New Year's Eve

COVID-19 restrictions will dictate the kind of event Council can provide for New Year's Eve. Keep updated via Council's website, newsletters and social media account.


We are bidding farewell to the year that was 2020 with the following fireworks shows from Xplosive Art:

  • 8:30pm Cairns Esplanade
  • 8:30pm Palm Cove jetty
  • midnight Cairns Esplanade

Please do not attend any of these events if you have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 such as a continuous cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell, or if you have come into contact with someone with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms. Do not attend if you have been deemed COVID-19 positive or if you have travelled overseas or to a COVID-19 hotspot in the previous 14 days. Maintaining 1.5 metre physical distancing requirements is the individuals responsibility. If you become unwell during the event please attend the first aid office adjacent to the lagoon as lifeguards will be on duty until 12:30am on 1/1/2021.

It is a Queensland Health requirement of all that attend the fireworks gatherings that you 'check-in' via the QR codes on A-frame boards that can be found around the Esplanade parklands, footpaths and plaza. You may also choose to download the Federal Government COVIDSafe app. We encourage you to book in to your favourite restaurant, bar or hotel in the vicinity to see in the New Year.

If you are attending the family friendly 8:30pm fireworks at the Cairns Esplanade the Sunbus timetable link shows all routes and timings. If you are driving in to town remember the Lake Street multi-storey car park is free all day on Thursday 31 December. Normal regulated hours will resume at 8:30am on Saturday 2 January 2021.

There will also be the NYE Resolution Fun Run at the northern end of the Esplanade at 5:00pm, see the NYE Fun Run page for more details.

New Year’s Eve events on the Cairns Esplanade will proceed in the event of rain. In the case of more severe weather conditions, please refer to Cairns Regional Council’s Facebook page for updates.

We appreciate calls to cancel our New Year’s Eve fireworks and donate those funds to the drought and bushfire appeals.

Cairns Regional Council is contracted to have fireworks at this year’s event, and remains committed to providing the community with a New Year’s Eve festival that includes pyrotechnics.

Cairns NYE is one of the region’s biggest public events, attracting more than 20,000 people to the city and makes a significant contribution to the economy – many local businesses rely on this annual event.

Fireworks displays are an integral part of events throughout the world and the NYE event unites the community with a message of celebration and optimism for the year ahead.

In regards to safety, during the bush fire season, professional pyrotechnicians adhere to regulations and conditions set by the Queensland Rural Fire Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. Risk assessments are a safety requirement and are conducted prior to the event and on the day of the event to assess all potential hazards and ensure measures are in place to prevent any harm to persons or property.

NEW YEAR’S EVE FUN: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Fogarty Park

Family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Cairns Esplanade will include children’s entertainment and rides, a fun run and two fireworks displays. Celebrations will embrace the tropical climate with “wet weather-friendly” activities

5:30pmSwingRays Dance GroupMain Stage
 Registrations open for Fun RunMarquee beside stage on Esplanade
6:00pmDirty Sanchez bandMain Stage
6:45pmBest Dressed competition presentation
Briefing for Fun Run
Main Stage
Marquee beside stage on Esplanade 
6:50pmSwingRays Dance GroupMain Stage
7:00pmDirty Sanchez bandMain Stage
 Fun Run commencesEsplanade
7:45pmPresentation of Fun Run awardsMain Stage
8:00pmDirty Sanchez bandMain Stage
8:45pmClosingMain Stage
9:00pmFireworksOn the water
12 midnightFireworksOn the water

For more information please contact Sarah Campbell, Coordinator Events Delivery on 07 4044 3261 or

Free buses!

Cairns Regional Council fund a free bus service between 12.30am to 1.20am, departing from the Lake Street bus terminal on Wednesday 1st January 2020. For more information visit the Sunbus website.

Free Parking!

Lake Street's multi-storey car park is free on NYE and New Year’s Day. It’s a secure, undercover car park, that operates 24/7. Fees apply from 8:30am on 2 January 2020.

Esplanade Road Closure

The road with be closed on the Esplanade between Spence and Aplin Street from 5:00am 31 December to 4:00am 1 January, with the possibility of the road opening earlier depending on the crowd numbers.

Busy events can be quite stressful for your animal. Please consider the wellbeing of your pet and other event attendees and please keep your pet at home during busy events.

Last updated: 18 December 2020