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Art Events in Cairns and Surrounds

Whether you're a local having a staycation or a guest visiting our fine tropical climate, one thing's for sure: you won't be bored from a lack of art and culture events throughout the year. A fine contingent of blockbuster festivals from music, indigenous art and dance, Cairns and the Tropical North is the place to be to get your festival fix on.

If you're someone who travels for art, you might want to book those domestic flights now. This is an impressive line-up of our top events, with plenty more yet to be confirmed. Hop to it.

Cairns Art Gallery

The Cairns Art Gallery is one of Australia’s leading public galleries and plays host to an ever-changing program of local artists as well as exhibitions from Australian and international collections. Located in the heart of the Cairns CBD and just a five-minute walk (or bike ride) away, the not-for-profit gallery is the perfect place to explore the arts and cultures of the area. For those who love to shop, the Gallery’s shop contains a collection of souvenirs and gifts inspired by art, culture and design from Tropical North Queensland.


Located just a stone’s throw away, Bulmba-ja showcases stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and plays a vital role in the Cairns arts scene. Managed by Arts Queensland, this beautiful newly refurbished building houses JUTE Theatre Company, NorthSite Contemporary Arts gallery and shop, Miriki Performing Arts, The Pryce Centre for Culture and Arts and Minjil.

Cairns Performing Arts Centre 

Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) offers a innovative and debut performances in addition to a well-crafted mix of classics and revived theatrical pieces. With multiple performance spaces across the CPAC site, the versatility of the venue enables the presentation of a variety of events including theatre, music, dance, contemporary circus, opera, film and comedy. The program of events aims to a focus on youth, new collaborations and our local performing artists alongside a wide range of touring productions.

Tanks Arts Centre

Situated in the Cairns Botanical Garden precinct, this mutli-use centre is an innovative and iconic art space creatively housed in three converted WWII oil storage tanks. Tanks Art Centre offers a range of arts and cultural events and activities throughout the year including live music, visual art exhibitions, theatre productions, community development opportunities and workshops and monthly markets.

What are you waiting for, borrow one of our free Bailey Bikes and pedal your way to one of the most highly distinctive and dynamic spaces in Far North Queensland.

Cairns Italian Festival

When: 28 July – 6 August, 2022
Where: Check website for event locations in Cairns and Tablelands

Ciao and welcome aboard a journey celebrating and showcasing the flavors of Italian food, culture, family values and history, whilst embracing and involving the entire local community. The Cairns Italian Festival is a celebration rich in Italian history, culture, food, wine, song, and dance that will encompass 9 days of festivities with a fantastic line-up of activities and entertainment from all around Australia.

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

When: 6 - 10 July, 2022
Where: Cairns Convention Centre

Held over three days annually in July, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair draws art collectors, curators and the general public from both home and overseas offering an opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of Indigenous cultures. This event presents an annual showcase and celebration of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture through art, dance and music.

Wallaby Creek Festival

When: 23 – 25 September, 2022
Where: Home Rule Rainforest Lodge, Rossville

Wallaby Creek Festival is a celebration of music and arts in the rainforest – set in the stunning grounds of Home Rule Rainforest Lodge near Rossville, via Cooktown, Queensland. Like Woodford Folk Festival for the North, the festival grounds come alive with an exceptional line up of internationally touring musicians, workshops, performers, street theatre and dynamic activities, set along the spectacular backdrop of Home Rule Falls.

Cairns Tropical Writers Festival

When: 24 - 26 February, 2023
Where: Check website for event locations

The north’s biggest celebration of writing and ideas! The Cairns Tropical Writers Festival brings together a regional community of writers and readers with Australian and internationally revered authors and celebrities, who inspire and feed our literary minds. Highlights include a local book fair and bookstore where you can meet authors, attend book launches and purchase books written by locally based writers, about the region or by their visiting authors, as well as exciting workshop programs designed to ensure there is something for everyone.