New Year’s Eve in Cairns 2018/2019 | What’s happening on NYE

The ultimate guide to celebrating New Year's in Cairns.

With the sun shining and the beach at your beck and call there's no better way to start off the new year than with a party in Cairns.

When it comes to events, you have more than your fair share to pick from including beachside dinners, island parties and the fireworks display at midnight.

Here's the goss:

Where to watch the Cairns New Year’s Eve fireworks?

The best place to witness the sky crack with the light of New Year's fireworks is on Cairns Esplanade. While the plans for 2018/2019 haven't been announced yet, in 2017/2018 there was a 9pm show for kids and families and for those who can stay up for it there was the grand finale midnight spectacular.

Around 30,000 people usually flock to the shore to catch both pyrotechnic performances, but you won't have to struggle to find space or an unimpeded view. Anywhere along the Esplanade is fine and there is plenty to keep all entertained from 6pm onwards in the area including on-stage and roving entertainment and amusement park rides.

For those seeking to get away from the crowds, Palm Cove also hosts its own fireworks along the foreshore at 9pm.

Best New Year’s Eve dinners in Cairns

Details for 2018/2019 dinners haven't been announced yet, but here's some of what happened this past year:

  • Salt House: Dubbed A Black Tie Affair, Salt House boasts one of the most spectacular soirees of the year on 31 December. Opt to dine on a three course meal with complimentary champagne on arrival for $125 or spend your evening sipping cocktails and supping on canapes for $99. Once the dining is complete, step onto the dance floor for live entertainment by DJ and band NIGHTSHIFT. From Salt House, you'll also enjoy views of both the 9pm and midnight fireworks.
  • Simply Italian Bar and Grill: Located on the waterfront minutes near The Esplanade is this gem of a restaurant. For New Years it's delivering a $75 set menu that nonna would be proud of. Think lasagne, fresh fish, pizza and Italian trifle. Stay the night and catch the fireworks. We would too.
  • Pullman Cairns: Dine on fresh a seafood buffet with Moreton Bay bugs, oysters, blues swimmer crabs and more before dancing dance the night away. Tickets from $121.

Best Cairns New Year’s Eve parties and events

Details for 2018/2019 parties haven't been announced yet, but here's some of what happened this past year:

  • Esplanade: The official New Year's party is along the Esplanade where there will be live performance, food stalls and activities galore. It's a family-friendly event and an ideal location to take in the fireworks.
  • Fitzroy Island: For a truly memorable send off to 2017, take your party to Fitzroy Island. Tickets to its event sell out in a flash so keep your eyes peeled for details when they land. We know we are.
  • Gilligan’s: Gilligan’s hasn't confirmed its New Year's Eve party details quite yet, but no doubt you'll be burning up the dance floor like it's 2017 (because, well, it is) after you walk through its doors.
  • Pier Bar: One of the city's ultimate party destinations for New Year's, the news about the gig is hush-hush at the moment but we'll keep you in the loop as word gets around.
  • The Jack: Every year The Jack raises the roof with a powerhouse line-up of live music and this year we're anticipating the same. Watch this space for more details.
  • The Party Tour: For the best of all worlds, catch the New Year's Eve Ultimate Party Tour. Practically an institution in the city, it takes you to all the best clubs including The Jack, Gilligan’s and Pier Bar. Transport is via a party bus and entry into the clubs is included.

Best New Year’s Eve accommodation in Cairns

Cairns has an abundant choice of hotel rooms to retire to after a long night out on the town. Book these now though because they're bound to sell out quickly.

Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns
Rydges Esplanade Resort Cairns Hotels

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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