Mackay offers more than meets the eye in terms of culinary options and is fast becoming a destination known for its fresh, local produce and organic, homegrown products
City Centre and Food Events
The Mackay City Centre offers a variety of boutique cafes, family-friendly restaurants and unique eateries to satisfy most palates.
TIP: To immerse yourself in the funky, urban food scene, try 9th Lane Grind for breakfast or lunch and Burp.Eat.Drink or Paddock and Brew for dinner.
Events centred around food are popular in Mackay including the Eat Street Food Fest that is held on the grass at Harrup Park.
The long-running Mackay Food and Wine Festival is also a celebration of the food scene in Mackay and one of the biggest events on the region’s social calendar.
Meet Farmers Each Week
Every Thursday, the Greater Whitsunday Farmer’s Market allows visitors and the community to buy direct from, and meet with, local farmers. There is a huge variety of seasonal produce and handmade organic items, as well as cooking demonstrations, to give people ideas on what they can do with their purchases.
There are also many other regular markets around Mackay that will allow you to purchase seasonal produce for a bargain price.
Organic and Fresh in the Pioneer Valley
It is not just the pretty rolling green hills that will make you feel amazing, the Pioneer Valley hinterland also has a ton of hidden food gems which will tantalise the tastebuds.
At Eton, you can see how a family-owned, pasture-based and eco-friendly farm operates. Freckle Farm do tours, as well as sell eggs, meat and seasonal produce direct to customers.
Head out towards Eungella range and taste the lovely homemade entrees, pastas and desserts at the Church Café at Pinnacle. It’s a little taste of Italy in the Pioneer Valley and open from Thursday to Sunday for breakfast and lunch, and dinner on Saturday night.
There’s an organic café on the way to Finch Hatton Gorge called Ulysses Garden Cafe. All the food is gluten-free and chemical free where possible. Many of the meals are dairy free and vegan. Meats served are ethically and locally sourced.
To the north of Mackay is a popular little teahouse set in the lush rainforest of Cape Hillsborough. The Old Station Teahouse was the former railway station at Marian, and is over 100 years old. They serve homemade baked goods, light lunches and cook with seasonal produce from local farmers.
To the south, you can learn all about the sugarcane industry by visiting The Sarina Sugar Shed. It is the only miniature working sugar mill and distillery of its kind in Australia and a popular tourist attraction. Here you can take a tour of the mill, learn about the extraction of sugar from cane, as well as see how they make their own fairy floss and award-winning Sarina Sugar Shed Rum on site.