FNQ Festivals Guide 2016
As we say goodbye to the wet season, it’s time to enjoy all that FNQ has to offer with this line-up of festival fun for the entire family.
Cairns Children’s Festival
- Where: Tanks Art Centre
- When: 15 May 2016
- More info: tanksartscentre.com
Erth Dinosaur Zoo join Play School’s Jay Laga’aia to headline this giant one day event at Tanks chock full of free & ticketed fun to celebrate & support learning, play, curiosity + discovery for children & their families.
Port Douglas Carnivale
- Where: Various locations in Port Douglas
- When: 12 to 22 May 2016
- More info: http://www.carnivale.com.au
It’s time to party in paradise with the 22nd annual Port Douglas Carnivale – a celebration of the best of Tropical North Queensland from the bounty of the land and sea and abundant fresh produce and ingredients, to talented local artists, musicians, and performers. Running for ten days in May, Carnivale also features plenty of family-friendly activities including the “Wonder of the Tropics” Macrossan Street Parade, Family Beach Day featuring a Kite Festival and Sand Sculpting competitions, live family entertainment, face painting, market stalls and eye-popping life size puppets.
- Where: Cruise Line Terminal, Cairns
- When: 29 May 2016
- More info: ecoweek.org.au/
Free and fun for all ages, The Cairns ECOfiesta, Sunday 29 May is the festival with a difference, celebrating and showcasing our unique natural environment, tropical lifestyle and green economy. The Cairns ECOfiesta features a full day of live music including the amazing Drumming Monkeys, children’s entertainment, circus performers, projection art, a huge eco-expo, a smorgasbord of festival food and even a licensed bar.
Kuranda Roots Festival
- Where: Kuranda
- When: 10 June and 11 June 2016
- More info: kurandaroots.com
Enjoy an impressive line-up of local and international Blues, Soul and Reggae musicians over two stages and three days.
Cairns Airport Adventure Festival
- Where: Cairns
- When: 5 June to 13 June 2016
- More info: ap.ironman.com/triathlon/events/asiapac/multisports/cairns.aspx#axzz44LgU34rX
Get active and ready for adventure with Cairns Airport Adventure Festival. The festival features an event for everyone including Flight Centre Active Travel Ironman 70.3 Cairns, Coral Coast 5150 Triathlon, RRR Mountain Bike Challenge, Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge, Quicksilver Reef Swim – Green Island, The Cairns Post Bright Night Run and McDonalds Ironkids Cairns – a triathlon especially for the juniors of the sport!
The Cooktown Discovery Festival
- Where: Cooktown
- When: 10 June to 13 June 2016
- More info: cooktowndiscoveryfestival.com
Discover all that Cooktown has to offer during this three day festival. This is one of Cooktown’s premier events, held on the June long weekend and featuring a mixture of entertainment, art displays and cultural events for the whole family.
- Where: Townsville Showgrounds
- When: 1 July to 4 July 2016
- More info: http://www.townsvilleshow.com.au/
Townsville Show opens 5pm Friday night and runs until 10pm on Monday. With sideshow games, showbags, competitions, exhibitions and a demolition derby, the Townsville Show is a favourite among families.
Mackay Festival of Arts
- Where: MECC
- When: 8 July to 7 July
- More info: mackayregion.com/events
The Mackay Festival of Arts boasts a 10 day program covering a wide variety of visual arts, music, theatre, family events, food and wine and much more. Expect Festival favourites such as the ever popular Wine and Food Day, a bigger and bolder Jazz Brunch, Gourmet Safari food trail, the hottest ticket in town, the Progressive Dinner and many more new events.
Mareeba Rodeo Festival
- Where: Mareeba
- When: 2 July to 17 July 2016
- More info: http://www.mareebarodeo.com.au/
Experience Australia’s outback cowboy culture with a tropical celebration of all things country. Leading up to the two day rodeo events on 16 July and 17 July, families will love the agricultural show and exhibition, junior cowpokes and Rodeo Queen competition and downtown parade. Get ready for a weekend of Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling, Barrel Race and Breakaway Roping and the bigger and better “Battle of the States: QLD vs NSW”.
- Where: Cairns Showgrounds
- When: 20 July to 22 July 2016
- More info: cairnsshow.com.au
With animals to pet, showbags to grab, rides to enjoy and games to play, the Cairns Show always proves to be a fun day out for the family.
