As the air becomes infused with the sweet scent of summer and the city lights up with a kaleidoscope of colours, the festive spirit takes centre stage in the heart of Cairns! We are excited to take you to the most magical gatherings and activities in December and beyond, ensuring your Christmas season is full of happiness, good times, and treasured memories.
In this guide, we've curated a festive roadmap that transcends the ordinary, steering you through the myriad of happenings that make Cairns come alive during this magical time of year. Check out these exciting events which range from fun movie screenings to New Year's Eve extravaganzas that promise to light up the summer sky.
Prepare to be captivated by the spirit of the holidays as we delve into the tapestry of festive events. Let the countdown to a season of merriment, community, and celebration begin — Cairns style!
What to Do in Cairns During the Holidays
Starry Night Cinema Presents Love Actually
When: 23rd December, from 7:30 pm
Where: Cairns Botanic Gardens
If Love Actually is your favourite Christmas-themed movie, or you want some quality time outside with your family before the festivities officially start, then this outdoor movie showing is for you. Starry Night Cinema is back with an outdoor screening of the classic holiday romantic comedy Love Actually. Reminisce with your partner or introduce a new generation to one of the aughts biggest holiday hits.
Bring a foldable chair or picnic blanket and bask under the stars while enjoying popcorn and sipping drinks. Don't worry about food if you want something other than a picnic hamper. You can always buy dinner from Nick's Souvlaki Food Truck, which will be parked on-site.
This outdoor cinema is happening at the Cairns Botanic Gardens. It is a family-friendly event, so feel free to bring the entire family and a neighbour or two. Ticket prices for the family cost $40, while adult tickets cost $20. Tickets for kids cost $10. Although the show begins at 7:30 p.m., arrive early to secure an excellent seat.
Buy your tickets here.
Cairns Community Christmas Lunch
When: 25th December, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Where: St Augustine's College, 251 Draper Street, Cairns, QLD
Whether you're a tourist looking to share Christmas cheer with locals or have lived in the city and want to volunteer, you're welcome to the Cairns Community Christmas Lunch. Make some new friends while sharing good food with the locals. Everyone is welcome to this event. Just head to St Augustine's College on Christmas Day at 11:30 am to share the spirit of Christmas.
New Year's Eve Celebration in Cairns
When: 31st December, from 6:45 pm
Where: Multiple locations
Check out the Cairns New Year's Eve Celebration if you're looking for a family-friendly event to join on the 31st of December. This event, which will happen at different venues, is family-friendly. There will be a free screening of The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking movie at Walker Road Sports Precinct in Edmonton and on the Esplanade in Cairns. The movie begins at 6:45 pm, so come early.
Feel free to bring portable chairs or a picnic rug to enjoy the starry night and the movie. There will also be dazzling fireworks displays at 8:30 pm in different regional areas. These include the Cairns Esplanade, Palm Cove Jetty, and Walker Road Sports Precinct in Edmonton.
There will be another fireworks display at the Cairns Esplanade at midnight. Learn more about this family-friendly event here. Take note of the road closures if you're driving to the event and looking for a place to park your car.
Holiday Feasts in Cairns, Queensland
Planning a menu and preparing food for holidays can take a lot of effort, mainly if you have a large family and friends. If you're in Cairns, you can enjoy the holidays without all that stress simply by visiting the city's top restaurants. Here are some restaurants that offer special Christmas and New Year's menus.
Where to find it: 1 Marlin Parade, Cairns, QLD
Savour the freshest foods from Cairns at Ochre Restaurant. This December, the restaurant offers a special Christmas menu for those looking for something different for their Christmas party. Taste some juicy prawns, saddle tail snapper, Thai-style marinated duck, or roast turkey breast. Cap it off with mouth-watering desserts and freshly brewed coffee or tea.
The restaurant is closed on Christmas Day. Check out the Christmas menu here and reserve a table here.
Bushfire Flame Grill
Where to find it: 43 Esplanade, Cairns City, QLD
Check out Bushfire Flame Grill if you're looking for authentic churrasco and other delicious South American and Australian fare to celebrate the New Year. If you're looking for chicken mojos, churrasco, and Brazilian slaw to celebrate Christmas, this is the place to be. Bushfire Flame Grill's Christmas menu includes Brazilian slaw, baby potatoes, and rice. Cap it all off with churros and unlimited beverages. Book your spot here.
This Cairns restaurant offers a special New Year's Eve celebration with a mouth-watering three-course meal. The first session will happen at 5 pm and end at 7:30 pm. The second session will begin at 8 pm and end at 10 pm.
Christmas and New Year Cruises
Whether you're a local looking for a unique way to ring in the New Year or a visitor seeking a memorable celebration, Cairns cruise operators offer the perfect blend of festivity, relaxation, and breathtaking views. Picture yourself feasting on delicious food as you sail across the blue waters off the coast of Cairns on Christmas Day or sail under a canopy of stars, with the skyline aglow and the anticipation of a brand new year filling the air.
Join Cairns cruises for a day or night of enchantment as you and your family or friends navigate the scenic waters, creating memories to last a lifetime. Indulge in delectable cuisine, dance the night away to live music, and witness the city's vibrant fireworks display from the best vantage point on the water.
Escape to Paradise at Tropic Towers Cairns this Summer!
Ready for the ultimate summer getaway? Picture yourself basking in the tropical sunshine, surrounded by lush landscapes and crystal-clear waters. Your dream holiday awaits at Cairns' Tropic Towers!
Immerse yourself in comfort with our premium apartments that are spacious and luxurious. We have one-bedroom apartments for small families, while our two-bedroom apartments are ideal for larger groups. Wake up to stunning ocean or rainforest panoramas that will leave you in awe. Finally, explore Cairns' vibrant culture, nightlife, and iconic attractions, all within a few minutes from your deluxe Cairns accommodation.