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 Amateur Racing Carnival, 1st & 2nd September 2017

    The Cairns Amateurs is one of Australia’s premier Spring Racing Carnivals.It is three days of fun, fashion, glamour, food and entertainment built around two days of horse racing in Cairns in early September each year.

    The 56th Cairns Amateur Racing Carnival will be held at Cannon Park Race Course on the 1st & 2nd September. 

    There will be immaculately dressed ladies and gentlemen vying for to be awarded the 'Fashion on the Field' winners, bookies, jockeys, street-style entertainers, jazz bands, socializing celebrities, wannabees and horse racing. It's a brilliant weekend when old locals and new all converge on the Cannon Park Race Course.

    The mild September climate entices large crowds of locals as well as interstate visitors.

    For event details, please see



  • Cairns Festival  25 Aug - 3 Sept 2017

    25 Aug - 3 Sep 2017

    Cairns Festival is Far North Queensland's major annual creative celebration. The festival aims to seek greater regional and national recognition of our cultural identity in the Far North; to tell our unique stories and celebrate our distinctive, tropical lifestyle.There will be Grand Parade and Fireworks, performances, workshops and exhibitions. 


    26th August, Saturday

    Cairns Festival Grand Parade

    3:30pm - 10pm

    Cairns Esplanade, FREE admission


    27th August, Sunday

    Sunday On The 'Nard - Festival Family Concert

    4pm - 9pm 

    Cairns Esplanade, FREE admission


    28th August, Monday

    The Making Place - Rhythm

    5pm - 8pm

    Cairns Esplanade, FREE admission


    2nd September, Saturday

    Troppo By Circa

    5pm - 8pm

    Munro Martin Park

    Tickets available at TicketLink


    For more program details, please visit http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/festival

  • Troppo By Circa, 2nd September 2017

    As part of the Cairns Festival program the beautiful Munro Martin Parklands will host an evening of world class entertainment that will appeal to the entire family.

    On a deserted island far, far away a rag tag circus troupe is washed up on a beach. Dazed and unfamiliar with their colourful new world they venture into the island. Will they make it off or will the tropical, warm climate make them all go a little... ‘troppo’?

    In this 'Alice in Wonderland meets 'The Tempest’ action-packed new show, Circa invite you into their daring new acrobatic world... Colourful and energetic, funny yet insightful, Troppo is full of wonder, comic misadventures and circus, mixed together like a good cocktail – with a dash of panache and the desire to please. An explosively fun beach party the whole family will enjoy.

    Catch performances by Cairns’ own future circus stars from Cycas Circus from 5pm when they perform their new production 'Cirque de Couleurs' as well as a range of roving performances and surprises.

    Circa acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Ministry for the Arts' Catalyst.

    Tickets available at http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/ticketlink/whats-on/circus-and-physical-theatre/circa-troppo

  • UCI MOUNTAIN BIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017 - Cairns - 5th - 10th September

    Australia hosts its third ever UCI MTB World Championships, with both cross-country and downhill disciplines taking place in Cairns. The Smithfield Forest venue last held the event in 1996, while the last Worlds down under were in Canberra in 2009.

    The 2017 event will feature over 300 riders from 35 countries competing in the cross country (XCO) and Downhill (DHI) disciplines.

    Cairns local Tracey Hannah and Troy Brosnan are both in career best form and will arrive in Cairns assured of a boisterous show of local support.

    Fans will be relishing the looming battle between home town hero Hannah and legendary Downhill rider and current world number three, Britain’s Rachel Atherton, which is shaping up to be one of the sport’s biggest show-downs in Cairns this September.

    Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green said the form of the Australian riders would ramp up excitement levels for spectators travelling to Cairns for the World Championships.

    “We know to expect the world’s best riders at World Championships, but what a treat to see our Australian riders at the top of their game and coming into this event with a real chance of claiming a world title.

    Read more about this world class event:



    Tickets available at http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=MTNBIKE17&v=SRU

  • Elton John ONCE IN A LIFETIME TOUR - Cairns, 30th September 2017

    Exclusive to Australia, Elton John & His Band will perform four very special Once In A Lifetime concerts this September.

    He will perform in 4 cities in Australia, and Cairns is one of them!  On the 30th September. 

    Tickets Sale start on Tuesday 14 March. For more information, please see www.chuggentertainment.com/eltonjohn2017 

    See an article from Cairns Post about Elton John and the concert:

  • Gondwana Choirs and Vienna Boys' Choir, 13th October 2017

    Songs of My Country

    13 October 2017 at Cairns Convention Centre

    In a remarkable choral event for Cairns, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Cairns Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and the Sydney Children’s Choir will be joined by the Cairns Songfest Choir.

    The concert features both Australian and Austrian works, including the world premiere of a work by Owen Elsley and collaborator Gudju Gudju based on a Dreaming story of the Yidinji nation in the Cairns region for the combined ensembles.

    Commissioning this work was made possible by a grant from the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), a partnership between the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

    For more tickets and more information:



  • The Glenn Miller Orchestra - Dance by Twilight 75th Anniversary Tour, 21 October 2017

    One of the greatest big bands of the 1940’s, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, are returning to Cairns. This will be a concert spectacular with 24 musicians, singers and dancers direct from the USA on the Munro Martin Parklands stage!

    The Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform all their great classic hits… Chattanooga Choo Choo, In the Mood, Tuxedo Junction, A String of Pearls, Moonlight Serenade and songs from the repertoire from the Andrew Sisters.

    The concert will also feature sensational dance routines by the Broadway Swing Dancers.

    The unforgettable music of the 1940’s, from the Golden era of Swing.

    “An evening of nostalgia… unforgettable music… an absolutely brilliant concert…” The Australian Stage.

    Tickets available on TicketLinks: http://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/ticketlink/whats-on/popular-music/glenn-miller-orchestra-dance-by-twilight-75th-anniversary-tour

  • 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/