Tag: mackay

Combat Holiday Boredom with ‘Sixteen Days of September Fun’

If you are like the majority of parents during the school holidays, then there are plenty of moments where the kids are complaining of being bored. Then your brain feels like it might explode from their ‘there’s nothing to do’ cries.  The good news is Mackay Tourism has decided to lend a helping hand when it comes to keeping the kids entertained.

School might be out, but that doesn’t mean you have to be out of your mind with stress over what to do! They hope to inspire locals as well as visiting friends and families to get out into the area and explore.

‘Sixteen Days of September Fun’ is a campaign providing sixteen fun activities to experience in the Mackay region these holidays. Instead of having to think what to do, the ideas are handed to you instead. This means that each day can be filled with a new adventure! It will also showcase upcoming events, including the September Weekender events at the MECC and Rumble on the Reef.

Donny Fraser, Rumble on the Reef Event Promoter, also encourages visitors and locals to make the most of the upcoming school holidays.

“Complimenting the excitement of Rumble on the Reef are the region’s abundance of fun activities. They are sure to make these September school holidays one to remember.”

Day 1 of the campaign begins on September 19 with ‘Whale Watching at Lamberts Beach Lookout’. There are 16 numbers that you can choose from, and each number will give you a new activity for that day once clicked. Some activities are free and some activities involve a cost and booking a ticket.

But Wait…There’s More! Sixteen Days of September Fun doesn’t just include activities for the kids…there are also a couple of cheeky activities for adults, such as watching the 18+ cabaret show on September 26!

View the full selection of activities HERE.

Find more things to do HERE







North Queensland’s Best Picnic Spots

North Queensland has an abundance of lush plant life and beautiful views. So, while you can always enjoy one of the many cafes, restaurants and the like, there is never a shortage of nature to be enjoyed. After isolation, we’re all itching to get out of the house. Why not pack the family a picnic and take some time to appreciate our truly great outdoors. Here are our picks for some of North Queensland’s Best Picnic Spots.

Cairns Botanic Gardens – Edge Hill 

If you want to experience the beautiful tropical foliage of Cairns then the Botanic Gardens are the best place to go. Even if the plants aren’t your thing, it’s a peaceful place that creates a wonderful atmosphere to sit and relax while enjoying your favourite picnic foods. If the kids are getting restless, there are many different gardens to explore and learn including the Gondwanan Heritage Garden and Aboriginal Plant Use Garden. There is also kilometres of paths and boardwalks to explore, the Nature Playground, the Tanks Arts Centre, the Watkins Munro Martin Conservatory for valuable and tender plants and butterflies. Plus the ground has plenty of toilets, an information centre and café.

Cairns Esplanade

The Cairns Esplanade can be busy at times, but with good reason. You can take a walk along the foreshore and find your picnic spot, which is sure to be close to a playground or the Lagoon, a popular free-swimming pool. Muddy’s Playground is a must visit for families, there’s also Skate Plaza to check out, a bouldering park, the beach volleyball courts and multi-use court which is FREE to use. Don’t forget to BYO basketball or Volleyball. Whether taking shade under a tree or basking in the sun, the Esplanade is a great place to have a picnic with your kids and play outside.

Eungella National Park – Mackay

With all the essentials right there, including toilets, barbeques, tables and walking tracks, you can have a bush picnic in the mountains of West Mackay. Sky Window and Broken River are two great places to picnic and enjoy the nature of the beautiful Eungella National Park. If you want to take it a step further and camp overnight at Broken River, keep an eye out on the river platform. You might see some platypuses and turtles! The circuit and viewing platform and at Sky Window offer a spectacular view of the park.

Cedar Creek Falls – Whitsundays

If you’re keen to have a picnic with a fantastic waterfall backdrop, Cedar Creek Falls is the way to go. Lush greenery and local residents including lizards, butterflies and more will accompany you in this gorgeous spot. It’s only a short walk from the car park and a 20-minute drive from Airlie Beach.

You can cool down by having a swim in the crystal watering hole. Make sure to pack a snorkel if you want to spot the turtles!

