Your guide to our new Mackay ARC

Published: 20 Feb 2019

The buzz around the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex (ARC) is building faster than Cathy Freeman could run the 400m dash.

Mayor Greg Williamson said this facility was unlike anything in the region and would be open to everyone.

“Yes, this facility will bring competitions we’ve never seen to Mackay, but I have got to stress – it is a public facility,” Cr Williamson said.

“We want everyone out here.  It’s not just for elite athletes – it’s for the whole community,” he said.

Cr Williamson also reiterated that the Mackay ARC was a council facility, not a university facility, and was managed and run by Belgravia Leisure for community use.

The mayor said the $24 million complex was one of the most accessible of its kind in Australia.

“The state-of-the-art change room includes a height-adjustable adult change table, room coverage hoist, accessible toilet and shower and associated grab rails,” he said.

“And all the pools have disability access, including a hoist lift into the 50m pool.”

The aquatics facility is designed to be usable year-round and will cater for everything from learn-to-swim and aqua aerobics classes to competitions.

It is also lit to 100 lux to allow for after-hours use. Two pools, the 15m and 25m, are heated and have large hardcovers to provide shade and the 50m is temperature controlled to a competition-standard 27 degrees.

Cr Williamson said council would also look at covering options for the 50m pool in future budgets

Up-and-coming athletes have been among the first to show their appreciation for the competition-level standard of the ARC.

They tried out the facilities during a media tour.

State champion swimmer Bayley Sleeman, who tried out the 50m pool, said it would be fantastic to be able to train somewhere similar to where swimmers and athletes would compete.

“It makes a huge difference, because we don’t usually get to use the competition blocks and get a chance to practise our dives and make sure our technique is correct,” she said.

Local sprinter Skyla Bancroft said the athletics facility would hopefully attract more competitions to the region and would make training for competitions easier.

“Getting access to a synthetic track to train on before we go away will help a lot and will remove a lot of the nerves,” she said. “It’ll also be amazing to get the chance to compete in front of a home crowd for a change.”

Mackay ARC at a glance


Containing covered, heated and FINA-approved aquatics facilities and IAAF Class 2 athletics facility with synthetic running track and playing field, this complex has something for everyone, including:

  • 50m, 10-lane FINA pool with a 2m constant depth
  • Covered 25m, six-lane warm-up pool with 1.35m to 1.1m depth
  • Covered 15m, five-lane learn-to-swim pool with 1.1m to 0.9m depth
  • Synthetic running track
  • Multi-use playing field
  • Two jumping pits with two triple jump options
  • Water jump
  • Discus circle
  • Discus/hammer circle
  • Three shot put circles
  • Dual pole vault runway
  • Two javelin runways
  • Clubhouse, storage, café, canteen, administration and multipurpose spaces


A 303 panel, 100kW solar system greatly offsets energy costs for the aquatics facility.


Saturday, March 9, 2019


  • Monday to Friday - 5.30am to 8pm
  • Saturday - 6am to 6pm
  • Sunday - 8am to 6pm


Access to either the athletics or the aquatics facilities will cost residents $5 for a casual visit, or $90 for a 20-visit pass ($4.50 per visit).

  • Children (under 16) - $3
  • Concession - $4
  • Memberships, lane hires, facility hires, pool hires, lessons etc are all available.

A comprehensive list of fees can be found at