Artspace Mackay is a regional art gallery operated by Mackay Regional Council which provides the community and its visitors with access to a wide range of cultural services including:
- An ever-changing program of international standard touring and curated exhibitions of visual arts and social history
- Access to the Mackay Regional Council Collection of artists' books and prints through the Tate Adams Reading Room, with presentations, displays and exhibitions
- Public and educational programs including art classes, workshops, masterclasses, lectures, seminars, performances, presentations, guided tours and events
- A multi-purpose functions venue for meetings. seminars, functions and events
Exciting wreck diving is to be had at the historic \'Llewellyn\' site, east of Mackay on the Great Barrier Reef. The steamer was last seen departing Cape Capricorn Lighthouse on 17 July 1919 and disappeared during heavy gales as it sailed from Rockhampton to Bowen. The location of the vessel remained a mystery until 1997, when the shipwreck was located 35 kilometres east of Mackay.
Nestled in the foothills of the Clarke Range, 20 kilometres from Pinnacle west of Mackay, the Mia Mia State Forest is mostly open eucalypt forest. Bush camping and swimming is available at Captain Crossings on Teemburra Creek. Vehicular access is by four wheel drive only. Remember that roads may be closed during wet weather or high fire danger.
Discover a living piece of Mackay's heritage at the Town Hall in Sydney Street, Mackay. Originally built in 1912 the Mackay Town Hall is a beautiful historic building in the centre of the city which has been transformed into a welcome centre assisting new residents in the Mackay region. The Queensland Heritage Trails about the history of Mackay provides visitors with opportunities to discover the major events and happenings which have affected the Mackay community. Artspace Mackay manages the old Council Meeting Room upstairs as an innovative artists studio space with and a regular program of events including artistic and heritage exhibitions, art classes and workshops. The Town Hall is available for bookings including functions, meetings and events. The Town Hall was refurbished as part of the Queensland Heritage Trails Network of cultural and heritage attractions by the state and federal governments and was officially reopened in December 2001.
Get out and explore this great region along the Bluewater Trail. Take a leisurely stroll or scenic bike ride along the award winning shared pathway whilst taking in much of the region's natural beauty. Six of the region's key attractions sit along the trail including the beautiful Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, the Sandfly Creek Environmental Walkway, the Catherine Freeman walk, the free three-tiered Bluewater Lagoon aquatic facility, Bluewater Quay (with barbecue facilities) and Iluka Park (all abilities playground). Get active and enjoy the 'ring of activity' which boasts pedestrian and bicycle pathways, raised boardwalks, environmental areas, disabled access and activities for children and young people. Winner of the 2010 National Heart Foundation Local Government Award.
Popular for its sensational sunrises, Town beach offers great views of Flat and Round Top Islands and Dalrymple Bay. Town Beach is very popular with locals and visitors for late afternoon walks, fishing and watching the impact of Mackay's huge tides which can go out for miles during peak times. Town Beach is only a five minute drive from Mackay's city heart. This beach also offers well-equipped park areas with playground facilities and shady barbecue and picnic areas.
The Memorial Swim Centre is located in Mackay's City Centre and beside Canelands Shopping Centre. This is the only heated public pool in Mackay and remains a constant temperature of 26 degrees in both the 50 metre pool and toddler pool year round. Features Include: 50 metre by eight lane Olympic heated outdoor pool Heated toddler pool with water fountain Grandstand suitable for large events and swimming carnivals Extensive grounds which are ideal for family picnics Car park and bike rack facilities Easy Access Chairlift Fully serviced first aid and lifesaving equipment Provision of free sunscreen (in partnership with Suncorp)
Relax and enjoy the beautiful Orchid House, intricately placed in the historic Queens Park gardens, boasting a broad collection of unique and exquisite orchids. With about 25,000 species the fascinating orchid family (Orchidaceae) is the largest group of flowering plants in the world and over 3,000 new hybrids are added every year. The Orchid House is one of the largest and finest orchid display houses in Australia. Built in 1988, the orchids are displayed in a natural type-setting around circular walkways. Stroll through the large collection of stunning orchids in all shapes and sizes, from the bizarre to exotic looking. The Orchid House displays over hundreds of varieties of orchids on show including native and tropical orchids from all over the world. The seasonally changing display, which is rotated between the Orchid House and the Council Nursery ensure a broad range of orchids are on show all year round.
