Top 10 things to do around the region

Published: 24 Jul 2019

There is plenty to do around the region this week… Come along to Pet Registration Day this Saturday to take advantage of discounts and giveaways, help green our region this National Tree Day by planting local species at Illawong Park and catch one of three performances of Possum Magic at the MECC.

1) DBCT Illuminate

Monday, July 22 – Friday, July 26, 6pm – 9pm daily
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

A sea of whimsical creatures, lights and lanterns are set to take up residence in the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. The MECC Festival and lighting team have partnered with local artists to bring you DBCT Illuminate 3.0. Take the self-guided tour through the garden paths filled with creations made by local schools and enhanced with beautiful lighting. Make a night of it, bring a chair or picnic blanket and settle in under the stars and enjoy the free entertainment by the Jack Sturgeon Stage featuring a variety of local performances Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night.

2) Courses in Colour

Friday, July 26, 6.30pm
MECC (Lynette Denny Space)

In collaboration with the superb MECC Chefs, the Festival brings you an exclusive pop up dining experience to challenge your senses and enliven your tastebuds. Imagine entering a minimalist room swathed in white and as each sumptuous course is served to you, opulent shades and bursts of colour fall across the room ̶ enhancing your dining experience.

3) The Mackay Aussie farm and drinks tour

Friday, July 26, 8am – 4.30pm
Various locations around the region

Your day starts with a visit to Sarina Sugar Shed, Australia’s only miniature sugar mill and distillery. An educational and tasty journey of ‘sugar’. A delicious BBQ lunch will await you at Freckle Farm nestled in its own little gorge at the edge of the Pioneer Valley. Owners will show you their holistic management of the farm and the way they work with natural systems. After lunch you’ll get the opportunity to have a hands-on brewing experience at Goanna Brewery. Enjoy a masterclass of beer and cheese matching and get to taste, smell and handle the ingredients that go into making beer and cider.

4) Pet Registration Day

Saturday, July 27, 9am – noon
Mackay Regional Council

Come along to the free event and take advantage of discount pet registration and microchipping, the RSPCA EMU Van, pet stalls and giveaways. Residents who register their pets before July 31 can save up to 50 per cent off the total cost of registering their pet.

5) Dads n Bubs

Saturday, July 27, 10am – 10.30am
Dudley Denny City Library

Promotes early language and social development in babies from birth to walking.  The session features nursery rhymes, finger plays and songs, and is a great opportunity for dads to do something special and beneficial with their little one.

6) Opera Australia National Tour – Madama Butterfly

Saturday, July 27, 7.30pm
MECC Auditorium

A man enchanted by the beauty of the East. A woman in love with the promise of the West. Separated by a vast ocean and many years, what will become of their love? Madama Butterfly is a love story that reaches across cultures, across oceans, across time.

7) National Tree Day

Sunday, July 28, 9am – 11am
Illawong Park

Help green our region and join council at its annual National Tree Day event, on Sunday, July 28. You’re invited to help council reclaim a section of Illawong Park through the planting of local species. The event will take place at Illawong Park, on the corner of Illawong Drive and Petrie Street, South Mackay, from 9.00am – 11.30am. A free BBQ lunch will be provided. For catering purposes please register to attend at

8) Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch

Sunday, July 28, 11am
MECC – North Foyer

Delectable pastries, delicious Canadian maple bacon and a feast of sumptuous jazz sounds awaits you on the final day of the Festival. The Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch, a definite front runner for people’s choice, is back in 2019 with a tasty line up of all your brunch favourites nestled into the comfortable surrounds of the MECC North Foyer.

9) Possum Magic

Monday, July 29, 6pm
Tuesday, July 30, 10am & noon
MECC Auditorium

For more than 30 years, Mem Fox’s Possum Magic has captivated and enchanted young people all over Australia. Grandma Poss loves making magic. She makes wombats blue and kookaburras pink. She makes dingoes smile and emus shrink. But one day, when danger arrives in the form of a snake, Grandma uses her most magical spell to make Hush invisible. Hush has many wonderful adventures. But being invisible isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Hush longs to see herself again. Possum Magic takes us on a whimsical journey to cities around Australia to find the food that makes Hush visible again.

10) STEAM Club

Every Wednesday until September 18, 3.30pm – 4.30pm
Gordon White Library

Children in years 3 to year 6 are invited to explore the fascinating world of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Imagine, invent, discover and create with fun and challenging hands-on activities. Sessions range from Lego play to coding challenges, science experiments, creative arts to mini Makerspaces. Our STEAM Club offers something for everyone.


River Street Twilight Market and Star’s Fire in the Sky

Friday, August 9, 4pm – 8pm
Bluewater Quay

Our community night market showcasing local food, farmers and artisan makers joins with Star101.9's Fire in The Sky for a wonderful night in our River City. The River Street Twilight Markets provides a beautiful riverside experience for families, couples and singles.  Bring a blanket and relax on your Friday night under the stars and by the river. Tune out to the vibes of local music and enjoy a delicious food experience. This special night is different to our other Twilight Markets as we have joined with Star 101.9 Mackay | Mackay Regional Council | Mackay City Centre for the night of nights in our beautiful River City. Get a glimpse of what our river front precinct under the new PDA will be like by visiting the Mackay Regional Council River Front Development Showcase Tent.