ferris wheel at port douglas carnival

Blog Post

Events to catch in May 2022

Kevin the cassowary

TNQ Writer

With events every weekend in May, you’re never short of something to do in the region.

As Autumn nights cool down and the long days of our extended summer wane, our event season kicks into high gear. With events every weekend in May, you’re never short of something to do in the region.

Rodeos & Races

Do cowboy boots, dusty arenas and horses sound like your idea of a good time? Then you’ll find just what you’re looking for at the Mount Garnet Races & Rodeo and the Chillagoe Rodeo.

Head to Mount Garnet from April 28 – May 1 for another year of camping, exhibitions, auctions and of course some nail-biting professional bull riding, followed by more horsing around at the Chillagoe Rodeo from 6-8 May.

Gregory River Canoe Race

If you’re a keen canoer, or even if you’re not, the Gregory River Canoe Race is the place to be. Held on 1 May, the race draws crowds in their thousands from all over Australia to the idyllic banks of the Gregory River to enjoy a weekend of canoeing, swimming, camping, fishing and partying. 

While most paddlers are in it for a little adventure on their long weekend, serious competitors are given the opportunity to win some major prize money. The race record hasn’t been broken since 2001, could this be the year? 

Cape York Marathon

On your mark, get set, go to Bamaga, Australia’s northernmost mainland settlement for this epic race on May 1.

Commencing at dawn on the outskirts of this vibrant township, a traditional Welcome to Country marks the start of the Cape York Marathon. Competitors can choose between a 21km half marathon or the 42km full marathon, both ending at the tip of Australia! This year, a 7km fun run is new to the program.

Australian Heritage Festival

Ever wanted to enjoy an outback heritage experience from the comfort of your own home? Well now you can. At this year’s Australian Heritage Festival, the tiny town of Croydon is going online with a series of interactive virtual tours. 

Kicking off with a Sunset Heritage tour on May 3, you can explore every side of this ancient outback township, from Gold Mines and Gold fields to heritage buildings and even a cemetery.

Cairns Expo

Calling all lovers of good old fashion outdoor adventure – the Cairns Expo is back from 6-8 May and bigger than ever. Showcasing the latest products and services for homes, lifestyle and outdoor adventure, the expo has something for everyone. Whether you’re into sustainable living, finance, gardening, homewares, roofing or beds, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

You’ve got the chance to talk one-on-one with local experts and explore the largest display of caravans, campers, boating and vehicle accessories in the region, plus you can save on your next adventure with expo-only deals!

Cairns Craft Beer Festival

Join the crowds at the Cairns Craft Beer Festival on 7 May, at historic waterfront brewpub, Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf. Hemingways will showcase their own brews alongside Barrier Reef Brewing, Coral Sea Brewing, Macalisters Brewing, Sauce Brewing, Devils Thumb, Mount Uncle and Wolf Lane.

Historic Village Herberton Pioneer Weekend

Olden day Australia comes alive as pioneers climb out of the history books at the Historic Village Herberton Pioneer Weekend, 7-8 May, with demonstrations of blacksmithing, wood chopping, tin panning, and more. There’ll be prizes for best-dressed visitors exploring the sixty original buildings – a living history of Australia’s timber, farming and mining origins.

Music Festivals & more

May is like music to our ears, meaning it’s the perfect time of year to catch some world famous acts of course! 

Join in on a memorable night of remarkable music as Australian singer & songwriter Missy Higgins heads to Munro Martin Parklands on May 7. Or catch superstar Guy Sebastian’s T.R.U.T.H tour on May 10 as he finally takes the stage in Cairns. 

If your music taste is a little more rock and roll, then gear up for the ultimate Aussie rock lineup at this year’s Red Hot Summer Tour on May 14. Featuring Hunters & Collectors, James Reyne, The Living End, The Angels, Baby Animals, Killing Heidi and Boom Crash Opera, this is one show not to be missed.

Port Douglas Carnivale

A tropical wonderland street parade opens the Port Douglas Carnivale, 20-22 May. Be entertained at the Wonderland Spiegeltent, The Australian INXS Show, a Family Beach Day with Kites Queensland’s Monsters of the Sky and track down the army of projected sugar ants.

The Great Wheelbarrow Race

A wheelbarrow is very handy, but is it handy in a long-distance race? Probably not, but it’s a heck of a fun weekend at the Great Wheelbarrow Race, 20-22 May. Grab your teammates and head to Wheelbarrow Way for the 140km Mareeba to Chillagoe run, winding through rich farmlands and wooded Savannah country in tribute to our pioneers.

Port Douglas Race Week

Yachts race the winds of paradise vying for the historic Clipper Cup at the Port Douglas Race Week, 24-28 May. Race around Low Isle and Snapper Islands on the beautiful waters of the Coral Sea and celebrate each day in the festival atmosphere at the Yacht Club – everyone’s invited.

Cairns EcoFiesta

Saving the planet and an awesome festival all rolled into one? You must be thinking about the Cairns EcoFiesta

Held in Munro Martin Parklands on May 29, the EcoFiesta is Queensland’s premier sustainability festival, showcasing stellar performances, hands-on workshops and a massive expo of green-tech and sustainable living solutions for all ages. Not to mention delicious food and prizes, plus the opportunity to connect with environmental groups, climate committees, reef and rainforest authorities and green businesses. 

The party doesn’t stop when your event is over

Keep the adventure going with epic day trips around the tropics