Home' micenet eMag : micenet June 2018 Contents MUST SEE & DO
The Old Station Tea House - an historic,
relocated train station house, converted into a
café and set within Cape Hillsborough’s lush
green rainforest - is a must. Not only sought
after for its delicious Devonshire teas but as a
delightful setting for weddings and events.
In Mackay’s main street is BURP. Eat. Drink and
The Dispensary - a buzzy dining destination
with outdoor tables and imaginative event
spaces. Those in The Dispensary include The
Cellar (private dining for 10) and The Residence
Lounge with its Lounge Bar (cocktails 150) and
the Deck Dining (seating 40).
The Church on Palmer, a converted historic
church is perfect for fine dining experiences and
makes a distinctive venue for a dinner or a
cocktail event for up to 80+ guests.
Oh, and for the best chilli mud crab outside of
Singapore, (the Mackay/Rockhampton region is
famed for its mud crabs), go to Kevin’s Place.
(Make sure you order ahead of dining there to
ensure they don’t run out.)
Explore in one day
Business event organisers will appreciate the
‘walkability’ of Mackay and its close proximity to
the convention centre and the best way to get
your bearings is on a Mackay city centre bike or
walking tour. Hire your bike from the Mackay
A 40 minute drive north of Mackay with
Reeforest Adventure Tours and you can share
the spectacular beach sunrise and interact with
the wallabies at Cape Hillsborough Nature
Tourist Park. Afterwards take a leisurely nature
walk in the rainforest.
Drive to Eungella National Park (Yung-gella).
Here the park’s ancient rainforest is one of the
best places in the world to see platypus in their
natural habitat. You can even Scuba dive with
these remarkable and very shy creatures.
Visit the Criterion Hotel in Finch Hatton where
the Pinnacle Pie experience has people from all
over sampling these legendary pies on the
hotel’s big verandah.
If you needed further proof that Mackay can handle just about anything, the Elton John
concert in September last year attracted 15,000 people to the Mackay Stadium.
“The confidence that things can run smoothly is what business conferences want and we’ve
proven that we can do that in Mackay,” Mr Williamson pointed out.
As a business events destination with a ‘capital city infrastructure’, Mackay Regional Council
sales and business development coordinator Nicky Hansen said, “We don’t have ferris wheels
and such things” which means there are fewer distractions – it’s all about business. Having said
that Mackay is a “get away from it all type of place, understated with plenty to discover from the
beaches to the rainforest, to the rural expanses.”
With 800+ rooms within walking distance of the CBD and a further 400 rooms within a five
kilometre radius, the wagyu conference’s requirement of 300+ beds over a four to five night stay
was effortlessly met with the availability of some 112 hotels. These included four-and-a -half star
properties such as the Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina, Rydges Mackay Suites, Oaks Carlyle,
Quest Mackay on Gordon, Riviera Mackay to the three-star Ibis Mackay Airport.
As an example of what to expect, the Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina with a marina view
function room and a meetings capacity for 200 when combined with the Captain’s Table
room, also has The Marquee, a flagship conferencing and events venue suitable for groups of
up to 600.
The state-of-the-art, $29 million MECC, with its 1000 seat auditorium and two plenary halls
that can cater for 1400 delegates theatre-style, accommodated the Wagyu Conference’s largest
crowd in the event’s 16 year history. The auditorium also housed the 5th Annual Elite Wagyu
Sale where 83 prime lots were auctioned off, both online and in-house.
Accolades abound about the MECC and one that succinctly sums up it up is one from
Sandra - Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). “We had to leave the big
cities and get to regional Queensland (Mackay) to find one of the best venues.”
Venues that comprise those within the MECC precinct, including the award-winning Artspace
Mackay (Mackay Regional Art Gallery) the Town Hall (city centre art deco heritage building) and
the Civic Lawn with additional meeting space for off-site functions. m
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