Top 10 things to do around the region

Published: 05 Sep 2022

Get exclusive access to the Melbourne Writers Festival via a library membership, join the National Threatened Species Day guided walk at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens or marvel at the ancient creatures from land and sea at Erth’s Prehistoric World Tour at the MECC. Check out the full list of things to do around Mackay this week!

1) Minibeasts - Entomology

Tuesday, September 6, 3.45pm to 5.15pm
Dudley Denny City Library
Are you interested in learning how to pin and preserve the insects you find? This class will teach you how to do just that! Learn how to pin, label and preserve your insects for years to come. This event is for young adults aged 12 to 18 years. Register your interest.

2) Melbourne Writers Festival Events

Thursday, September 8 to Sunday, September 11
Mackay Regional Council Libraries
A rare opportunity to come together and revel in books, stories and ideas is finally here, thanks to Mackay Regional Council Libraries! Our libraries are thrilled to offer library members exclusive access to this cultural event for writers and readers. View the entire program and register for events here.

3) Kids Take Over Canelands Family Fun Day

Thursday, September 8, 10am to 7pm
Caneland Central
The Mackay Regional Council Libraries team will be part of the 20 stalls popping up at Caneland Central for a fun event held by Mackay Family Support Alliance (MFSA). The event is being held in support of Queensland Child Protection Week and will have a heap of free kids activities. Find out more at

4) National Threatened Species Day Guided Walk

Friday, September 9, 10am
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
This week’s theme is “Threatened Species” as September 7 is National Threatened Species Day. Come learn about local plant species under pressure including Graptophyllum ilicifolium (Mount Blackwood Holly), which is the floral emblem of the Botanic Gardens. Meet at Botanic Gardens Visitor Information Centre. To book your spot, please phone 4952 7300.

5) DBCT Kids’ Theatre Season 2022 – Erth’s Prehistoric World Tour

Friday, September 9, 6pm
Saturday, September 10, 9.30am and 12.30pm
MECC Auditorium
Bringing ancient creatures from land and sea together in one show, Erth’s Prehistoric World is the perfect combination of theatrical magic and charm. It takes the audience to the bottom of the ocean to discover ancient bio-luminescent creatures and incredible marine reptiles, and then back to dry land to witness some of the most amazing dinosaurs to have ever walked this Earth. Experience the creatures of your imagination coming to life on stage in this enthralling new show!  Book tickets

6) Artist in residence: Leonie Wood life drawing – Made by you!

Friday, September 9, 10am to noon
Gordon White Library
If you want to learn to draw, then this beginners’ session is just for you. Renowned local artist Leonie Wood will help you discover techniques and develop your skills in this supportive learning environment. Art supplies provided for use during class.This event is for adults aged 18 and above.

7) Jazz in the Park

Sunday, September 11, 2pm to 5.30pm
Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music
Pack a picnic and come and relax to jazz by CQCM's very own Bachelor of Music staff and students in Mackay's historical Queens Park. Come and relax in the beautiful surrounds of Mackay and listen to some of Mackay’s finest up-and-coming musicians studying at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music.Joining in on the fun will be Mackay’s very own Blue Water Big Band. This event is free to attend.

8) Get Active classes

Every day of the week
Various locations
Get fit for summer with council’s Active Mackay Region and Active in the Regions programs, providing subsidised fitness classes to residents in Mackay, Northern Beaches, Sarina, Finch Hatton and Dows Creek. Choose from aqua fitness, Dance Fit, Ninja Warrior, yoga, pilates, aerobics, and group fitness. Find out more via

9) DGH Engineering 2022 International Men’s Day (IMD22) Art Show

Until Sunday, October 2
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
Shed Happens Mackay, in partnership with the Mackay Art Society, are hosting the DGH Engineering 2022 International Men’s Day (IMD22) Art Show. The theme for the show and subject for the artists is ‘Celebrating Positive Male Role Models’. The café and gallery are open Wednesday to Sunday, 8am to 2pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).

10) New exhibitions at Artspace Mackay

Until Sunday, November 27
Artspace Mackay
Four new exhibitions have just been opened to the public at Artspace Mackay.

The Wall: D Harding: Foyer Gallery

D Harding is a descendant of the Bidjara, Ghungalu and Garingbal communities of Central Queensland. They work in a wide variety of media to explore the visual and social languages of their communities as cultural continuum. As artist in residence at Artspace Mackay, Harding continues their strong interest in textile and pigment. In recent times they have enjoyed making new wool felts and blankets and exhibiting these with the colours of their Grandparents’ territories.

Tales of the Lyre Bird: Gallery 1

Across more than two decades from 1977 the Lyre Bird Press produced over 50 artists’ books ranging from livre d’artiste luxury publications to experimental book forms, involving creators of all kinds. Drawing from the significant holdings of the Mackay Regional Council Art Collection, Tales of the Lyre Bird follows the important output of the press from its Melbourne conception by Tate Adams AM (b. 1922, d. 2018) to its reinvigoration in North Queensland in the early 90s. Curated by Ron McBurnie and Helen Cole this major survey highlights collaborative works conceived via the press, including artists such as Tate Adams AM, George Baldessin, Anneke Silver, Ray Crooke and Juli Haas.

Figuratively Speaking: Foyer Gallery

Figuratively Speaking draws from the Mackay Regional Council Art Collection, exploring representations of human experience through figurative work. Including paintings by Rosella Namok, Davida Allen and Clara Adolphs, the figure as both literal and figurative subject in artistic practice is considered.

Veronika Zeil: Echo Forest – the Eloquence of Trees

Photography, sound, drawing and installation form Echo Forest—The Eloquence of Trees by central Queensland artist Veronika Zeil. Encouraging visitors to pause and contemplate human impacts on the environment, Zeil’s multidisciplinary practice offers a window into what she identifies as fractured landscapes, focusing on the different growth stages of trees.


Fairytales on Ice

Sunday, September 18, 6pm
Monday, September 19, 6pm
MECC Auditorium
Direct from its sell-out tour in the US, the ice-skating spectacular ‘Fairytales on Ice’ is touring Australia this year. Delight in the spectacular as award-winning skaters bring your favourite fairy tale characters to life through ice skating, singing, and music! Featuring stories and characters from The Little Mermaid & The Pirate Adventures, explore the fairy tale land alongside Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, and more! Follow the ice-skating magic as swashbuckling pirates embark on an underwater adventure and let these well-known characters lift you high into another world. Tickets available at

Pixar Putt

Friday, September 16 to Sunday, October 6
Various times
Mackay Civic Lawn, between Artspace Mackay and the MECC
This open-air mini golf sensation is made up of interactive putt-putt holes inspired by the stories, characters, and icons from some of Pixar’s most beloved films including Toy Story, Cars, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Luca, plus many more! There will also be 'Pixar Putt After Dark' sessions available for adults 18+ on Thursday to Saturday nights from 7pm, which will include a licenced bar. Tickets available at