25 FEBRUARY (Sunday): YEAR OF THE DRAGON YUM CHA - Imperial Chinese Restaurant

Experience an authentic Chinese Yum Cha and enjoy a variety of delightful Cantonese dim sum in the company of family and friends at Imperial Chinese Restaurant  on Sunday 25th February.

MENU: Spring Rolls, Combination Fried Dumplings,  Steamed Dim Sim, Steamed Prawn Dumplings, Shanghai Pork Bun BBQ Pork Bun, Red Bean Bun, Sesame Prawn Toast, Salt and Pepper Calamari, Honey Pepper Pork Spare Ribs, Soy Sauce Fried Noodles, Rice Pudding, and Hot Chinese Tea.

Bookings are essential : Please contact  Amy Sing: 0488 288 843  or marketing@cadcai.org.au

24 FEBRUARY (Saturday): CHINESE NEW YEAR LANTERN FESTIVAL & FIREWORKS FINALE – Esplanade Lagoon Plaza, 5.30 - 7.30pm

The Lantern Festival, also known as the Yuan Xiao marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities.  

CADCAI will celebrate this event at the Cairns Lagoon Plaza on 24 th February with authentic Chinese food, festivities and entertainment for the entire family, plus a spectaculr fireworks display conclude the Chinese New Year celebrations at 7.30pm.  

The event will feature:

* Welcome to Country and Traditional Smoking Ceremony

* CADCAI Dragon and Lion Performances

* Molihua Dancers

* Lantern and food stalls   

Venue: Cairns Lagoon Plaza

Time: 5.00-7.30pm          

Fireworks start at 7.30 pm     



17 FEBRUARY (Saturday): CHINESE NEW YEAR BANQUET - Golden Boat Seafood Restaurant, 6.30pm




10 FEBRUARY (Saturday): NEW YEARS DAY – Cairns Lagoon Plaza, from 6.30pm - 7.00pm

It’s time to celebrate !  Join CADCAI as it welcomes the first day of Lunar New Year with  traditional dragon and lion dance blessings.   firecrackers, drumming and firecrackers to bring good luck and scare away the evil spirits.

You will have the opportunity to  meet and greet the auspicious lions and feed them with with hongbao (lucky red packets),  and be blessed with good fortune, happiness and prosperity for the coming year.

 Location and Time:

Cairns Esplande Lagoon Plaza –  6..30 –  700pm

8 FEBRUARY (Thursday): HERITAGE MORNING TEA – Cairns Museum, 10.30 - 12.00noon

CADCAI and the Cairns Historical Society (CHS) are hosting a Chinese New Year Heritage morning tea to welocme the Year of the Wood Dragon and celebrate our city’s shared Chinese history and heritage.

Guest speaker : Julia Volkmar

Honouring early Chinese enterprise in the Cairns district,

When: 8 February 2024  at: 10.30am – 12.00 n0on

Where : Cairns Museum Verandah  

Cost: $20 (catering cost) 

Bookings are Essential : Please contact : heritage@cadcai.org.au  with your name and phone number.  N.B. Tickets are are limited so please book early!

Presentation description

‘Honouring early Chinese enterprise in the Cairns district’, an illustrated presentation by Julia Volkmar, draws on extensive research and corrects many previous ‘mythtakes’. Significant Chinese contributions to the area’s development began in 1876 within weeks of the opening of the Port of Cairns, and the Hap Wah Company pioneered the far-northern sugar industry in 1882 with the first sugar exports from Cairns produced on the Hap Wah plantation. The Queensland History Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland published this research in August 2023 as part of the Hidden Toils initiative jointly supported by the Society and Chinese Heritage in Northern Australia Inc. 

Author’s bio

In 2010 Chinese historian Kevin Wong Hoy began a community history project with Julia to research the Hap Wah plantation and its manager Andrew Leon. Over the next 13 years, more than 130 individuals and organisations have provided invaluable assistance to recover, clarify, present and preserve the history of these early Chinese contributions. In recognition of this continuing work, Julia was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2019 and received an S.E. Stephens award from the Cairns Historical Society in 2022. 



The CADCAI Lion and Dragon teams will be out on New Year’s Eve supporting

Crystal Brook Riley’s Street Food Festival   on Friday 9th February     from  5.00  -6.00pm.


Please note this event is organised by the Cairns Jocky Club and is not a CADCAI event.

For more information please go to the Cairns Jockey Club website.






19 JANUARY to 25 FEBRUARY: Visual Art Exhibition – 'THE CHINESE ZODIAC: Celebrating 20 years of Zhanjiang – CAIRNS sister cities'

Hayley Gillespie and the Zhanjiang Calligraphy Association

Fri 19 Jan 2024 – Sun 25 Feb 2024
EXHIBITION LAUNCH:  6pm, Thursday 25 January 2024
VENUE: Tank 4 Gallery, Tanks Art Centre, Collins Ave, Edge Hill

The Chinese Zodiac exhibition celebrates twenty years of strong cultural ties, exchange and friendship between sister cities, Cairns and Zhanjiang.

Since the sister city friendship was established in 2004, Cairns and Zhanjiang have maintained a strong bond with trade missions, cultural exchanges and support for the Cairns Chinese New Year Festival, even during the pandemic period.

The exhibition will feature original artworks of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar by local Cairns artist, Ms Hayley Gillespie, and members of the Zhanjiang Calligraphy Association. The Chinese zodiac calendar features a twelve-year cycle for each animal and the New Year is  associated with a different zodiac animal.

This exhibition complements the 2024 Cairns Chinese New Year  celebrations.

Cost: Free

Venue Opens 9am – 4.30pm weekdays, 10am – 2pm weekends


CADCAI will celebrate Chinese New Year  at Lantern Lane, Earlville Shopping Centre  with traditional Lion dance  performances  and Lantern Making workshops . TBC

More information to come.

Photo Credit: Neil Mitchell Brierly 1945, Cairns Victory Parade, Grafton St,  Cairns 

Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc

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