The Week/End Guide.

hmas cairns


CAIRNS will be bustling this weekend with some of the nation’s most talented writers gathered in the far north for the Cairns Tropical Writers Festival.

Attending the Festival is a vibrant palette of literary talent with appearances by Nikki Gemmell, Julie Baird, Leigh Sales, Annabel Crabb, Craig Foster, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, Aaron Fa’Aoso and many more incredibly talented and inspiring writers-what an incredible line-up!

Cairns’ naval base, HMAS Cairns, is opening its heavily armoured gates to the public on Saturday, their first open day since 2013.

Free events include tours on Cape Otway, rigid inflatable boat and rides through the basin, armoury tours, weapons display, a workshop tour, sea-spider static displays, obstacle course, naval medics demonstration and lots more family fun!


THIS weekend, you’ll find live music at Paddy’s, Court House and the Central Hotel on Friday and Saturday nights and again at the Courty for a Sunday market session.

Hughies in Mossman is open again Friday for their once-a-week celebrity appearance from 4pm.

Stop by from 11pm till late at the Ironbar this Saturday and sway away to the tunes of DJ Dylan.

Mossman Chill Out Group will host a gathering of local musicians next Tuesday at Mossman Community Centre from 930 am.

The legendary Eric Bibb is live at the Tanks on Friday night.


Next movie showing is next week, Wednesday 1 March at 12.30pm. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.


HMAS Cairns Open Day will be held this Saturday from 9am-1pm.

Venue: Draper Street, Portsmith, Cairns, QLD

The open day is a free ticketed event but you need to register via the Eventbrite link below.

What to Expect:

– Tours on Cape Otway and Boarding Party equipment displays

– Rigid hull inflatable boat and sea boat rides through the basin

– Armoury tours, weapons display and boarding party display

– Workshop tours through Fleet Support Unit – North East and laser engraving display

– Sea-Spider static displays

– 2x survey craft static displays supported by various Hydrographic Equipment and imagery

– Clearance Diver static display of equipment

– Obstacle course managed and run by the Cairns Personal Training instructors

– Bandaging/CPR/PPE Demonstrations by naval medics

– Sea Training Group First Aid attack races

– Naval Communication Flag scavenger hunt throughout HMAS Cairns

– Stationary Joint Military Police Unit Service Vehicle tour

– Training Ship Endeavour Cadet tour and training displays

– Navy Indigenous Developmental Program and Defence Force recruiting information

– Defence Members Family Services, Return Service League and Legacy support stalls

– Face painting and live music

– Interactive museum, items on display from the Kokoda Hall Museum with curator support

– Stall from Kookaburra Kids

Image Credit / HMAS Cairns
Image Credit / HMAS Cairns


Yungaburra markets are on this Saturday with an early start.

Mossman markets from 7am-1pm and Port Douglas markets are Sundays from 8am-1.30pm.

Bookmark the regional market calendar here:


The Yachty ⟼ $19 Parmy night is Thursdays.

On Wednesdays they host a Pasta Night with delicious lasagne and cannelloni prepared by Italian chef Alex for only $20.

Restaurant Kai ⟼ has a 2-course weekly special where guests can choose any entree + any meal from the classics for $45 pp. Offer valid Tuesday – Saturday from 5pm.

Daintree Village Hotel ⟼ Wednesday nights are Pot + Parmi $20, Thursdays are pizza night, and Fridays are $20 Steak Night.

Palmer Sea Reef ⟼ host a popular Sunday Roast special-2 roasts and a bottle of vino for $60. Bookings essential 40 87 2222.


Cairns Tropical Writers Festival kicks off on Friday with a diverse range of events. Here is brief introduction to some of the highlighted events:

Dr Karl’s Random Road Trip Through Science

Friday, 24 February 2023
TIME: 7pm – 8:30pm
VENUE: Pullman Cairns International
TICKETS: $40 (Adults) and $25 (under 18) See less

Australian scientist and popular radio and television personality Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is headed to the Cairns Tropical Writers Festival to talk all things Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is the man with the answers when it comes to science and technology and is known for his infectious enthusiasm while presenting. As well as appearing on regular television and radio segments throughout his career, including for the ABC and Triple J, Dr Karl is an established author of 47 books. FORTY-SEVEN!

He was honoured with the prestigious Ig Nobel Prize awarded by Harvard University for his ground-breaking research into “Belly button lint and why it is almost always blue”.

An Evening with Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb

Saturday 25 February
TIME – 6.30pm – 10pm
LOCATION – Pullman Cairns International
TICKETS – $195 pp including a welcome drink and 2 course dinner

Cairns Tropical Writers’ Festival proudly presents Australian journalism powerhouses, Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales in what will undoubtedly be a delightfully entertaining and eclectic conversation covering everything from books to TV, music to cooking, and friendship to films, leaving very little cultural terrain untraversed.

