CIAF – A Feast of First Nations Art

There are plenty of reasons to book a holiday in tropical Cairns. After all, the Great Barrier Reef and world heritage-listed rainforest are right on the doorstep.

But if you’re a fan of art, culture and music, we’ve got one word for you: CIAF.

CIAF is an acronym for Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, one of Australia’s premier art and culture festivals.

CIAF shines a light on Queensland’s distinct and diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures – with 5 days and nights of events, exhibitions, concerts, workshops, cultural demonstrations and art markets.

One of the most anticipated moments of the fair is the Fashion Performance – where First Nation designers and models show off a stunning array of wearable art.

It traditionally takes place at Cairns’ Tanks Arts Centre, set in the city’s lush botanical gardens.

CIAF is a celebration of creativity that resonates right throughout the city of Cairns.

Take the magnificent Crystabrook Bailey – a luxury hotel with a true appreciation for the arts.  No two trips to Bailey are the same. Every two months, a new artist in residence takes over the lobby to breathe new creative life into the space. In fact, each of the hotel’s 12 floors features its own unique, drop-dead gorgeous work of art.

The hotel’s guest suites are a collage of comfort too -with chic, contemporary décor. And there’s the option of self-contained apartments if you need a little more space for the whole holiday gang.

Whether you come to Cairns for CIAF or simply the best holiday of your life, there are ample ways to connect with First Nations culture.

Dive deep into indigenous culture at Kuranda’s

Rainforestation Nature Park with its amazing Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience.

In Mossman, get creative at Janbal Art Gallery. Learn traditional painting techniques and go home with your own authentic aboriginal souvenir.

And while you’re in the region, don’t miss the incredible natural beauty of Mossman Gorge where Gugu Yalangi guides share their connection to this sacred place.

For more inspiring festivals and events across the state, get yourself online at It’s Live in Queensland, where you’ll discover a cavalcade of celebrations in stunning destinations.

Whether you’re into art, food, sport or music – there’s a Queensland festival that’s just made for you.

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