Cairns Street Art – Things to Do While Backpacking in Cairns

Looking for something free and cultural in Cairns? Check out some of the beautiful Cairns street art decorating the city’s walls. Ranging from full scale murals, splashes of color, and activism pieces, the city is filled with these gems. Cairns also participated in a project called Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans to help raise awareness for Great Barrier Reef conservation efforts. These “ARTivisits” helped add some beauty, character, and inspiration to the city. Here’s a list of a few to get you started!

Henrietta ‘Bukal’ Marrie – Lake Street

Cairns Street Art

This piece was done by Australian artist Claire Foxton at the corner of Lake and Hartley Street. The work depicts Associate Professor Henrietta Marrie in a spiritual, pensive moment. Marrie is seen here as a beautiful representation from the Yidinji community and activist for indigenous rights.

Caffiend – Grafton Street Laneway

Cairns Street Art

Cairns Street Art

The owner of the popular cafe, Caffiend, Oliver James, is a strong proponent of the street art culture and has worked to repurpose a section from Lake St to Grafton St as a passageway of art. The graffiti wall has attracted artists both locally and from around Australia to place their mark. It’s also brought dozens of selfie-taking tourists, boosting business and appreciation for the arts.

A Tribute to Rob Stewart

Cairns Street Art

This mural is a tribute to the filmmaker, Rob Stewart, known for his documentary film, Shark Waters. The environmental message “Convenience = Consequence” is a strong reminder of the issue of single-use plastic threatening the Great Barrier Reef. You can find this artwork at 149 Bunda Street in Parramatta Park.

Grouper Mural

cairns street art

This massive wall-sized mural depicts one large Malabar Grouper surrounded by young Golden Trevally fish. This work was done by Amok Island as part of the Sea Walls project.  You can find this mural at 15 Lake Street.

Caroline Mudge

cairns street art

Local artist Caroline Mudge has a few art pieces in Cairns, including this one found near the Cairns Esplanade. Her hope is to use street art as a means for the city to draw in tourists, not as illegal graffiti. Who knew an old utility cabinet could be so photogenic?

Evil Bleach

Cairns Street Art

This eye-catching piece was done by Wally of Wals Paint Shop as part of Sea Walls Australia. The vibrant scene depicts the impacts of coral bleaching that threatens the existence of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Find this one at 14 Florence Street.

To see more Cairns Street Art, use the Cairns Art and Culture Map.