What’s on in Cairns

Let Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort bring you the very best of Cairns. No matter what time of year you visit, our centrally located accommodation near the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns CBD means the best attractions, activities and events are just moments away.

When planning what to do during your stay in Cairns, we’ll keep you up date on what’s on!

  • Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

    Cairns Indigenous Art Fair is an arts and cultural event in the northern Australian city of Cairns that brings together indigenous art centres, commercial and public galleries, artist collectives, studios and arts organisations to sell and exhibit the art work of Queensland's recognised and leading emerging Indigenous Australian visual artists.

    The Art Fair is presented by the Queensland Government and is the opening event of Cairns Festival. The three-day event also features an academic symposium, traditional and contemporary dance and music program, artist talks and demonstrations, a children's art station and family art activities. It is the only dedicated Indigenous art market in Australia that exclusively profiles the art work of Queensland born or based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and includes both art centres and commercial galleries in a single location.

    This is a ticketed event: Tickets available here

    CIAF 2018 Opening Night Party: Thursday 12th July 6.30 pm - $65 per person

    CIAF Fashion Performance: Friday 13th July 6pm & 8.30pm or Saturday 3pm & 5.30pm - $65 per person

    For more information please visit: https://ciaf.com.au/ciaf-2018-ticketed-events


    Relay for life is a chance for communities to recognise and celebrate those who have overcome cancer or are undergoing treatment, as well as the people who care for them. Relay also provides an opportunity to celebrate the memory of loved ones lost to cancer. 

    Thousands of Australians participate in over 200 Relays across Australia each year. Some people Relay in memory of a loved one lost to cancer. Some do it to show how proud they are at having survived cancer. Some do it to show support for those battling cancer. And some simply want to be involved and make a difference. Whatever your reasons, you’ll never forget your first Relay experience! 

    Relay participants are encouraged to fundraise in the lead up to the event, with all money raised supporting the Cancer Council’s vital research, prevention and support services. 

    When:  Saturday 28th - Sunday 29th July 2018

    Where: Barlow Park, corner Scott and Severin Streets, Parramatta Park

    Contact person: Emma Wilson

    Phone: 4047 5509

    For more information: http://fundraising.cancer.org.au/site/TR/RelayforLife/CCQLD?fr_id=5283&pg=entry#_ga=2.35738400.1457451525.1501543686-1327025150.1498536928


    The Cairns Jockey Club attracts locals and visitors to Cannon Park throughout the year for Australia’s Hottest Racing. The Cairns Cup is the headline event of the Cairns social calendar and a major highlight each year for the locals and guests in our region. The Red Beret Hotel Cairns Cup Carnival is a headline event of the Cairns social calendar and a major highlight each year for the local racing industry.

    Boasting a carnival atmosphere with a winning trifecta of exhilarating racing, superb fashion and exciting company the Cairns Cup welcomes its community and visitors to beautiful Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef every year.

    Upcoming events: 

    Red Beret Hotel Cairns Cup Day 1 - Saturday 4th August 2018

    Red Beret Hotel Cairns Cup Day 2 - Saturday 11th August 2018

    *Please note this is a ticketed event. 

    For more information and tickets please visit: http://www.cairnsjockeyclub.com.au/cairns-cup/

  • The Great Pyramid Race

    The Great Pyramid Race is a FREE FAMILY EVENT run by The Great Pyramid Race and Country Fair Association Inc. as a service to the local community.

    The event and the supporting pop up stalls, entertainment and music, cultural and craft events, children’s activities and rides and amusements have become the foremost community event for Gordonvale and surrounding areas, growing every year since its inception in 1959.

    Festival activities include the main event, The Great Pyramid Race, as well as other sporting activities including a 5km Cross Country Race and a 1500m Road Race around Norman Park (for competitors from 10 years of age).

    There will also be a diverse selection of performers, musicians, workshops and roving entertainers to keep the crowds enthralled. This year sees great representation from local businesses, organisations, school groups and individuals – all committed to showcasing the unique community of Gordonvale.

    When: Saturday 18th August 2018

    For any additional information please visit: http://pyramidrace.com.au/

  • Cairns Festival 2018

    The countdown to the region’s favourite annual celebration is on!

    Cairns Festival is set to showcase the vibrant, tropical lifestyle and creative spirit of Far North Queensland with a multi-dimensional program of family-friendly events and activities spanning music, art, craft, culture, dance, theatre, comedy and markets. Definitely worth checking out some of the events held over this time! 

    This year’s event runs over 10 action-packed days.

