What's on in Cairns

What to do in Cairns

Cairns may be known for its natural beauty, but between day trips to the reef and the rainforest, there's plenty of events to check out in the city. Whether you're travelling with mates or bringing the family, our guide to what's on in Cairns has you covered.

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Great barrier reef chinese new year celebration

If you're planning a trip in February, be sure to join the festivities at the Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year Celebration. To take it all in, head to the Esplanade for the events on New Year's Day, followed by the official after party at The Reef Hotel Casino at night.

Cairns show

Held every year in July, the Cairns Show is one of the largest regional events in the country. During the day, hop between exhibitions in the De Jarlais Function Centre or head over to Sideshow Alley, which has a massive range of rides for kids and kids at heart. After you've explored the grounds, find a seat in the arena and kick back for a full night of fun and entertainment.

Cairns festival

If you're planning a visit later in the year, catch a show or two during the Cairns Festival in August. Hosted across multiple venues, this celebration of local creativity is one of the city's biggest annual events, with thousands of festival-goers flocking to the North Coast to get involved.

Cairns cup carnival

For some more mid-year fun, put on your Sunday best and head to Cannon Park for the Cairns Cup Carnival. If you're travelling with a group, book a table at the Cairns Corporate Pavilion, which sits directly opposite the finish line. Or, if you're on a budget, grab a General Admission ticket and soak up the atmosphere on the lawn.

New year's eve at the esplanade

Hanging around for the New Year? Head down to the Esplanade for the annual fireworks display by the water. The party kicks off at 5:30pm, but you'll want to arrive early to grab a spot at Fogarty Park. If you plan on kicking on, Sunbus provides free services throughout the city all night.

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