Top 10 things to do around the region

Published: 28 Aug 2019

There is plenty to do around the region this weekend - You can see two new exhibitions at Artspace Mackay on Friday night. Enjoy a fun afternoon at the Mackay Scottish Bluewater Fling on Saturday and later that night see Lee Kernaghan’s incredible new show at the MECC.

1) The Great Book Swap

Thursday, August 29, 10am – 6pm
Friday, August 30, 9am – 5pm
Saturday, August 31, 10am – 3pm
Monday and Tuesday, September 2 – 3, 9am – 5pm
Wednesday, September 4, 10am – 4pm
Gordon White Library  

The Great Book Swap is a fantastic way to celebrate reading locally and raise much-needed funds for remote indigenous communities. Come along on the open days and donate your favourite books. Bring along a gold coin to show your support to the remote Indigenous communities and pick up a bargain book. All funds received, will be donated to The Indigenous Literacy Foundation to improve literacy levels in remote Australian communities.

2) Community Music and Playgroup

Friday, August 30, 9am – 11am
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

Join us for a beautiful morning on the lawn at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. Ms Tania from the George Street Neighbourhood Centre will start the morning with a music session suitable for children aged 0-5 years. Please bring along a hat and water bottle.

3) Wear it Purple Day

Friday, August 30  

Join us this year to celebrate Wear it Purple Day. Be part of a movement that has the potential to save thousands of lives. Be part of this change. Council supports Wear it Purple Day. A day founded in 2010 in response to global stories of real teenagers, real heartache and their very real responses. In 2010, several rainbow young people took their own lives following bullying and harassment resulting from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality and gender identity. Find out more or to register your support:

4) Violent Salt exhibition and floor talk

> Exhibition opening – Friday, August 30, 6pm  
> Floor talk – Saturday, August 31, 10.30am  
Artspace Mackay  

Come along to the exhibition opening of Violent Salt this Friday. Violent Salt brings together contemporary artists from across Australia representing diverse cultural heritage. Co-curated by Yhonnie Scarce and Claire Watson, the exhibition questions how we can repair deep wounds, re-connect across culture and assert and celebrate cultural identities meaningfully and transformatively. A floor talk with co-curators Claire Watson and Yhonnie Scarce will be on Saturday morning (August 31).

5) Some people are stories: Vincent Serico

Exhibition opening – Friday, August 30 at 6pm
Artspace Mackay

Vincent Serico’s remarkable life journey through regional, remote and rural Queensland is captured in Some people are stories. The first major touring exhibition of Vincent Serico’s work since his death in 2008. Vincent Serico’s artistic body of work spans over forty years. He interpreted the whispers from both land and people. Many of his paintings document significant events in his life or of previous generations as Indigenous people struggled with cultural and lifestyle changes.

6) The Great Northern Clean Up

Saturday, August 31 from 8am
Various locations  

The biggest community clean-up event, The Great Northern Clean Up, is happening in Mackay this Saturday (August 31). Residents of all ages can lend a hand and help make Mackay clean, green and pristine. There are seven registered sites residents can help clean-up. Simply turn up to a registered site wearing closed-in shoes and sturdy gloves. Bring a hat, sunscreen and water. Check the site locations and times >

7) Lee Kernaghan – Backroad Nation Tour

Saturday, August 31, 8pm
MECC Auditorium  

Lee Kernaghan is one of the all-time greats of Australian music with 38 number one hits and a ute load of Golden Guitar awards to his credit. Following his sold out 25th Anniversary tour, Lee began turning his experiences out on the road into songs and a brand-new album “Backroad Nation”. If you are a fan, this is a show not to be missed! Book your ticket at the MECC >

8) Mackay Scottish Bluewater Fling

Saturday, August 31, 3pm – 6pm  
Bluewater Quay  

Pipe bands from around Queensland will join the Mackay and District Pipe Band’s celebration of Scottish music at the Mackay Scottish Bluewater Fling. Pipers and drummers from six pipe bands will march across the Forgan Bridge into the Bluewater Quay where the entertainment will continue until 6pm. Celtic folk band Hullabaloo, highland dancers and individual pipe bands will perform on the River Stage throughout the event. Bring a fold-up chair or picnic blanket, enjoy a coffee, ice cream or snack from the on-site food vendors while listening to the stirring sounds of the pipes and drums.

9) Landcare Week

September 2-8
Landcare (Australia) is celebrating its 30th year, and Pioneer Catchment Landcare is running three events during Landcare week

> Illawong Park tree planting
Tuesday, September 3, 8.30am – noon
Meet at Illawong Park (corner of Illawong Drive and Petrie Street)

Pioneer Catchment Landcare are hosting a tree planting morning. They are aiming to plant 800 trees and shrubs to help buffer the critically endangered beach shrub located on site. Come on down and get your hands dirty! RSVP by Friday, August 30 – email

> Slade Point Reserve Guided Walk
Wednesday, September 4, 9am – noon
Meet at the end of Pacific Esplanade, near Seabreeze Hotel

Join us on a Guided walk as we visit the Slade Point Reserve one of Mackay’s most spectacular locations. Learn about this reserve and the many plants and animals that inhabit it. The walk is 3.1km with uphill sections and soft sand. You will need to be moderately fit and able bodied. We will take plenty of rest stops as required. RSVP by Friday, August 30 – email

> Great Northern Clean Up – Riverside Drive
Saturday, August 31, 8am
Meet at the end of Pacific Esplanade, near Seabreeze Hotel

Join us Pioneer Catchment and Landcare at the Great Northern Clean Up site on Riverside Drive (Sam’s Road end). Lend a hand to make our beautiful region free of rubbish, that ends up in our river and our reef.

10) “Trees in Transition” by Mackay Woodturners

Until September 22
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens Lagoons Gallery Art Exhibition  

Come along and view the amazing pieces crafted by the Mackay Woodturners. Every time they step up to their lathe, scroll saw, sander or burner the Woodturners work their magic on various size trees or logs, creating both decorative and practical items.


Council in Community – Mackay City Centre    

Councillors will be in Mackay City on Wednesday, September 4, for a Council in Community Day. A community catch-up over coffee will be held at 9th Lane Grind, Shop 4/43, Wood Street. Community members and City Centre business owners are welcome to attend to catch up with councillors and senior management.