Cairns Night Markets & Food Court
In between diving the Great Barrier Reef and hiking in the Daintree Rainforest, be sure to visit the Cairns Night Markets & Food Court to shop, eat, and even get a massage after a day of exploring. The marketplace has over 130 stalls selling everything from touristy souvenirs and T-shirts to blown glass, local honey, and Aussie leather hats.
This open-air market in Cairns bustles with activity and features a 200-seat food court that serves fresh seafood and a variety of Asian options from Korean BBQ, sushi, and kebabs to Malaysian soups and curries, as well as plenty of desserts. In addition to the maze of shops filled with trinkets, souvenirs, and jewelry, there’s an entire aisle devoted to reasonably priced massage services, which could be a welcome relief after a day of adventure.
Things to know before you go
- Most food stalls accept credit cards but bring cash as you might be able to haggle for a lower price.
- The Cairns Night Markets & Food Court space is air-conditioned.
- Look for the green and yellow “Made in Australia” stickers on authentic items.
How to get there
The Cairns Night Markets & Food Court are located on the Esplanade, at the base of the Royal Harbour hotel. It’s a 5-minute walk from the Lake Street bus stop and is close to the train station at the Cairns Central Shopping Centre; walk up Shields Street to the markets. Paid parking is also accessible from Abbott Street.
When to get there
The market is open daily from 5-11pm. The food court is open during the day from 10am to 11pm, and massage and beauty services are available from 12pm to 11pm. Overall, the best time to visit Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef is from June to October, which is the area’s dry season.
Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park at Night
While this attraction is open during the day, stop by in the evening for a lakeside ceremony by the Tjapukai people that includes traditional songs and a blazing fire. Following that is a 4-course meal with Indigenous flavors and Australian meats plus a stage performance. Various ticket packages are available.
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