Cairns is a popular destination for Chinese New Celebrations attracting around 10,000 Chinese nationals to the city each year. The Cairns Chinese New Year Festival is hosted by the Cairns Chinese community with events and celebrations across the tropical north Queensland region.

The hugely popular festival showcases the city’s rich Chinese heritage through music, dance and cultural performances, food, market stalls, and a parade featuring the traditional Chinese dragon, lions and the 12 zodiac animals.

Cairns and Port Douglas have a valued connection to China, and this is reflected in enduring relationships with Sister City Zhanjiang and Zhongshan, our Friendship City. The Chinese Friendship Garden at the Cairns Botanic Gardens celebrates these important links.
Visit Cairns Chinese New Year website  website for the 2018 program.

Here’s just a small selection of the events you shouldn’t miss.

Chinese Exhibition at Cairns Museum

16 Feb – May 2018

We are very excited to announce that the Cairns Museum will launch its Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year Exhibition ‘Deep Roots – understanding the Lit Sung Goong and the temple collection’ on Friday 16th February. This collaborative exhibition with the Cairns and District Chinese Association Inc is the first time since 2005 that the rare and significant Lit Sung Goong temple objects will be displayed.

Cairns Museum | Chinese New Year Cairns

Chinese New Year Street Festival

24 Feb 2018

The free Chinese New Year Street Festival celebrates Tropical North Queensland’s diversity and rich Chinese heritage, bringing new life and vibrancy into the city and is popular with the local community and visitors.

This year’s program includes colourful Lion and Dragon performances, Chinese drumming, interactive art and cultural displays, Chinese food and a huge variety of market stalls and street food. Children’s activities include the opportunity to feed the Lion and Chinese Craft.

Two Stages will provide action-packed entertainment and prize draws. The YAPS street parade commences at 4:30 pm and is followed later in the evening by the CADCAI Street Parade the Chinese Lion and Dragon performances and firecrackers.

Cairns Chinese New Year parade

Hayley Gillespie Art Exhibition – 12 Zodiacs

8 Feb – 3 Mar 2018

Held at the Cairns Aquarium, original artworks from local artist, Hayley Gillespie explores the meanings of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs.

Facts like years, strengths, weaknesses, best matches the fortunes of each sign in 2018. The Zodiac animals are designed by Hayley Gillespie and have both Eastern and Western influences, a fusion of both cultures representing a modern multicultural Australia. They have been representing the Chinese celebrations in the Cairns community over the years.

Shaolin Chinese Junk Tours

8 Feb – 8 Mar

Experience a Cairns harbour cruise like no other, on an authentic Chinese Junk ‘Shaolin’, learn of the intriguing history of this unique and rare vessel as she takes you on a journey through the Cairns harbour and waterways, giving you stunning views of the rainforest-clad mountains and mangrove habitat. Listen to the informative commentary while relaxing on the teak deck or saloon area.

(Note: Shaolin Junk is usually available for cruises year round departing from Port Douglas marina)

Shaolin junk cruise | Chinese New Year | Cairns