Nikki Gemmell in conversation with Jane Caro

Sunday 26 February
TIME – 9am – 9.45am
LOCATION – Pullman Cairns International
TICKETS – Sunday day pass

Nikki Gemmell is known as one of Australia’s most provocative, and honest, writers. The best-selling author of thirteen novels and four works of non-fiction, her books have been translated into 22 languages.

As well as titles which include Dissolve, Shiver, Why You Are Australian and After; as well as the Kensington Reptilariam and Coco Banjo series for children, her best-known work is the 2003 novel The Bride Stripped Bare, an explicit exploration of female sexuality.
She writes a popular and controversial column in the Weekend Australian Magazine, which often challenges the newspaper’s readers to think in different ways. She was born in Wollongong, New South Wales, and was a journalist for both the ABC and BBC before turning to write full-time.


Hemingway’s Brewery is hosting Topics in the Tropics on Thursday from 7-9pm.

An entertaining and interactive trivia night- grab your mates and book a table now. Free entry but bookings via Hemingways recommended.


Italian Feast on The Deck

Friday 6 pm – 9 pm

Join our Italian shared feast pays homage to the Cane Cutters from Italy who arrived in the region over 100 years ago and their descendants who still farm the local land today.
Enjoy a glass of Italian Prosecco on arrival and fabulous food by our Executive Chef, Chef Belinda Tuckwell, from her favourite culinary regions of Italy.

  • Selection of local cured meats
  • Fritto misto, local prawns and calamari, roasted garlic, rocket and vincotto
  • Ricotta gnocchi, Atherton pumpkins and herb pesto
  • Porchetta with apple and fennel puree, sautéed mushrooms, guanciale, red wine jus, crispy sage
  • Cannoli

Rum Masterclass

Saturday 3 pm – 4 pm

More than a rum tasting, this masterclass will give you a fascinating insight into the wonders of TNQ Sugar Cane Rum.
‘Raise a Glass to the Past’ at Daintree Bar is an exclusive masterclass that pays homage to the cane cutters who arrived in the region over 100 years ago with a promise to work hard and, one day, own land.
During the masterclass you will be tasting rum made by Mount Uncle Distillery.

Mount Uncle has an unrivalled reputation in producing award winning products with an emphasis on using local and national Australian ingredients. The distillery is located on an 800-acre property, set amid a banana plantation and next to the local sugar mill.
Head Distiller and Director, Mark Watkins, will talk you through their process of using sugar cane to create the Mount Uncle FNQ Rum Co range. You will be tasting three different rums including the winner of the Gold Medal for World’s Best Pot Still Rum at the World Rum Awards (2021).
Your rum tasting will be accompanied by creatively paired dishes curated by Sheraton’s talented Executive Chef, Belinda Tuckwell.

  • Platinum Cane Spirit, paired with Kingfish ceviche with grapefruit and mint
  • Iridium Dark Rum, complimented by Oysters with chili pineapple salsa
  • Iridium X Aged Rum, accompanied by Truffle and Gruyere sourdough with fig jam
    The masterclass will end on a sweet note with a refreshing cocktail and decadent Atherton chocolate dark rum balls.

Sheraton Sunset Sessions

Sunday 5 pm – 8 pm

There’s no better way to spend a laid back Sunday evening than with cool drinks, Mediterranean bites and classic Ibiza chill-out tunes as the breeze flows in from Four Mile Beach.
There’s something for everyone with three packages available including a private poolside cabana indulgence, a bean bag with drinks and nibbles on the sand, or general seating to lounge as you please.
Sheraton Sunset Sessions is the perfect paradise treat for couples, groups of friends or adult families to get together.
Don’t miss out on this unique and memorable sunset experience. Reserve your spot today.


Petanque ⟼ Wednesdays in Port Douglas 4pm

Sailing ⟼ WAGS Wednesday afternoon sail at the Yachty

Douglas Athletics ⟼ Come & Try Day will be held March 2 at 3:45pm at the Mossman High School oval.

Join in a fun session for all and season information.

Mossman Junior Sharks ⟼ Pre-season training starts Thursday February 9 at 5pm for all grades. This will be an open COME TRY session to any kids interested in playing footy. For those ready to register for the 2023 season, simply go to

Two Happy Snaps

curated from around the interweb this week

The Daintree River is in flood. Normally if you are standing at this point, you can’t even see the river but today, a huge area is inundated with flood water and the Brahman herd has huddled up on the higher ground.@suzanne_robson_png

A bask of Saltwater Crocodile hatchlings cuddled up on a log in the mangroves of the Daintree River. @tatukaarlas


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