Many of this year’s festivals and events have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Most of North Queensland’s festivals and events occur in the dry season between May-October when the weather is cooler.
Here’s a list of the major NQ festivals and events that occur each year across the region.
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Cairns Chinese New Year Festival
Chinese New Year year seems to become a bigger event every year in Cairns with thousands of Chinese tourists descending upon the city for the celebrations. Highlights this year include the ever popular Chinese Street Festival on 9 February with Lion dancing, traditional drumming, performances, Chinese food and lots of colourful entertainment. Book yourself in for some yum cha to welcome in the year of the pig.
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Feast of the Senses
A celebration of local tropical produce in Innisfail, which includes food trails and a ‘feast street.
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Undara Outback Rock and Blues Festival
A fun family event in the outback that is small enough for visitors to mingle with the musicians.
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Herberton Pioneer Weekend
Get your vintage gear on and step back in time for this family friendly weekend with live entertainment and demonstrations.
Port Douglas Carnivale
A well-established annual event catering for foodies and families.
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Palm Creek Folk Festival
After 25 years this festival is still a popular event on the calendar with heaps of performers over four days. Held at the Mountain View Lake Eco Park about 40kms south of Townsville.
Cooktown Discovery Festival
Fully costumed re-enactment of Captain Cook’s landing in 1770 with lots of family fun.
Weipa Fishing Classic
Cape York’s most significant fishing competition with a $100,000 prize up for grabs. Lots of other activities and entertainment also on over the 3 days.
Cairns Airport Adventure Festival
Action-packed festival including the Cairns Ironman on 10 June.
Kuranda Roots Festival
All-ages event showcasing artists from the world, roots, reggae and dub genres.
Laura Dance Festival (bi-annual)
Unique cultural event bringing together Cape York’s Aboriginal communities for dance, singing, art and crafts. It’s held every two years at the Dance Festival Showgrounds near Split Rock (approx. 300kms from Cairns). Camping is the only option for accommodation.
Townsville Show opens 5pm Friday night and runs until 10pm on Monday. The Monday is a public holiday for locals.
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Mareeba Rodeo Festival
Experience Australia’s outback cowboy culture.
Townsville 400 – V8 Supercar Race 2011
Probably the biggest event on the Townsville calendar and a major NQ event for revheads. You can book tickets for the event through Ticketek.
Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
An increasingly popular event that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture with art, dance and music on display.
Australia’s biggest regional agricultural show. The last day (20th) is a public holiday in Cairns.
Bowen will be hosting a round of the Australian Offshore Superboat Championships so this is a great opportunity to watch the spectacle of speedboats reach up to 200 kph.
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Australian Festival Chamber of Music
A well-established event in Townsville with an international reputation. Classical musicians from around the world will be performing.
Whitsunday Reef Festival
Annual event held in Airlie Beach celebrating life in the Whitsundays
Australian Italian Festival
Celebration of the regions Italian migrants in Ingham.
Townsville Cultural Festival
One of Townsville’s best events celebrating the diversity of Australian culture with performances and food from the Pacific Islands, Middle East and a range of other nations.
Airlie Beach Race Week
Tropical Writers Festival
A bi-annual event that attracts book lovers and writers from around the country including some big name authors.
Townsville Triathlon Festival
Hamilton Island Race Week
A major international event and Australia’s largest offshore sailing regatta.
A celebration of living in the tropics. Kicks off with a street parade and finishes with Carnival on Collins on Father’s Day.
Magnetic Island Race Week
A great excuse to enjoy the beautiful Magnetic Island and surrounding ocean. There are also lots of social activities happening on the island too.
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A highlight of the Cairns social calendar with four days of fashion, food, racing and entertainment.
Taste Port Douglas
A popular foodie event that includes celebrity chef dinners, master classes, food trails and lot of other yummy events to lure food lovers to the North.
Wallaby Creek Festival
Very popular and family-friendly music and arts festival located just south of Cooktown at Home Rule Lodge.
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Glendi Festival Townsville
Previously known as Greek Fest, this event is a celebration of Greek Australian culture with food, music and dance.
Palm Cove Reef Feast
An event that celebrates Queensland’s seafood and local produce.
Tablelands Folk Festival
A popular annual event in Yungaburra that us known as Queensland’s longest running folk festival. Very family friendly with lots of music and entertainment.
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Airlie Beach Festival of Music
Over 200 international and national performers gather together to feature in various shows all around town in this idyllic tropical environment.
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New Years Eve Events
Most large towns and cities in the region have events on New Years Eve from free live music and entertainment to parades and fireworks displays.