Known as the sugar capital of Australia, Mackay is a Pacific coastal city that bestrides the Pioneer River and is part of the Mackay-Whitsunday region of Queensland. Mackay MICE venues sit amid beautiful scenery and benefit from the area's subtropical climate.
To get to Mackay, arrivals fly to Mackay Airport (MKY), which is four miles south of the city centre. There is service to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and to a handful of smaller Australian cities but no international flights.
The main MICE venue in Mackay is the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre, which opened in 2009 and has a 1,090-seat theater, space for banquets of up 1,000 persons, two exhibit halls that together can seat 1,800, and two lobbies, among other facilities.
There are not many MICE hotels in Mackay, but those able to service meetings include the 79-room Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina, which has one meeting room for up to 40 persons, a boardroom seating 12, and a terrace that handles 80 persons for a reception; the 45-room Ocean International, which offers three function rooms, the largest able to host up to 180 persons; and the six-room Metropolitan Hotel, which has one meeting room, as well as a restaurant and a small casino. Four to five miles farther north in the Dolphins Head area are the 76-room Dolphins Head Resort, which has an oceanfront beach club for 60 persons, a meeting room for 100, and a poolside tent for 40; and the 38-room Comfort Resort Blue Pacific, which has the Melaleucas Function Room for up to 30 persons.
Smaller places for MICE venues in Mackay and its surroundings include gallery and museum ArtSpace Mackay, which has a cafe for 50 persons, a seminar room for 40, and a lobby for 150; the gloriously verdant Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, which is mostly outdoors and thus full of birdlife and contains an amphitheatre, a gallery with cafe, a meeting room, and spacious grounds; Mackay Golf Club, which stages professional tournaments on its 18-hole course and has a function room for up to 150 persons; Forest Flying, a Eungella National Park rainforest pulley-and-cable system that allows guests to safely maneuver around the canopy at the speed of their own choosing; and Magpies Sporting Club, an entertainment complex with two restaurants, a bar, and a function center for up to 400 persons.
Restaurants in Mackay that are able to cater to groups run to the ingloriously named Burp, known for its lamb and seafood; George's Thai on the Marina, which also hosts group cooking lessons; Galleon's, a seafood restaurant at the Ocean International hotel; The Church on Palmer, which can seat up to 95 persons and has a private room for 25; and Latitude 21 at the Clarion Hotel Mackay Marina, which is close to George's Thai.