What’s on at Cairns Esplanade

What’s on at Cairns Esplanade

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/15/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

The Cairns Esplanade has something for everyone to enjoy, from tasty food to year-round events and activities.

In the heart of Cairns, the Cairns Esplanade is a thriving part of the city with a range of local events that take place throughout the year. The Esplanade is a 2.5 kilometre stretch along the foreshore with scenic views of the waterfront and parklands.

How to get to the Esplanade

There is a bus stop on Spence Street at Grafton Street, which is a seven minute walk from the Esplanade. Otherwise, the closest train station is Cairns Station, which is about a 20 minute walk.

If you decide to drive, there is paid parking at the Southern Esplanade car park. Or there is free parking available just a short walk from the Esplanade.

What’s on

Cairns Esplanade hosts many events, activities, and things to do throughout the year.

Swimming at Cairns Esplanade Lagoon

One of the most popular things at the Cairns Esplanade is the Lagoon! Here is the best spot to go swimming and cool off on a hot day. The Lagoon is free entry and is open all year round.

There is also a skatepark, outdoor, gym, beach volleyball, and other activities that take place.

Free fitness classes

Along the Cairns Esplanade, there are free fitness classes that take place throughout the week!

Classes you can attend include aqua Zumba, beach volleyball, bouldering, Pilates, Sahaja yoga meditation, seniors exercise, and Zumba fitness.

The classes won’t take place on public holidays, and when the weather is unfavourable and unsafe.

Reef Eye Ferris Wheel

The Reef Eye is a 35-metre tall ferris wheel on the Cairns Esplanade. The Reef Eye is open seven days a week, with 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

You can book tickets online with kids under two for free. There are standard tickets, a private gondola for six people or a VIP gondola for four people for 30 minutes with a bonus of special chocolate.

BBQ picnics

There are areas within the Esplanade that have public BBQs along with picnic tables.

Nearby some of the BBQs there is a playground, free parking, and public toilets. The playgrounds will tire out the kids with its awesome slides and climbing walls, while one of the playgrounds has a water play area!

Cairns Festival

The Cairns Festival is an annual 10 day event in August and September. The festival celebrates art, culture, and the joy of living in Cairns.

The festival creates a lively area with free music and entertainment for everyone to enjoy. There is an open air cinema, kid’s activities, amazing food, and so much more to get people involved in the Cairns Festival.

After spending time at the Esplanade you can check out the Cairns Night Markets, Cairns Aquarium, and shopping centre that is a short walk away.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.