Christmas in Cairns: Tropical Festivities and Holiday Delights

Visiting Cairns for Christmas is a wonderful idea, as this tropical paradise in Queensland, Australia, offers a unique and memorable holiday experience. Here are some tips and ideas to make your Christmas in Cairns truly special:


1.Sleep on the Reef Aboard Reef Encounter this Christmas

Experience an unforgettable Christmas on the Great Barrier Reef with Reef Encounter. Spend your holidays on board this ship while admiring the beauty of the reef. Enjoy cosy accommodations, sumptuous meals, and the magic of a reef-based Christmas celebration. Make this holiday season a truly unique and memorable experience.

2. Outdoor BBQ

Embrace the Aussie tradition of a Christmas barbeque (BBQ). Many parks and public areas in Cairns have free BBQ facilities, allowing you to cook up a festive feast with family and friends while surrounded by lush greenery.

3. Reef Adventure

Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and Christmas is the perfect time to explore this natural wonder. Consider booking a snorkelling or diving trip to the reef to witness its breathtaking marine life and vibrant coral formations.

4. Rainforest Retreat

Take a break from the sun and explore the lush rainforests around Cairns. The Daintree and Kuranda Rainforest are within reach, offering unique experiences like jungle walks, cable car rides, and encounters with native wildlife.

5. Christmas Lights

Stroll through the Cairns Esplanade to admire the beautifully decorated Christmas lights and displays. The city comes alive with festive illumination, creating a magical atmosphere.

6. Local Cuisine

Savour Christmas flavours with a seafood feast featuring local delicacies like fresh prawns, barramundi, and tropical fruits. Many restaurants in Cairns offer special Christmas menus.

7. Cultural Experiences

Explore the rich Indigenous culture of the region by visiting the  Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience or joining an Indigenous cultural tour. It’s a great way to gain insight into the traditions and stories of the local Aboriginal communities.

8. Cairns Botanic Gardens

Visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens for a tranquil Christmas walk among tropical flora. The gardens are beautifully maintained and offer a serene escape from the holiday hustle and bustle.

9. Christmas Markets

Check out local Christmas markets for unique gifts and festive treats. The Cairns Esplanade Markets often have special Christmas editions with handmade crafts and delicious food.

10. Beachside Christmas

Enjoy the warm Australian summer by celebrating Christmas on one of Cairns’ beautiful beaches. Set a picnic, build sandcastles, and dip in the clear blue waters. Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, and Ellis Beach are excellent choices for a beachside celebration.

Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas by the beach, in the rainforest, or exploring the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns offers a variety of options to create cherished holiday memories. Enjoy the warm weather, friendly atmosphere, and beauty of this tropical paradise during your Christmas getaway.

Christmas Markets and Events

Here are some upcoming Christmas and New Year’s events in the Cairns area to help you celebrate the festive spirit:

Christmas Market (Leukaemia Foundation Fundraiser)

  • Date: Sunday, November 12, 2023
  • Time: 8:00 am
  • Location: Fred Moule Pavillion, Cairns Showgrounds
  • Description: Join us for a heartwarming Christmas market where you can find unique gifts and support a good cause. All proceeds from this event will go towards the Leukaemia Foundation.

Yorkeys Knob Twilight Christmas Market

  • Date: Saturday, November 25, 2023
  • Time: 4:00 pm
  • Location: Sims Esplanade, Yorkeys Knob
  • Description: Experience the magic of Christmas by the sea at the Yorkeys Knob Twilight Christmas Market. Explore stalls offering crafts, treats, and more as the sun sets over the Esplanade.

Good Tidings Classical Music Concert

  • Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023
  • Time: 2:00 pm
  • Location: St. Monica’s Cathedral, 181 Abbott Street, Cairns
  • Description: Enjoy an enchanting classical music concert in the historic surroundings of St. Monica’s Cathedral. Let the soothing melodies of the season fill your heart with joy.

Joy To The World: Cairns Community Carols

  • Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023
  • Time: 5:00 pm
  • Location: Cairns Showgrounds, Mulgrave Rd., Cairns
  • Description: Join the Cairns community in celebrating the spirit of Christmas with a wonderful carol event at the Cairns Showgrounds. Sing along to your favourite carols and embrace the festive atmosphere.

Cairns Men’s Shed Christmas Toy and Plant Sale

  • Date: Saturday, December 9, 2023 – Monday, December 9, 2024
  • Time: 7:30 am
  • Location: Cairns Men’s Shed, 186 Irene Street, Mooroobool
  • Description: Find the perfect Christmas gifts at the Cairns Men’s Shed Christmas Toy and Plant Sale. Discover a wide selection of toys and plants and support the local community.

These upcoming events promise to bring joy and festive cheer to the Cairns community. Whether you’re looking for unique gifts, enjoying classical music, or participating in community carolling, there’s something for everyone to celebrate during the holiday season.