Chinese New Year is a time of great joyexcitement and goodwill. In Cairns, these celebrations are brought together by CADCAI as the Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year Festival. 

On Saturday, 25th January, 2020, Chinese people all over the world will welcome the start of a new 12 year zodiac cycle with the first animal of the Chinese zodiac, the white metal RAT.

The Festival is celebrated over 15 days and is an opportunity for the whole community to celebrate Chinese culture and the contributions to the region of Chinese migrants and their descendants.

Throughout the two-week celebration, Cairns comes alive with feasts, fiery dragons, dancing and music. A highlight is the spectacular Chinese New Year’s Eve fireworks display over the Esplanade to bring in the New Year, on Friday, 25th January, 2020.

The Festivities conclude with the Lantern Festival, which is held towards the end of the 15 days of celebrations on  Friday, 7 February, 2020, at the Cairns Chinese Friendship Gardens at 5 pm.

The Festival is proudly supported by the Queensland Government, Cairns Regional Council and local businesses.

Please join us to celebrate at the Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year, Cairns.

Market stalls

If you wish to have a stall at the Cairns Airport CNY St Festival on Grafton Street on 1 Feb, please submit an application form at


Our program of events will soon be available as a downloadable PDF.