Castrol Edge Townsville 400
Prepare for a weekend in the fast lane with Townsville biggest event on the 2016 calendar. Book your tickets for three days of fast-paced fun. It is the largest entertainment line-up in the seven-year history of the event, complemented by five on-track categories including V8 Supercars, the debut of the internationally acclaimed Formula 4 Championship, expanded Disney Zone and return of the gigantic Super Top to Reid Park.
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
- Where: Cairns
- When: 15 July to 17 July 2016
- More info: http://ciaf.com.au/
Much more than an art fair, CIAF is a platform for Queensland Indigenous artists to tell their stories through visual art, performance, theatre, fashion, screen, workshops and more.
Whitsunday Reef Festival
- When: 5 August to 14 August 2016
- Where: Airlie Beach
- More info: whitsundayreeffestival.com.au
With starlight movies, a fashion show, fireworks, a parade and the hilarious Comedy Gala, the Whitsunday Reef Festival has something for everyone. Kids will love the Telstra Family Fun Day with carnival rides, markets, food stalls and more.
Townsville Triathlon Festival and “Big Weekend”
- Where: Townsville
- When: 19 August to 21 August 2016
- More info: townsvilletrifestival.org.au
Now in its 14th year, The Townsville Triathlon Festival is expanding for 2016 to include the “Big Weekend” – a weekend of racing, fun and a full festival atmosphere with an array of events and activities to take part in across one massive weekend.
The Festival will also offer competitors entertainment options including the opening night ‘Carbs With The Stars’ dinner, the option to go to the North Queensland Cowboys home game on the Saturday night, and post event get together on the Sunday afternoon, as part of the “Big Weekend”.
Taste Port Douglas
- Where: Port Douglas
- When: 12 August to 14 August
- More info: tasteportdouglas.com/
A popular festival for foodies, Taste Port Douglas includes celebrity chef dinners, master classes, food trails and lot of other yummy events to lure food lovers to the North.
Cairns Ukulele Festival
- Where: Cairns
- When: 25 August to 28 August
- More info: http://cairnsukulelefestival.net/
Feel the tropical vibe with thousands of ukulele players from around the world. The Cairns Ukulele Festival includes events such as Songwriters on the Waterfront, Opening NIght Concert, a Ukulele Mystery Tour, Dinner and Show, Ukulele Building Workshop, Community Concert Day, lots of playing workshops and of course a spectacular Finale Concert.
Townsville Cultural Festival
- Where: James Cook University Grounds, Townsville
- When: 17 August to 21 August
- More info: http://www.culturalfest.org/
The Townsville Cultural Festival is a completely not-for-profit festival organised by the Townsville Intercultural Centre. The festival aims to showcase the diversity of Australian music, food, arts and culture, bringing people together in celebration of life itself. Over 100 performing groups will take to the multiple stages, offering everything from folk, blues and hip-hop, to Indigenous Australian music, African drum circles, as well as Latin, Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern dance groups.
- Where: Cairns
- When: 26 August to 4 September
- More info: cairns.qld.gov.au/festival
A celebration of the good life in the tropics, this festival features a number of family activities including fireworks, a street parade, a family day, Carnival on Collins and the Cairns Amateurs (for Mum and Dad).
Carnival on Collins
- Where: Cairns Botanical Gardens, Tanks Arts Centre and Collins Ave
- When: Father’s Day Sunday (first Sunday in September)
- More info: www.tanksartscentre.com
Carnival on Collins is a Father’s Day tradition in Cairns and the finalé of the annual Cairns Festival. Since its inception in 1989, Carnival has become a must-attend event for locals and tourists alike to indulge in the best of our tropical lifestyle, with a range of free activities and entertainment.
With more than 175 stalls – including plant stalls, lifestyle products, arts and crafts, food and refreshments – three exciting stages of live entertainment and a free Children’s Wonderland for the little ones, plus amusement rides, roving entertainers and a coffee retreat for the adults, Carnival on Collins has something for everyone.
Set amidst the city’s Botanic Gardens cultural precinct and timed to embrace the blue sky and spring weather, the Carnival continues to be an opportunity for the Cairns community to celebrate who we are and how we live, every Father’s Day Sunday.