Top 10 things to do around the region

Published: 19 Jul 2021

Celebrate the culmination of the Mackay Festival of Arts this week with a bunch of festivities set to delight young and old. Experience DBCT Illuminate along the Bluewater Trail at night, head out to Seaforth for a beachside Sunday session or check out the local talent in upcoming theatre performances.

1) An Unexpected Tour

Wednesday, July 21, to Saturday, July 24, from 7pm to 9pm
New Mulherin Park Car Park, Mackay Harbour

An Unexpected Tour invites audiences to expect the unexpected and prepare themselves for the unknown as they are guided through a beachside location uncovering local unexpected stories. Through projection, music and performance, each storyteller will bring to life their personal ‘unexpected’ story, creating an intimate, immersive and sensorial experience for audiences to enjoy. Book via

2) DBCT Illuminate

Thursday, July 22, to Saturday, July 24, at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm
Mackay Bluewater Trail – Caneland Park to Forgan Bridge

A rainbow sea of interactive neon wire sculptures that change shape, a network of ropes waiting to come to life and a flexible, interactive music installation await you along the Bluewater Trail. Along your 45-minute journey, you’ll discover community creations thanks to local artist Wanda Bennett and the talented lighting team at the MECC bring the trail to life. Tickets available at Follow on Facebook for updates on the event.

3) Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

Thursday, July 22, Friday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24, at 7.30pm
Kucom Theatre, 1 Snow Wright Court, Andergrove

During an ostentatious wedding reception, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. Enjoy this Mackay Festival Fringe event by Kucom Theatre. Book via

4) Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

Friday, July 23 (ages 6-8), and Saturday, July 24 (ages 9+), from 9.30am to 10.30am
The MECC, Lynette Denny Space
A whole world of curious creatures can be discovered from a lot of crumpling, folding and sticking. This puppet-making experience encourages children to explore how everyday materials like paper, can be transformed into living, breathing puppets. The workshop also introduces children to puppetry and performance skills through improvisation and storytelling. All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Children and adults must register their attendance. Book via

5) Mackay International Film Festival

Saturday, July 24, from 7pm at Pinnacle Playhouse
Friday, July 30, Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, at BCC Mt Pleasant, various times

Come and see the world through film! The ninth annual Mackay International Film Festival is Mackay’s premier film festival event, specialising in foreign language, arthouse and independent studio release film genres. This year, there will be eight films screened over four days at two venues. Check for more details.

6) The MECC and Opera Australia presents Bizet’s Carmen

Saturday, July 24, at 7.30pm
The MECC Auditorium
Experience the thrilling Spanish colour and rhythms of Bizet’s vibrant score with Opera Australia’s singers, live chamber orchestra and a children’s chorus drawn from the local community. This new production includes gorgeous sets and vintage-inspired costumes. You can hear classics such as the Habanera and the Toreador Song. Age recommendation is over 12 years. This production contains mature themes including sex and domestic violence. Book tickets via

7) Beach to Gardens Charity Fun Run

Sunday, July 25, starting at 6.30am
Illuka Park, Mackay
The 2021 One Stop Medical Beach to Gardens Charity Fun Run will offer runners a selection of beautiful scenic routes from 5km, 8km, 16km and 21.1km. The event raises vital funds for the local helicopter rescue service RACQ CQ Rescue. The run will start and finish at Illuka Park. Book tickets via

8) Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch

Sunday, July 25, 11am to 1pm
The MECC North Foyer
A high energy celebration of song and dance, The Lounge Suite is led by Dale Pengelly and supported by his Loungin’ Ladies. Swoon and sway to timeless tunes from The Rat Pack and Nat King Cole alongside classics from musical theatre favourites such as Singin’ in the Rain, The Boy from Oz, Chicago and Hot Shoe Shuffle. Tickets include brunch, tea, coffee and a welcome drink. Book via

9) Savour Seaforth

Sunday, July 25, noon to 4pm  
Seaforth Esplanade
Bring your picnic rugs for a seaside afternoon of delicious delicacies and live entertainment alongside Seaforth’s gorgeous Sunday morning market. Explore the markets from 8.30am to 11.30am and you’re bound to discover unique, handcrafted treasures. The Savour Seaforth event will feature award-winning singer-songwriter Jess Hitchcock.

10) Exhibitions – final weekend

Exhibitions close Sunday, July 25
Artspace Mackay
It’s your final chance to catch two incredible exhibitions at Artspace Mackay. Iterate|Elaborate by Leigh Schoenheimer (in the Foundation Gallery) combines image and object-making to create works that speak to each other and to key moments in art history.
Continuum (in the Foyer Gallery) is the result of Mackay-based artist Donna Maree Robinson and Mackay-raised composer David Pyke working together to feature immersive, multimedia exploration of music and science.


National Tree Day

Sunday, August 1 from 8.30am to 10.30am
Hume Street, under Ron Camm Bridge
We're looking for volunteers to lend a hand at this year’s National Tree Day event. Come down and get your hands dirty for a good cause by registering as a volunteer at As part of National Tree Day the Soroptimist International Mackay will be planting 100 trees to celebrate 100 years of making a difference to the lives of women and girls. Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships.


Saturday, July 31, and Sunday, August 1, from 9am to 3pm
Unearthed brings an action-packed program over two days including Extreme Moments of Science with Dr Karl (ages 13+) and Dr Karl for Kids. This free event features STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts Maths) inspired activities, demonstrations and performances for the whole family. From Minecraft and interactive digital technologies to creative spaces, Unearthed is back with new experiences to suit all ages from the young to the young at heart. More information via