Located just five kilometres from the Mackay city centre, the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens showcases the beautiful tropical flora from Mackay and the Whitsundays, along with other beautiful Australian native and exotic plants from similar climates around the world. This young botanic garden opened in 2003 and provides many resources to visitors - from over three kilometres of walking and cycling trails, wetland boardwalks, a unique cafe and gallery perched high above our wildlife filled lagoons, to excellent bird watching opportunities. Feature gardens include the luxuriant Fernery, the Regional Forest, rare and threatened flora of the tropical Shade Garden and the unique Coal Garden - tracing the evolution of plants and the importance of coal.
15 minutes down the road from Sarina is Grasstree Beach, situated on Zelma Bay. Once you've discovered the spot you'll be hooked. Grasstree Beach has a wonderful climate and is protected by a group of islands. The beach itself is magnificent, and beach walking is a favourite activity. Sarina, with banks, supermarkets and services, is 13 kilometres away. Fishing is a popular pastime, and anglers will find great opportunities for both beach and creek fishing, or even reef fishing if they prefer. The creeks have flathead, whiting and bream, so holiday makers can catch a few good meals during their stay. Boat ramp facilities are available at the creek. Grasstree Beach dates back to the 1880s when gold was found in the hills at the back of the beach.
The picturesque beach settlement of Ball Bay is located 35 kilometres north of Mackay. Ball Bay offers secluded camping on a small grassy campground. The facilities include toilets, cold beach showers, wood barbecues and drinking water, however animals are not allowed. Ball Bay offers easy and close access to Cape Hillsborough National Park bushwalking tracks. Ball Bay is also a great beach for fishing.
Stroll and discover the mosaics, terrazzo images and the bronze plaques and sculptures of the Mackay Horizons Project, completed by members of the community in 1993. On each of the four corners of the crossroads you will find the centre piece of the street. There are five areas to look for: The Rainforest, The Pioneer Valley, The Coast, The Islands and The Reef. The artworks can be seen in Victoria Street, between Gregory and Sydney Streets in the Mackay City Centre. A brochure is available from both Visitor Information Centres detailing the artwork.
Mackay's WWI cenotaph relays the loss of 159 local men killed in active service, eight of whom were awarded military decorations. The cenotaph, originally unveiled on the southern bank of the Pioneer River near Sydney Street Bridge in 1929, was designed by Townsville architect Stephen Harvey who waived his fee to supervise its erection. The 9.1 metre high memorial bears rich symbolism: the approach to a mausoleum-like pedestal represents the great loss of life incurred during this conflict and the nation's grief for bodies buried where they fell; Latin crosses and the three-stepped base echo the strong foundations of Christianity; the white marble orb at the top represents the British Empire, held high by a Doric column, symbolic of strength. A dark grey vein running though the marble at an angle gives the impression of a cracked or broken column; symbolic of life cut short. The memorial also bears a unique bronze relief sculpture: the side profile of a helmeted head. WWI enticed 1,594 volunteers from Mackay and another 36 from nearby Nebo district. The memorial, moved twice since its unveiling, stands in Jubilee Park with memorials to later conflicts.
Mackay's magnificent world-class Marina Village has a tropical ambience, with leafy palms lining the waterfront esplanade and a view beyond to luxury yachts, sailing boats, blue skies and tropical islands. The thriving commercial precinct boasts an impressive array of shops, bars and restaurants as well as the luxury four and a half star Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina. The hotel contains 79 self-contained suites - each with waterfront view - Latitude 21 Bar and Restaurant, function facilities, walk-in wine cellar, 24-hour reception and tour desk. Tours and activities available include game fishing, sailing, rainforest treks, platypus watching, nature trails and much more. The marina is next to sandy Harbour Beach and home to the Pine Islet Lighthouse, one of the only working kerosene lighthouses left in the world. The marina itself contains 328 berths, with six Mega Berths of 60-metre capacity and alongside vehicle access, 18 new big boat berths, which can hold boats of up to 38 metres and 32 fishing berths - plus one maintenance berth. The marina offers berths purpose-built for multi-hull vessels and is designed for vessels with a four and a half metre draught at lowest average tide.