Pioneer Park, Thuringowa – Townsville

A popular fishing spot, Pioneer Park is located on the banks of Ross River Dam and Ross River. With both picnic and barbeque areas as well as sporting fields, the park has everything you need for a family day out. Playgrounds are available to keep the kids active and happy. Additionally, the park is not difficult to get to.

Dan Gleeson Memorial Gardens – Townsville 

These gardens are home to a range of wildlife and native and exotic trees. These are situated amongst large lawn areas and paved pathways (which are perfect for a stroll, walking the dog and for the kids to ride their bikes on). Set up a picnic on the grass by one of the water features. Or, use the undercover picnic tables for a relaxing family outing.

The Strand – Townsville  

The strand is a thriving beach foreshore where you can choose sand or grass for your picnic spot. Both will give you a great view. There are a number of fantastic playgrounds and the popular Strand Water Park to keep the kids entertained for hours.  Bring the swimmers to take a swim in the ocean or the rock pool, or just enjoy a stroll along the beach foreshore. If you want to, you can even try catching a fish from the jetty.

Four Mile Beach – Port Douglas

With crystal clear waters and golden sand, this beach is the ultimate tropical picnic spot. It’s perfect for a lazy day of relaxing in the sun by the beach or under the shade on the grass. You can cool down by going for a swim in the patrolled section of the water.

Cape Hillsborough – Mackay

Cape Hillsborough has a great picnic area with tables, but you can also enjoy a lovely beach picnic and swim if you wish. Kangaroos are often spotted at the beach during late afternoon. Pack a picnic for this time, watch the wildlife and stick around for the sunset.

Crystal Cascades

In the rainforest, less than a 30-minute drive from Cairns, lies the peaceful Crystal Cascades. Here, there are several small waterfalls and an abundance of swimming spots. All of these are along a track that winds slightly uphill for over a kilometre next to the creek. You can experience a relaxing picnic while listening to the birds and admiring the greenery. When you’re done you can go for a swim to cool down. 

Click here to check out a family sized, waterproof picnic blanket.

Click here and here for two great picnic baskets, perfect for the family’s favourite picnic foods!




The Great Barrier Reef stretches from Cape York down the Queensland coast to Bundaberg, spanning a length of 2,300km. Along the way there are over 3,000 coral reefs and 600 continental islands, as well as many cays – plenty to explore!

Whether you’re a long-time North Queensland local or are visiting, a trip out to the reef is a must. There are plenty
of beautiful things to see and do, and it really puts into perspective just how beautiful our world is.


Each island has its own unique qualities. Here are a few amazing ones to discover in North Queensland.

1. Frankland Islands, Cairns area

Frankland Islands is composed of five islands called Normanby, Russel, Round, High and Mabel. Every single one of them is uninhabited except for the spectacular wildlife. It has no facilities, but there are six campsites if you’re after an adventure in untouched nature.

2. Green Island, Cairns area

A small, flat island off the coast of Cairns, perfect for a quick getaway. Did you know that Green Island is technically a sand cay?

3. Fitzroy Island, Cairns area

A popular day trip option, Fitzroy Island has a turtle rehabilitation hospital, walking tracks (with one leading up to a lighthouse), and plenty of fun activities and tours.

4. Magnetic Island, Townsville area

Magnetic Island is home to a number of beaches, hiking trails and cute resident koalas.Hike up to WWII forts, visit the Bungalow Bay Koala Sanctuary or drive a topless car around the island. It is the only island on this list with its own postcode, and 2,500 residents call it home.

5. Hinchinbrook Island, Townsville area

Hinchinbrook Island is a hiker’s paradise. Only 40 people are allowed there at any time. It is massive and completely uninhabited and home to the famous 32km Thorsborne Trail. It is accessible by a ferry ride from Lucinda or Cardwell and is the perfect place for those seeking a real adventure.

6. Whitsunday Island, Whitsundays

The biggest island as part of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, and home to the iconic picturesque Whitehaven Beach.

7. Hamilton Island, Whitsundays

Hamilton Island is car-free but has its own airport and loads of accommodation options are available. There is lots to do including hiking up to Passage Peak, offering stunning views of the surrounding islands.

8. Long Island, Whitsundays

Located just one kilometre from the coastline, Long Island features bush walking paths and a tropical rainforest.

