What’s New

Investor confidence is soaring in Cairns & Great Barrier Reef, resulting in a magnitude of multi-million dollar investments being injected into the destination. Find out what new hotels, offsite venues, tours and activities have launched and what’s on the horizon.

Internal view of the refurbished Cairns Convention Centre

Cairns Convention Centre Redevelopment

The Cairns Convention Centre commenced a complete redevelopment and expansion in 2020. The project injects $176 million into a refurbishment of the existing centre, plus the addition of 10,000sqm of new exhibition and function spaces and a total redesign of the exterior look. The refurbished existing footprint of the Centre reopened in May 2021. The extension and final part of the project is predicted to be finalised by early 2023.



Internal view of the new Cairns Airport domestic terminal

Cairns Domestic Airport Upgrade

The Cairns Airport completed a $55 million renovation to the Cairns Airport Domestic T2 Terminal. The large scale refresh included a total restructure to the departure and arrivals lounge area where a line-up of local products and businesses were added, including Ochre Restaurant, Rattle’N’Hum, The Pier Bar and Café China.


Artist impression of CrocArena

Wildlife Habitat’s New CrocArena Experience

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas has launched the CrocArena and the “Swim with the Salties” experience. The Queensland-first allows delegates to swim in the croc’s kill zone with only a sheet of perspex separating them from these modern-day dinosaurs with killer instincts. CrocArena is purpose built for crocodile shows, including grandstand seating for 300 people, and an underwater viewing area. Over the past three years, nearly every part of Wildlife Habitat has been rebuilt.


View of pool from Boardwalk Social and Crystalbrook Flynn

Crystalbrook Collection Joins The Line Up

Crystalbrook Collection has added three new 5-star properties to Cairns, totalling over $550 million worth of investment since 2018. The total development of Crystalbrook Riley, Crystalbrook Bailey and Crystalbrook Flynn has added 877 new accommodation rooms to the city’s inventory and an array of chic restaurants and bars, and versatile events spaces.



Oaks Cairns rooftop view

Oaks Cairns Hotel Redevelopment

Oaks Cairns Hotel was born after a a $12 million conversion of the prime corner in the heart of the Cairns central business district. The now five-storey hotel overlooks the newly redesigned Esplanade Dining Precinct and Lagoon, with views out to the Coral Sea. The hotel takes full advantage of this with rooftop restaurant and bar, Oak & Vine.


Silky Oaks private dining

Silky Oaks Lodge Refurbishment

Silky Oaks Lodge, luxury accommodation in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest, has undergone an $20 million refurbishment. Owned by Baillie Lodges, this iconic property now competes with the world’s leading luxury lodges while reflecting the essence of the region.


Artist impression esplanade dining precinct

Esplanade Dining Precinct Now Complete

Construction is complete on the $28 million Esplanade Dining Precinct. The engaging layout features new contemporary awnings that offer better weather protection, an extended dining area, gently curving road alignment, inviting vertical gardens and grassed mounds, and extra footpaths to improve pedestrian connectivity.


Internal view of Cairns Court House Gallery space

Cairns Court House Gallery New Event Space

The Cairns Court House has been restored to its original 1921 condition. The building is registered on the Queensland Heritage Register and is a key component of the Cairns Gallery Precinct. The classic venue has a multitude of indoor and outdoor event spaces in the centre of Cairns.



Performing Arts Precinct New Venue Options

With the addition of the award-winning Cairns Performing Arts Centre, adjoining Munro Martin Parklands and nearby Bulmba-ja Arts Centre, the options for events in Cairns just got a little more fancy. Perfect for presentations, performances, welcome functions, engaging gala dinners, you name it!


Experience Co's new pontoon

New Reef Magic Pontoon

Experience Co. have launched the first new pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef in over a decade.

At 1003sqm, the new Reef Magic pontoon is one of the biggest on the Great Barrier Reef, and has a daily capacity of 250 delegates. Adding to a delegate’s traditional day on the reef, the pontoon has a fully functioning scientific lab where reef research and projects will be conducted.

Explore new pontoon >

Coming Soon…

Surf’s Up in Port Douglas

A $317-million plan to build a 3.5 acre wave park with 7ft waves, 5-acre fresh water lagoon and 160-room resort complex in Port Douglas has been approved. Construction on the project in Mowbray, just south of Port Douglas, is due to start early 2023. NorthBreak Port Douglas would be the region’s first wave park, opening up a new activity for delegates.


Artist impression Nautilus Aviation eVTOLs

Nautilus Aviation’s E-Helicopters

Nautilus Aviation has partnered with Embraer’s Eve Urban Air Mobility solutions to develop electric vertical take-off and landing (e-VTOL) operations. Nautilus Aviation has ordered 10 e-VTOLs, ready to commence flying in 2026. The e-VTOLs program will mean scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef will be using zero-emission electric aviation.

Fitzroy Island Resort Upgrade

Fitzroy Island Resort will undergo a $2.5 million refurbishment. The resort will have a new lighter, contemporary styling to reflect the spectacular ocean surrounds of Fitzroy Island. As well as new bathrooms, walkways, extended balconies, refreshed pool and pool bar area, the events space will triple with a newly constructed conference rooms on the way.

Artist impression of Fairmont Port Douglas

Fairmont Resort Port Douglas

With plans to open in Port Douglas in 2023, hospitality hotel group Accor will bring 253 rooms, several restaurants, a day spa, a treetop walk, and panoramic conference facilities, planned around resort-style pools and built to seamlessly blend with nature.

Artist impression of Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina development

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina Hotel Development

Crystalbrook Collection have announced plans are in development to build a 100-room, five-star hotel alongside a 30-room ‘ultra-lux’ hotel at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina in Port Douglas – Australia’s northern-most developed yachting launch pad.

Artist impression of Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina development

Cairns Airport International Terminal Redevelopment

Work has started on a the multi-million-dollar overhaul of Cairns Airport’s international terminal, the first major upgrade of the building since it opened more than 30 years ago. Overall, $40-$50 million will be invested in the upgrade.



Stay tuned for more updates from Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef

Media Library

Access images and footage of Tropical North Queensland to use in marketing collateral

Sign Up