    When: This event occurs annually: 24 August – 2 September 2018

    Where: All around Cairns 

     To see this years program visit: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/festival/news-events

  • Monthly Palm Cove Markets

    The Palm Cove Markets showcase local, quality handmade products from contemporary jewellery, leather work, pottery, clothes, skincare, plants and produce, wellness stalls and food.

    The markets have great family entertainment including free crazy golf and a free jumping castle.

    When: The Palm Cove markets are held on the first Sunday of the month, from April to December. Please note there is no market in September.

    For more information on Cairns local markets please visit: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCairnsMarkets/%20

  • Tanks Market Day Series Sundays

    Time: 9:00am - 2:00pm

    Location: Collins Avenue, Edge Hill

    Showcasing a blend of local art, craft, produce, vintage clothing, collectibles and local natural health products and treatments, the markets are a relaxing way to spend a Sunday morning.

    Market stalls line Tanks promenade on Collins Avenue, with live entertainment provided by local musicians.

    For the latest market news, see the Tank Markets Facebook Page

    29th April 9am - 2pm Sunday Market - first market for 2018
    27th May 9am - 2pm Sunday Market
    24th June 9am - 3pm Body, Mind and Soul Market Day
    29th July 9am - 2pm Sunday Market
    26th August No market See Carnival on Collins below
    2nd September 9am - 3pm Carnival on Collins
    30th September 9am - 2pm Sunday Market
    28th October 9am - 2pm Sunday Market
    25th November 9am - 2pm Sunday Market - last market for 2018

  • Free guided birdwatching tour

    Join local birding legend John Seale for a free guided birdwatching tour of the Botanic Gardens precinct.

    Tours leave from Friends of the Gardens House at 8:30am.

    The walk takes approximately two hours.

    We recommend you bring binoculars and wear sensible walking shoes.

    Time: 8:30am - 10:30am

    Location: Meet at Friends House in the Flecker Garden.

    Notes: Free tour every Tuesday morning

  • Rusty’s Market, Every Friday Saturday & Sunday

    Rusty’s Market is one of the most successful and well-known markets in Australia and abroad.

    From modest beginnings in 1975 of only half-a-dozen stalls, Rusty’s has grown into a bustling three-day event. Renown for its carnival atmosphere and colourful stallholders, Rusty’s boasts over 180 stalls featuring exotic fruit, vegetables, and flowers, sumptuous delicatessens with fresh breads, diary, and seafood, a host of international food and beverage stalls, an abundance of bric-a-brac and specialty products including clothing, jewellery, coffee, and chocolate ... and so much more!

    Rusty’s is named after the late Emrys ‘Rusty’ Rees, who developed and expanded his vision into the thriving market it is today. Rusty’s new owners, Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel & Resort, have faithfully taken up that vision, and Rusty’s continues to offer its weekly delights to locals and tourists alike.

    Today, Rusty’s Market is an established Cairns tourist icon, and certainly worth a visit. Drop in any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. We are located in the CBD between Grafton and Sheridan Streets — just ask any local.


    Friday — 5am to 6pm
    Saturday — 5am to 6pm
    Sunday — 5am to 3pm

    See more information on Rusty's Market's website: www.rustysmarkets.com.au

  • Cairns Esplanade market - Every Saturday

    Every Saturday, between 8am and 4pm, the Cairns Esplanade market stalls showcase items crafted by the people who sell them. The quality stalls include jewellery, leather work, pottery, airbrush tattoos, clothes, skincare and more.

    See more here: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/esplanade/whats-on/markets

  • Cairns Museum - Re-opened

    On July 10th the newest attraction for Cairns will open its doors, and showcase the story, the history, and  the wonderful tropical life of Cairns North Queensland to the world. We will be welcoming locals and visitors alike to experience the past and the present, the beasties and the beauties of this region.

    The Museum tells the story of Cairns in 4 main galleries

    • Cairns Over Time,
    • Old Cairns and the School of Arts,
    • Living in the Tropics, and
    • Changing Cairns. 

    Covering 3 floors, it also includes a changing Temporary Exhibitions Gallery. Interactive activities, a short film, and a wealth of exhibits, deliver an interesting experience for our visitors, and provide an introduction to the city of Cairns. Catering for the mainstream tourism market as well as the international student market, the Museum has a large tropical verandah, which can host functions. .Located in the heart of the city at the corner of Shields and Lake Street is in walking distance to all the CBD hotels.

    For more details, please see http://www.cairnsmuseum.org.au/