9. Daydream Island, Whitsundays

It certainly lives up to its name. Daydream Island features 280 modern rooms making it perfect for families, along with three restaurants and a coral lagoon wrapping around the central building home to over 100 species of marine fish.

10. Hayman Island, Whitsundays

The most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands, Hayman Island features a number of accommodation options and restaurants as well as botanical gardens. It’s a popular honeymoon destination, but also popular with families.

11. Keswick Island, Mackay area

Spot vibrant blue butterflies, turtles cruising in clear waters and learn about fascinating bees. Explore the bushwalking tracks or simply relax.

12. Newry Island, Mackay area

Newry Island is close to the mainland and is popular with camping, fishing and bushwalking, and it has some spectacular lookouts. The area has been designated as a dugong protection area.


The Great Barrier Reef is a world heritage listed site. When visiting, show respect for mother nature and leave it the same way you found it.

Do not collect souvenirs – Avoid collecting natural souvenirs such as shells or seeds. Take only photos and memories
with you.

Respect the flora and fauna – Don’t touch, pick up, feed or otherwise disturb the wildlife, and avoid making loud noises.
If an animal seems agitated by your presence, carefully move away. Stay on marked paths and don’t tread on any vegetation
or snap off any branches.

Do not litter – Take all rubbish with you, including food scraps. Many islands are uninhabited, so take extra care as there
won’t be any bins. Take an extra moment to pick up any rubbish along the way, even if it isn’t yours.



Elevate your getaway and indulge in a bit of luxury by spending the weekend at a hotel, caravan park or resort. Whether you’re looking for a cheeky weekend away from home or are searching for a place to put up the in-laws, there are a huge number of accommodation options available, each with something about the location that makes it unique. Here is the top family accommodation in North Queensland.

BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort

All Ages

Spacious and fringed by palm trees with a peaceful creek running through the middle. Featuring a beautiful swimming pool, kids’ playground, jumping pillow, inflatable ninja challenge, movie nights under the stars and quad bikes. If you’re not planning on staying the night, purchase a day pass for endless family fun.

P 1800 069 388
A 2955 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach

King Reef Resort

All Ages

How would you like to wake up, walk outside, and have your feet in the sand in only a few steps? It’s a reality at King Reef Resort. The kids will
love playing on the beach, and with a pub and restaurant on premises you will be able to relax while they play.

Accommodation includes beachside cabins and camping, and there is a house available for larger groups.

P 07 4065 6144
A 75 Jacobs Rd, Kurrimine Beach

Mycow Accommodation

All Ages

This newly refurbished park on the edge of picturesque Bakers Creek offers a range of accommodation options to suit your family. The relaxed
environment allows for the perfect opportunity to relax, play and meet new people. Golf, table tennis and fishing are popular activities for
guests, and there is a boat ramp and shop nearby.

P 07 4952 2806
A 106 Main St, Bakers Creek, Mackay

Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park

All Ages

Enjoy the action and excitement of Lake Tinaroo with $5 day visitor entry to their resort-style pool and jumping pillow. Up the ante and enjoy
a fantastic range of motorised and non-motorised water equipment for hire. Choose from stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, canoes and 6hp fishing
boats. Visit for the day or Stay and Play for a family holiday experience to remember.

P 0417 992 954
A 47 Atherton St, Lake Tinaroo

Comfort Resort Blue Pacific

All Ages

You’ll find Comfort Resort Blue Pacific in a spectacular location right on the beach set in three acres of lush tropical gardens. Offering beach houses, self-contained studios as well as one, two- and three-bedroom apartments to make your stay in paradise comfortable and enjoyable.
There are two pools for guests to use, and many enjoy fishing at the beach.

P 07 4954 9090
A 26 Bourke St, Blacks Beach, Mackay

Paradise Palms

All Ages

This destination is a playground for both parents and kids. Mini golf, a swimming pool, kids adventure playground, flying fox, restaurant, plus one and two bedroom fully equipped apartments – this place is paradise for families. Complete with delicious food, endless entertainment and great
tropical vibes. Soak up the relaxation at Paradise Palms.

