Whether you are a local, a traveller or someone who just wants to know more about Mackay, the following list of blogs are sure to provide you with some enlightening facts about the sugar city.

From the best places to explore, hidden gems, Instagram-worthy cafes and tips from locals, these blogs are a lighthearted way for you to discover Mackay.

Top 10 things to do around the region

A mix of school holiday activities and the Mackay Festival of Arts program is giving people of all ages the chance to enjoy art, music, food and culture this week. Bring the family along to Festival Hub, travel the region and discover the Wonder Rooms and have a laugh with mates at Read the Room.

1) Ukulele for kids
Thursday, July 7, 3.40pm to 4.40pm
Gordon White Library

This program is the perfect opportunity for children and their parents to come along and have a go at playing the ukulele and learn some basic musical skills in a fun environment. Specifically designed for children aged eight to 12 years and their parent/guardian. This program will run on the first Thursday of the month at Gordon White Library. Book tickets.

2) The Festival Hub
Thursday, July 7, to Friday, July 8, 6pm to 9pm daily
Bluewater Quay, Brisbane Steet Mackay
Festival Hub, located on our picturesque Pioneer River will feature live entertainment and family fun for all ages on select dates during the July school holidays. With live musicians, roving street performers, food options and a licenced bar – take a seat, relax, and enjoy the festival atmosphere. This is a free ticketed event for all ages. Book tickets.

3) Read the Room
Thursday, July 7, and Friday, July 8, 7.30pm

Lush Room, Ambassador Hotel

$35 admission
A quiz panel show where the audience answer curly questions live through their phones while guest contestants try to work out which way the room will swing. It’s fun, cheeky, clever and hilarious. From ‘would you rather’, moral dilemmas, comparing the audience to national averages… it could get messy, but we promise it will be hilarious! Each night has a new panel of contestants, so come and support your favourite team and see if they can Read the Room! Book tickets.

4) Wonder Rooms
Thursday, July 7, to Sunday, July 10

Thursday, July 14, to Sunday, July 17

Thursday, July 21, to Sunday, July 24

5 locations to explore
Shipping containers converted into vibrant selfie museums, Wonder Rooms will awe visitors with their creative and unique backdrops. Get your camera ready for a day of exploration, with the Wonder Rooms set up across the region, from the Bluewater Quay to Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, Melba House to Sarina Field of Dreams and Slade Point’s Ram Chandra Park – all with different themes! Travel the region, take a selfie and tag @mackay_festivals. Find out more.

5) ‘Dinosaurs Ruled’ self-guided quiz
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm, during school holidays
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens  
Calling all dinosaur lovers! Have you ever wondered about the type of plants dinosaurs ate? Grab a ‘Dinosaurs Ruled’ quiz sheet from Botanic Gardens Visitor Information Centre and find out as you venture along the Coal Garden pathways, exploring dinosaur footprints, petrified wood and plants like those from ancient times. Visit their Facebook event for more details.

6) Black & white photo competition (Facebook)  
Until Sunday, July 10
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens 
Black and white images can add mystery and depth to a photograph. Whether it be a landscape, portrait, architecture, nature or wildlife we want to see your best black and white photograph taken in the Mackay Botanic Gardens! This photo competition is aimed to be a family friendly activity. All photos can be posted to the Facebook photo competition page. A winner will be announced after the school holidays. For more information, please contact the Botanic Gardens on phone 4952 7300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

7) Tibbles Hunt in the Tropical Shade Garden  
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens 
Pick up your activity sheet and wander the pathways to find Tibbles and decode the latest message he has for you! Visit the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Facebook event for more information.

8) Special kids tour of the Sarina Sugar Shed
Every day until Sunday, July 10, 10.30am
Adults at children’s prices (bookings essential)
Field of Dreams Parklands, Railway Square, Sarina
(Please note this tour does not include a full tasting of products for the adults)
This fun, interactive session focuses on the kids, with the bonus of adults being welcome at kids' prices! During the 45-minute tour, the kids will discover the growing and harvesting of the sugar cane and complete a hunt for the critters that live in the sugar cane patch. Enter the miniature sugar mill to see how sugar cane is crushed, and sample deliciously sweet sugar cane juice straight from the miniature mill, 'Bill the Mill Junior’.

Special stickers help the kids to understand the machines that work in the process from turning juice into sugar – they can touch and feel the different stages of the production from the bagasse to the sugar and taste the molasses! They will also receive a free information sheet at the end, which is great for school projects, and the quicky, fun quiz will help to keep the young ones engaged - they are guaranteed to learn something! Finally, everyone gets a chance to taste the non-alcoholic ginger beer brewed onsite and freshly spun fairy floss. Book tickets.

9) Collage, Stamp and Draw
Until Sunday, July 10
Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 3pm
Workshop Room, Artspace Mackay
Drop-in to Artspace during the June/July school holidays and experiment with the art of mixed media. Inspired by the art and exhibition ‘Looking for Paradise’ by NSW artist, Nathalie Hartog-Gautier, this activity gives visitors of all ages and abilities an opportunity to combine collage, drawing and letter stamping techniques by adding to a wonderful collaborative paper wall in the

Artspace workshop room. Parental supervision for children is essential. Stay for a few minutes or a few hours, no bookings necessary. Visit their Facebook event.

10) Three new exhibitions
Material Sound: until August 28
We Rise: until August 21
Looking for Paradise: until August 21
Artspace Mackay
Artspace Mackay has celebrated the opening of three exciting new exhibitions. Be one of the first to view these exhibitions, which will be on display until late August. Material Sound is a multi-form exhibition of art and sound installations constructed from everyday materials. Mackay artist Shelley Engwirda examines the success and failures of the women's movement with her latest exhibition We Rise. Nathalie Hartog-Gautier's exhibition Looking for Paradise brings refugee experiences and the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia to the fore via her artist's books and collaborative digital animation. Find out more.


Friday, July 15, 7.30pm

MECC Auditorium

Adult $35, Concession $32, Child/students $22, Group 6+ $32 each

Barbaroi is a blend of high-octane contemporary circus and exciting physical theatre. It combines daring acrobatics, aerials and phenomenal circus acts set against a pumping soundtrack complimented by finely tuned lighting and special effects. Book tickets.

DBCT Kids’ Theatre Season 2022 – Alphabet of Awesome Science
Thursday, July 14, 1pm and 6pm

MECC Auditorium Book tickets

Friday, July 15, 1pm

Pinnacle Playhouse  Book tickets

The Alphabet of Awesome Science will showcase 26 quirky scientific demonstrations in 52 minutes. This show uses BIG words to inspire BIG science – with a performance that’s equal parts explosive, messy, spectacular, hilarious, fascinating and gross! Age recommendation ages five to 12 years.


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