At the top-end of Australia, far away from the hustle of city life awaits the leisure city of Cairns. This region boasts the largest Queer Community in the state outside of South East Queensland – making it a safe place for locals and tourists alike. Cairns is known as being the creative hub of rural Queensland due to its live music venues, local artists, and galleries. It’s also the best gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and World Heritage Listed rainforests, so it’s no surprise why we have over 2 million visitors a year!
While Cairns is experiencing a transitional period in the LGBTIQ community, we are currently without a dedicated venue, however we have many great parties to compensate in the meantime. On top of the monthly queer-welcoming parties held in the CBD, other events such as Cairns Tropical Pride draw in big numbers and receive a lot of community support. Although, with a range of new bars and clubs in the city and many queer out-of-towners wanting to party, you’ll be sure to find your clique wherever you go!
If your mantra is along the lines of, “no worries, love,” you’ll especially fall in love with the pace of the north. Many LGBTIQ exports from busy cities traded concrete jungles for real ones and found peace in the relaxed lifestyle. With something to suit everyone’s interests and a 12-month summer, it makes sense why some visitors decide not to leave.
Be it your maiden voyage or your home away from home, we urge interstate and international LGBTIQ communities to take a break from the city and relax with us in paradise. For further convincing, pick up the latest edition of FNQ Magazine to stay up to date with must-dos, celebrity profiles and hot parties!
As stated above, Cairns is going through a transitional period within the LGBTIQ community and despite once being home to many gay venues, we are currently without a dedicated bar or club. However, that’s not to say that we stay home every weekend! There are many venues in Cairns with visitors from all over the world to party with!
Live music, relaxed ambiance, cute staff. A great venue for any night of the week – especially Mondays. Salt House made “Hospo Night” for retail, tourism and hospitality workers who work weekends – join in. Cheap drinks. Deep house. Love Mondays.
North Bar and Grill
Quiet enough to hear your Tinder date sitting next to you. It has a relaxing pace and a great outdoor area over-looking the marina. If none of these interests you, ask them about their cocktail specials…
The Three Wolves
Like many great things, you need to walk down a dark alley to wind up here. This cocktail bar specialises in whisky cocktails with drinks imported from all over the world. An elegant interior and delicious share-boards. A nice place to dress up.
Where we all end up. The Woolshed does not hold back with their 90’s and 00’s mixes, and when your 4th vodka sunrise kicks in, you’re going to want to join the backpackers who are dancing on the tables.
The biggest nightclub in Cairns, and while there’s a prominent heteronormative culture, you can still cut shapes on the dance floor. They also host Ministry of Sound events, and touring DJs so check out what’s coming up!
Previously Sugar Hut on Lake St, this venue boasts the best RnB in Cairns and is located in the centre of the nightclub precinct.
The Attic Lounge
Located upstairs of Gilligan’s, this stylish fit-out is worked by sexy staff and it’s known for it’s trap music. Long pants and sleeves are a must, so leave your shorts and singlets at home if you want to get through the door.
Cairns Tropical Pride and Dance Parties
Cairns has a vibrant and varied LGBTIQ Community who know how to party!
Themed queer parties are held once a month – usually on the first Saturday. Run by local volunteer group Out! Cairns, it’s a great place to meet the locals and mingle with fellow travellers. Their resident DJ will bring you your favourite tunes and their Drag Performers vary with some staying true to the relaxed lifestyle, which is renown in the north. Try something different!
For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/GayCairns/
LGBTIQ Parties are also held at Turtle Cove, just under an hour north of Cairns. A bit far for an Uber, but with their own accommodation, you can stay the night if you’ve had a few too many martinis by the pool.
For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/TurtleCoveBeachResort/
A recent addition to the calendar, Thirsty. Cairns is a bi-monthly event for the LGBTIQ+ community and are held at the popular venue, Woolshed. With music from local and interstate DJs and the mischievous local drag queens making sure everyone that no-one is on their best behaviour! Join in on the fun!
For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/ThirstyCairns/
Cairns Tropical Pride is the jewel in the crown of Queer events in the city. From beach takeovers to sponsored parties, and not to mention the much-anticipated Fair Day, held at one of Cairns’ most iconic venues – the Tanks Arts Centre. The committee welcomes locals and visitors alike to join us in paradise and celebrate what makes us unique.
For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/cairnstropicalpride/