P 07 4059 9922
A Paradise Palms Drive, Kewarra Beach

Cairns Colonial Club

All Ages

Escape to a tropical resort set on 11 beautiful acres, seven minutes from the city centre. Lots of different room types available for families and sporting groups. Facilities include three lagoon-style pools, a playground and an amazing family restaurant on site. Your family will love it, and so will your wallet with great rates available year round.

P 07 4053 8800
A 18-26 Cannon St, Cairns

Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort

All Ages

Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort has everything a family could want for a fantastic stay. There are cabins, caravan sites and camping grounds available, along with great facilities to make your day both fun and memorable. All accommodation is located close to the park’s amenities, but each site still offers enough seclusion so you can enjoy the serenity of the tropical surrounds.

P 07 4054 6644
A 23-51 Anderson Road, Woree

BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park

All Ages

Sit back and relax, enjoy the wonderful wildlife, beautiful beaches and breathtaking scenery that BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park offers. The park has a number of things to do for children of all ages, including the shaded jumping pillow, splash zone and tyre maze. Try out the mini golf course together with the family or venture out to other great attractions close to the accommodation.

P 07 4955 1496
A Lot 379 Harbour Rd, Mackay Harbour

Oaks Resort Port Douglas

All Ages

A lush tropical setting awaits you at Oaks Port Douglas Resort where the rainforest meets the reef. The resort sits nestled amongst the palm trees, located just moments away from the iconic Four Mile Beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, embark on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or go shopping at the various unique shops all within walking distance.

P 1300 165 369
A 87/109 Port Douglas Road

Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park

All Ages

Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park knows first-hand what it means to be family friendly. Offering a 25m swimming pool, giant inflatables, water park,
pedal bikes, playroom and brand new café with yummy burgers, sandwiches, coffee and even a bar. Various accommodation styles available from cabins to camping. Plus, you can even bring your furry friends.

P 07 4065 6166
A 9 Coyle Street, Kurrimine Beach

BIG4 Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park

All Ages

This park is situated in a beautiful beachfront location overlooking the picturesque Magnetic Island. It boasts a convenient location close to The Strand and Townsville’s CBD, and offers all you could need for your caravan, camping and accommodation needs in beautiful Tropical North Queensland.

P 1800 751 845
A 46 Heatley’s Parade, Belgian Gardens




Lions Airlie Beach Community Markets

When: Every Saturday, 7.00am – 1.00pm
Where: Airlie Beach Foreshore
More info: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

Pick up your morning coffee and have a stroll at the beautiful Airlie Beach foreshore. Browse a selection of local produce, arts, crafts and more. It’s the perfect way to kickstart your weekend.

Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival Community Welcome Event

When: Sunday 12th January
Where: Airlie Beach Foreshore
More info: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

Welcome the Crew and Skippers from the Clipper Fleet on stage! There will be activities, food, arts and crafts, live local entertainment and more – a great day out with something for the whole family.

Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival Sunset Wine & Dine with the Crew

When: Tuesday 14th January, 5.00pm – 7.00pm
Where: Sorrento Restaurant and Bar Airlie Beach
More info: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

An opportunity for the Whitsunday community to Wine & Dine with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Crew at the gorgeous Sorrento Restaurant and Bar Airlie Beach. Listen to their stories, enjoy Italian cuisine and sip on cocktails in a beautiful location.

Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival Clipper Yacht Open Days

When: 14th – 16th January, times vary
Where: Coral Sea Marina
More info: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

Ever wonder what it’s like inside the world’s largest fleet of Ocean Racing Yachts? Here is your chance to find out. See for yourself what it would be like cruising the high seas on these incredible vessels.

Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival Rodeo by the Reef

When: Saturday 18th January, from 5.00pm
Where: Bowen Foreshore
More info: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

The seaside meets the countryside at this rodeo event for the entire family. There will be world-class bull riding surrounded by the wondrous environment of the Bowen foreshore. BYO chair and picnic blanket and enjoy food from the multiple food stalls.

Tropical Paint & Sip

When: Sunday 19th January, 2.30pm – 5.00pm
Where: Toscana Village Resort
More info: www.selfartistry.com.au

Paint a masterpiece while building friendships at this fun event to kick off the new year. Zero skills required and all equipment and painting tips are provided with a professional guiding you through the process. It’s the perfect way to relax, learn a new skill and meet some awesome new people.