The Pioneer Swim Centre is situated in the John Breen Park recreational precinct in North Mackay. Facilities include a 50 metre by eight lane Olympic outdoor pool, 15 metre by eight metre toddler pool with interactive water play equipment, undercover grandstand - ideal for large events and swimming carnivals, large shaded areas and tables with seating, free use of electric barbecue - great for family get togethers, car park and bike rack facilities, Easy Access Chairlift. Fully serviced first aid and life saving equipment. Close proximity to skatepark, roller hockey court, Gooseponds walking track, and John Breen Park. Provision of free sunscreen (in partnership with Suncorp).
The city Heritage Walk highlights some of Mackay's magnificent turn-of-the-century architecture. A must for any visitor, the 90-minute walk includes many buildings that are listed with the National Trust, including the Mackay Court House and Commonwealth Bank façade. Some of the buildings you will enjoy include: The Leichhardt Tree, Former Police Station, The Court House, the Town Hall, Holy Trinity Parish Church, Masonic Temple and more. The Heritage Walk brochure is available from the Mackay Visitor Information Centre at 320 Nebo Road, or Town Hall at 63 Sydney Street.
A five to ten minute drive north of the city centre and adjacent to the multi-million dollar Reef Marina development, the popular Harbour Beach is patrolled and is a favourite with locals - offering the ideal spot for picnics, fishing and swimming. The Harbour Beach area is renowned with locals for good jew, mackerel, trevally, bream and tuna fishing. Also nearby the Harbour is Mulherin Park, a shady retreat with barbecues, picnic tables, public toilets and children's play area. It is also home to the Mackay Surf Life Club, Mackay Yacht Club, Satchmo's tapas restaurant, the Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant, take-away and sports bar. Enjoy lunch overlooking the beach and tropical off shore islands.
After the first supply schooner "Presto" arrived in August 1862 The Leichhardt Tree played a significant part in Mackay's maritime history. As thousands of settlers, ships and cargoes arrived in Mackay the tree was used as an anchor for ships to tie to for access into Mackay. Wharves and warehouses were soon developed along River Street and the city grew up around our beautiful blue river.
The Lagoons Cafe and Gallery is located within the beautiful Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. Enjoy the view from the deck of scenery and wildlife of the gardens as you dine in the Cafe and Restaurant. Or take in the environmental and cultural themes expressed in monthly exhibitions of the interpretive Gallery.
South Cumberland Islands National Park encompasses nine islands. Rocky, rugged, hoop pine-dominated headlands stand out from open eucalypt woodland and extensive grasslands of the wind-exposed slopes. Protected coves shelter long, sandy beaches, while deep gullies hide remnants of dry rainforest. Ringed by fringing reefs, many of the islands are important rookeries for flatback and green turtles. Camp at Scawfell, St Bees, Cockermouth, Keswick or Penrith islands. Scawfell Island has basic facilities. Camping fees apply and bookings are essential. Book in advance for school holidays. Take water and a fuel stove. Check restrictions on activities such as spearfishing, anchoring, fishing and collecting.
Slade Point Reserve lies at Lamberts Beach, stretching 73 hectares and conserving one of the last remaining areas of coastal dunes and paperbark wetlands in the Mackay region. Visitors can walk through the reserve. Lamberts Beach and Slade Point, on the other side of McReady's Creek are often favourite haunts for mackerel and reef fish.
This one kilometre boardwalk system provides a close view of almost every habitat found in this coastal environment and awe-inspiring wildlife. The walks takes approximately one hour. Please note that there are no refreshments or toilet facilities available on site, with the nearest public facilities at Mackay Marina. Please do not leave behind any rubbish as this is a wildlife area. Drive 15 minutes north of central Mackay towards the Mackay Port along Harbour Road. Turn left on Slade Point Road and once you reach the Melaleuca forest, the entrance to the trail is on the left on Keeleys Road.