle of victimisation and create a safer community.

Get amongst a good cause with Rock N Roar for Paws. The family friendly event promises more than just great music as 50 local acts donate their time and raise funds for Mareeba Animal Refuge. Complete with raffle prizes, food, drinks, entertainment, and more, support the local organisation and have a great time while doing it. Support on the day or contribute to their Go Fund Me and keep the refuge running!

Gilligan's is celebrating 20 years of good times and memories with the classic beats of Crooked Colours. Renowned for their up-tempo electro originals and dance remixes, the night will no doubt live up to Gillies reputation. To sweeten the deal, entry is free up until 9pm, afterwhich a door charge of $20 kicks in.

Experience the art of basketry at the Saltwater Creek Basketry Workshop. Enjoy a morning of weaving crafts using natural materials from the Botanic Gardens. The event is suitable for all skill levels, with entry just a gold coin donation. Secure your spot as spaces are limited.

Ecstatic Dance returns to Tank 3, offering a unique freestyle dance experience with high-quality sound, world-class DJs, and an intentional clean energy environment. Attendees can dance freely to epic tunes and connect with a beautiful community. The event emphasises the power of dance without the use of words or alcohol.

Saturday 25 November

The fifth Thai Cultural Loy Kra Thong Festival is on at the Cairns Esplanade, celebrating the richness of Thai culture. Get a taste of authentic Thai cuisine, experience Thai dancing, and enjoy a mix of live music and performances. See a collection of Krathong floats adorning the Esplanade lagoon, symbolising tokens of gratitude toward the goddess of water.

See Kevin Mitchell and Bob Evans as they share the stage for the first time with a massive show, When Kev Met Bob. Spanning four decades of music, from the formation of Jebediah in the '90s to the emergence of Bob Evans in the 2000s and beyond. Experience a time machine that travels through 11 albums and covers almost 30 years of their musical careers.

Discover the rich and vibrant flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine at the hands-on Middle Eastern Feast adult cooking class. Immerse yourself in the world of colour, flavour and spice as we prepare falafels with a delectable tahini dressing, spicy bean and haloumi shakshuka, and finish with a spiced pistachio slice.

Discover the art of Single Needle Coptic Bookbinding with Rose Rigley at the Accessorise workshop. This engaging session is part of the Sixfold Project, an Australian artist collective. Local artist Rose Rigley, known for her work in installation, artist books, and sculptural assemblage, guides participants in creating beautiful handmade A5 open-bound books.

Saturday 25 November

Jingle and Mingle at NorthSite's Art Market. Discover unique jewellery and art by Queensland-based creators. Enjoy mulled wine, treats, meet the artists, and buy local one of a kind gifts for your loved ones.

Step back in time and witness the sensational Mark Anthony, in a tribute to Elvis Presley. Mark Anthony, hailed as the very best Elvis tribute artist globally, takes you right back to the era when Elvis ruled the charts with his raw energy and dynamic voice. With all the glamour, costumes, and greatest hits, Elvis One Night in Vegas reminds you why Elvis was King.

From garage jam sessions to global success, Hockey Dad have achieved gold and platinum records, top 10 chart positions, and a devoted global fan base. With four albums and a live record, the duo has hit the road in support of their newly released fourth album.

The Yorkeys Knob Twilight Christmas Market is kicking the festive season off. Food trucks will be on site, including drinks from Macalister’s and Narrow Tracks. Although some may say it's too soon, but Santa has also promised to make an appearance.

Learn the secrets of Growing Great Hoyas with Jo at Limberlost. Participants get to walk away with a welcome plant and enjoy refreshments from resident Vines Café. Perfect for green thumbs, or those doing their best to be, delve into the world of these low-maintenance, brilliantly flowering house plants.

Sunday 26 November

Meet and chat with experts and wedding vendors, enjoy bridal gown showcases, and relax in VIP chill-out zones at the Wedding Expo. The first 300 brides or couples also walk away with a free bridal bag full of goodies, with many other opportunities to win prizes and giveaways.

Comedy sensation Urzila Carlson is in town for her regional tour, following the success of the sold-out metro tour Just No! In this hilarious show, Urzila explores the frustrations that unite us, from everyday annoyances to societal gripes. With her signature humour, she takes on the challenges of navigating opinions and shortcomings in today's world.

Unseen Cinema is screening The Crime is Mine. The French film is about show business in the 30’s in Paris, but with all the trimmings including murders, evictions, lovers, failures, trials, sorority, and no shortage of comedic drama.