Australia Day Weekend

When: Saturday 25th – Monday 27th January
Where: BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort
More info: www.whitsundaystropicalecoresort.com.au

Enjoy a family charity night on the 25th at 6.00pm featuring an appearance from the Incredibles, $2 sausage sizzle, $5 bingo, free family quizzes and karaoke and prize. The 26th will feature a free evening screening of Red Dog at 6.30pm. On Monday the 27th (public holiday) there will be a kids’ disco from 4.00pm – 5.00pm with a jumping pillow and ninja course for free.

Australia Day Beach BBQ

When: Sunday 26th January, 12.00pm – 6.00pm
Where: Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill
More info: www.northerlies.com.au

Head over to Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill for an Australia Day Beach BBQ for the whole family. There will be live music all afternoon, activities for the kids as well as Bredl’s Wildlife Farm.

Raise Your Glass – The Australian Pink Show

When: Saturday 22nd February, 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Where: Airlie Beach Hotel
More info: www.tributetopink.com.au

With countless top 10 singles, sold out tours and record-breaking attendances, Pink is one of the most popular and dazzling pop icons on the current music scene. This tribute show is a spectacular like no other, featuring Mount Isa born singer and musician Kim Boath.

This is a free, family-friendly event; no tickets required.

Airlie Beach Ideal Wedding Expo

When: Sunday 15th March, 10.00am – 1.30pm
Where: The Palm House
More info: www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au

Ideal Bride has been putting together wedding expos for over 30 years, and will be hosting one in Airlie Beach this March. Featuring everything you need to plan your special day, from dresses to jewellery, bouquets to cakes and all the trimmings in between. Gold coin entry per person.



Workshops at Caneland Central

When: Magic Workshops, Monday 13th – Friday 17th January, 10.00am – 1.00pm daily
When: Cooking classes, Monday 20th – Friday 24th January, 10.00am – 1.00pm daily
Where: Caneland Central
More info: www.canelandcentral.com.au

Head over to Caneland Central this month for some exciting FREE workshops for the kids that’ll even teach them something. Learn magic tricks with Nickleby the Magician and learn to cook with the Colourful Chef. Bookings are essential as spots are limited. Book through the website.

Aussie Aqua MACH

When: Sunday 26th January, 8.00am – 10.00am
Where: WakeHouse Cable Park, Michigan Way, Mackay
More info: www.wakehouse.com.au

Run, slide and swim your way through a giant inflatable obstacle course – with traditional Aussie fun games thrown in to make it a little extra challenging. This event is non-competitive (although you are welcome to race your
friends if you want to). Suitable for ages seven and over.

Optus Sports Expo and Sign-On Day

When: Sunday 9th February from 9.00am – 1.00pm
Where: The MECC
More info: www.themecc.com.au

What sport are you playing this year? The Optus Sports Expo and Sign-On Day is your one-stop shop for the vast array of sporting and active recreation clubs and organisations scattered around Mackay. The expo packs more than 100 clubs and groups into the MECC. Head over and discover all the awesome sports and activities you can partake in this 2020.

Up, Up & Away!

When: Friday 28th February, 11.00am
Where: MECC
More info: www.themecc.com.au

Travel with Up, Up & Away! Airlines in this hilarious dance cabaret. With fabulously tipsy sky-high shenanigans, spectacular dance numbers and captivating harmonies, this crew will demonstrate what never goes on at 39,000 feet.

Save the date

The 91-Storey Treehouse

When: 19th and 20th March, 10.00am and 12.00pm sessions
Where: MECC
More info: www.themecc.com.au

Andy and Terry’s Treehouse has reached an incredible 91 storeys! It’s now more fantastically dangerous than ever, featuring a deserted desert island, whirlpool and giant spider.

Can Andy, Terry and Jill master the challenge of babysitting Mr Big Nose’s grandchildren? What does the mysterious fortune teller really want? Will the Big Red Button really destroy the world? This performance is one that children aged 6-12 and adults are sure to love. $15 admission per person.