Community groups

There are many community groups in Mackay, working on a range of environmental projects.  If you would like to find out more about some of the groups helping to make a difference in Mackay, or if you would like to attend one of the working bees or meetings, please contact council's Natural Environment section.

Find out about:

Friends of Morag McNichol Reserve

Morag McNichol always wanted to see a section of the family property in Andergrove saved for nature conservation.

In 1990 Mrs McNichol sold her property to the Pioneer Shire Council and negotiated for a small portion of the land to be developed and a larger portion of land (13.67 ha) saved for nature conservation.  This area was later named Morag McNichol reserve in memory of Mrs McNichol.

Since 2003 a group of committed volunteers, the "Friends of Morag McNichol Reserve", has been hard at work, helping to restore the remnant vegetation as habitat for local wildlife.  The reserve obtained Land for Wildlife listing in 2004.  It is an great example of a rainforest community growing on sandy soil. The reserve has significant ,habitat values and over the years, various specialist groups such as Society for Growing Australian Plants and Birdlife Mackay have visited the reserve and marvelled at the natural biodiversity of the site.

The friends group meets monthly to conduct working bees in the reserve. Supported by Council's Natural Environment Levy, the working bees give local community members the chance to get their hands dirty and get involved in on ground activities such as tree planting, fencing, weeding and mulching, which help regenerate, conserve and protect the natural environmental values of the reserve for future generations.

Birdlife Mackay

Birdlife Mackay brings together people who are interested in learning about birds and appreciating their beauty in the natural environment.

New members and visitors are always welcome to join in the monthly outings.  All that is required is an interest in birds and desire to see them in their natural surroundings.  A pair of binoculars will come in handy but these can be borrowed if need be.  Mackay is blessed with an abundance of bird species. It also has many different bird habitats which are easy to access.  The outings are held on the first Sunday of the month.

For more information contact Daryl Barnes on 4959 3382.

Find out about where to go bird watching around Mackay (PDF 732 KB).

Mackay Conservation Group

Mackay Conservation Group recognises and strives to promote awareness of the value of our natural environment.

The group aims to represent people's desires to protect and maintain our region's natural assets and encourage moves towards sustainable systems.

They achieve this by education, research, advocacy and action in cooperation with other community groups, industry and government.

The Environment Centre, located at 156 Wood St Mackay, is opened Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm

Phone: 4953 0808

For more information visit the Mackay Conservation Group website.

Mackay & District Turtle Watch Association

Seven species of sea turtle are found throughout the world.  Six of these species live and nest in Queensland Australia.  All sea turtle species are considered endangered or vulnerable.

Mackay and District Turtle Watch are volunteers who monitor our beaches fro Repulse Bay in the north to Stanage Bay in the south. They operate under the guidelines of the Queensland Sea Turtle Project.

Members collect data on nesting sea turtles, hatchlings and stranded marine animals.  They also educate the public through awareness activities at schools, public events and to interested groups.

Visit the Mackay and District Turtle watch association's website to find out more.

Pioneer Catchment and Landcare Group

Pioneer Catchment & Landcare Group Inc. is a non-profit community-based organisation. It was formed in the early 1990's as one of the first catchment groups in Queensland. Pioneer Catchment & Landcare Group Inc. works in partnership with Mackay Regional Council and other key stakeholders.

The Pioneer Catchment area includes subcatchments of all coastal streams from Aligator Creek in the north to Sandy Creek in the south and extends west to the Clark Connors Range.  The catchment includes the urban centre of Mackay and townships including Marian, Mirani, Eton, Walkerston and Calen.

For more information about Pioneer Catchment and Landcare Group's programs and activities and for contact details visit

Society for Growing Australian Plants – Mackay Branch

Membership of the Society is open to anyone interested in the growing and preservation of Australian plants.   Branch membership includes membership of the Queensland regional group and a range of local activities and benefits. These include friendly informative meetings, plant propagation group workshops, an extensive library, branch publications and a regular newsletter.  Meetings are usually held on the first Thursday of the month (except January) at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens meeting room.  7.30 pm Library, plant and publication sales.  8.00 pm Business followed by regular features and a topic of interest.  Meetings conclude with a raffle and supper.

Visitors are always welcome!  For further information telephone the Secretary on 4955 1745.  PO Box 6864 Mackay Mail Centre, 4741.

Find out about the next meeting.

Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association

SLCMA is a not-for-profit community organisation that was formed in October 2001,following the amalgamation of Sarina Integrated Catchment Management Association and Sarina and District Landcare Group Inc. SLCMA works in partnership with the community, local Councils and other stakeholders to promote a strong Landcare and sustainable catchment management ethic within the Sarina Catchment.

The Sarina Catchment is located in the southern portion of the Mackay Whitsunday Natural Resource Management region and covers an area of approximately 169,000 hectares. The geographic area of the Sarina Catchment, is bounded in the north by the Alligator Creek catchment, in the south by the Flaggy Rock Creek catchment and in the west by the Connors Range.  The eastern boundary is the Coral Sea. The main creeks within the Sarina Catchment area are: Alligator, Plane, Rocky Dam, Cape, Marion, Gillinbin, West Hill, Carmila and Flaggy Rock.

Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association (SLCMA) works with the community to help protect the natural environment within the Sarina Catchment. They provide free property visits and land management advice to landholders; undertake onground rehabilitation projects; engage youth and volunteers in educational and practical Landcare activities.

SLCMA provide assistance on a range of topics from pests and vegetation management to waterway, biodiversity and coastal management. Members also receive extra benefits such as 20 free native plants each year, monthly newsletters, invitations to field days and workshops.

For more information visit