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2020 Port Douglas Carnivale Events Not to Miss

We are deeply disappointed to advise that Port Douglas Carnivale 2020 has been postponed in line with recommendations from the Federal Government on non-essential mass gatherings.

Event organiser, the Douglas Shire Council, will investigate the possibility of holding aspects of the festival, originally scheduled for May this year, as part of its economic recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic at a future date.

While our Southern friends are stoking the fireplaces and pulling their novelty jumpers out of storage, Port Douglas is ramping up for balmy days of tropical perfection and endless sunsets over the Coral Sea. There’s something in the air at this time of year – the taste of paradise on the horizon, garnished with good times and grooves.

Yup, it’s that time of year again where we celebrate and promote the very best Tropical North Queensland has to offer – the sea, the sun, the abundance of fresh produce, the talented local artists, musicians and performers. Port Douglas Carnivale is a celebration of our laidback lifestyle, all while being entertained by incredible talent. It’s time to party in paradise!

While the big weekend is the 22–24th May, events start taking place from as early as the 15th May. With events ranging from family-friendly to adults only, how ever will you choose? Here’s a run-down of our top picks.

1. The Longest Lunch

Port Douglas Carnivale Longest Lunch

Friday May 22nd, 12.30 – 5.30PM

Hands up who doesn’t love a long lunch? (*crickets*). Kicking off the Carnivale celebrations is the hugely successful event favourite, The Longest Lunch. Cool breezes through your hair, ocean views accompanied by local produce and excellent drinks to get the weekend started, The Longest Lunch is brought back this year by popular demand by Ochre Restaurant & Catering. Serving up a delicious and delightful afternoon of gourmet treats, entertainment by Spiegeltent performers and cool tunes under the swaying palms in Rex Smeal Park.


2. The Port Douglas Carnivale Street Parade

Port Douglas Carnivale

Friday May 22nd, 5.00PM

From 5PM, the main drag of Macrossan Street gets all dollied up for the sights and sounds of live music, street performers and the official opening of the Carnivale weekend, the Port Douglas Carnivale Street Parade. This year’s theme is Tropic & Exotic, so pop on your very Hawaiian shirt or Carmen Miranda fruit hat, and practice those dance moves. The parade, with creative floats from local businesses, kicks off at 6.30PM followed by a spectacular fireworks display at 8PM.

3. Family Beach Day

Beach2012 3 768X512

Saturday 23rd May, 9.00AM 3.00PM

Grab your spade and bucket and head down to the iconic Four Mile Beach for Family Beach Day and show off your sand architecture skills. Sand sculpting competitions, market stalls, a sky diving display, face painting, beach hockey, a sky bejewelled with hundreds of kites, Salsa lessons in the sand, and the whole afternoon run by the well known Dream State Entertainment – it’s a day not to miss.


4. Tropic Rock Concert: Spiderbait

Spiderbait Header Image

Saturday May 23rd, 5.00PM Late

Formidable Aussie rock band Spiderbait, are headlining this year's Tropic Rock Concert and are sure to put on an amazing live show in Rex Smeal Park! Known for multiple hit songs including Black Betty, Calypso, and Buy Me a Pony, the alternative rockers are a fan favourite having released seven acclaimed albums which have gone gold, platinum or double platinum.

Spiderbait will be supported on the night by Machine Machine and The Zephyrbees!

Tickets cost $55 plus booking fee.


5. Seafood Extravaganza

Port Douglas  Carnivale Seafood Marina

Sunday 24th May 12.00 – 8.00PM

Seafood and the tropics are a love affair that go together like Queen Bey and J-Z. You’re going to want to wear stretchy pants as Port Douglas Carnivale welcomes back the Seafood Extravaganza – an afternoon on the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina boardwalk snacking on oceanic delights, straight of the back of the boat, all washed down with a sloop or two from Hemingway's Brewery. Entertainment for kids and live music make this an afternoon for everyone to enjoy.

5. Wonderland Spiegeltent

Port Douglas Carnivale  Wonderland Spiegeltent

May 15th – 24th (see program for show times)

Like stumbling drunkenly into a 19th-century bootleg salon, the Wonderland Spiegeltent transports you to a world of aural decadence steeped in the darkest of blues and lusty, busty entertainment. The famous Wonderland Spiegeltent, one of few extraordinary and hand-sewn pavilions left in the world originally used as travelling dance halls, bars and entertainment venues, are the hub of night time entertainment over the Port Douglas Carnivale festival.

With a variety of circus-inspired shows for the family and the more late-night risqué adults only cabaret and burlesque, the Spiegeltent shows are a decadent blend of sensational acrobatics, operatic cabaret and tongue in cheek comedy. A non-stop celebration of the bewildering, the astounding and the downright sexy, these are shows not to miss.

6. Port Douglas Race Week

May 19th – 23rd - Event postponed

Hosted by the Port Douglas Yacht Club, the Quicksilver Port Douglas Race Week promises five days of sailing, fun and food! The regatta includes technical racing off Four Mile Beach and racing around Low Isles and Snapper Island!

Port Douglas  Carnivale Seafood Marina

Something more? View the 2020 Port Douglas Carnivale program here.

Port Douglas Carnivale  Carnivale Yachtrace

If you want to fill your tropical days with more than just the pool bar menu, Port Douglas Daintree region has a jam-packed events calendar to keep you keen. For the yachties, hop aboard the Quicksilver Race Week - a five-day regatta sailing the Coral Sea; Port Shorts Film Festival is widely considered the best little film festival this side of Cannes (not to be confused with Cairns), and for the adventure lovers, The Cairns Airport Adventure Festival is sure to get the adrenalin pumping. Whatever your passion, you’ll find something to excite you in Port Douglas Daintree.

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