Friends event calendar

Find below a list of the Friends of the Gardens' Events planned for 2015.

Please note that event dates may change and we ask that you visit this site regularly to view any updates or changes.

The Botanic Gardens Meeting Room is the

               "Friends Meeting Place


All year... Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month

9.00am - 12.00 noon (except school holidays)

What will happen in the 'Friends Meeting Place'? 

What happens at the 'Friends Meeting Place'?

  • Friends of the Gardens meet and socialize
  • Help out the Botanic Garden's staff with plant label making and placing labels in the botanic gardens
  • Usiong the Botanic Gardens camera,' Friends' can photograph what is flowering or fruiting in the Botanic Gardens to assist with a "flowering diary" and in the future create a fantastic and accurate DATA BASE!
  • Friends can share cuttings, bulbs, seeds, fruits, recipes etc.
  • Researching plants for signage, self-guided walks or just to add to their own knowledge can be done on the Friends' computer or for those who prefer books, there is a wealth of plant and creature related literature in both the Friends Library and the Botanic Gardens library.
  • Friends can be part of the plant's stock-take, a great way to learn which plant is which.
  • Go on mini walks with Maya and learn more about the Gardens…so maybe guided walks led by Friends can occur more frequently during the cooler months
  • Friends who attend the Heritage Gardens Working Bees (on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays too) might like to refresh with a cuppa after their morning toil, cool down in the air-conditioning (muddy boots are welcome) and catch up with others.

Let us know what you think of these ideas and feel free to share some other ideas.

The "Friends Meeting Place" on 9am -12noon every first and third Wednesday of the month (except school holidays).

Please note*: April 15th is in School Holidays

Volunteers are welcome to work with Maya and join in with the children who are participating in the activity titled…"Eggs-pect an Eggs-traordinary Eggs-perience…" 

Call Maya on 49527300 or 0409750453 or email if you wish to join in.

Friends of the Gardens

'Heritage Gardens Working Bee''

All year... every month on the 1st & 3rd Wednesday

Join in at 7.00am - 9.00am or at 10.00am - 12.00noon

...or both?

Please note* April 1st…

Now this is not an April Fool's joke… Kellie (MRBG Gardener) at the Heritage Gardens is on leave so we plan to do some 'Weeding' in the Geology Gardens instead. Contact Maya for more information on 49527300 or 0409750453.

April 15th: 

Meet Kellie (MRBG Gardener) at the Heritage Gardens at 7.00am or 10.00am. Please be prompt for the sign on / induction process.

This is a special project where our Volunteer Garden Friends can assist the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens staff to give this area of the Botanic Gardens (Heritage Gardens) some special care, but also the Garden Friends can benefit too by learning some gardening skills.

Working bees include planting lots of annuals, de-heading spent flowers and planting vegetables and much more. It is a fantastic opportunity for those who wish to volunteer their time and get their hands dirty during the week rather than weekends.

Remember to slip slop slap, wear a hat and closed in shoes and bring a water bottle too.

RSVP your attendance either by by calling 4952 7300 or email


Saturday 18th 10.00am - 12noon.  B.B.Q following

Composting and Worm Farm workshop: 

As 2015 is the Year of Soils this workshop will give us some understanding how to improve soils for best plant growth.

Meet at the Community Gardens Streeter St West Mackay (near Base Hospital) by 9.45am.

Luke Matthews from the Community Gardens will present the workshop which includes some practical / hands on involvement. (possibly bring gloves and don't wear you sunday best clothes). The workshop will be for 2 hours with a ten minute break between the information and practice sections of the workshop.

Lunch will be held back at the Botanic Gardens Meeting Room where we ask that participants bring along a salad or sweet/ fruit to share. A B.B.Q will be available with breadrolls and meat provided. 


Farleigh Palm Fete: Sunday 17th May. 8.00am onwards

The Botanic Gardens will have a display stall alongside the SGAP stall (Society for Growing of Austratian Plants).
We require friends to assist to set up and attend at the stall, selling souvenirs and sharing information about the Botanic Gardens via the brochures and fact sheets. Everyone is welcome to join in. Two people are needed for each 1-2 hours shift.


Greenmount Heritage Fair:

Sunday 31st May 10am - 4pm.



Saturday 13th June 10am - 2pm 

Findlayson Point Guided Walk.


Tuesday 16th June 7.30

Friends of the Gardens AGM

Special guest speaker to be confirmed


Saturday 11th July 10am - 2pm 

Special excursion to Mt Blackwood.


Saturday 8th August 10am - 2pm 

Rowallan Park; A Historical Guided Walk

including 75th Birthday celebrations for President Bill Mc Whinney


Saturday 5th September 9am - 1pm 

Porters 'Plants and Creatures Information' display

Weekend 19 or 20th September  (to be confirmed)

Orchid Conference tour to Eungella. 8am - 4pm



Saturday 10th October 10am start

Progagation Workshop

This workshop will be held at the home of Meryl and Ian Ritchie, with a BBQ lunch to follow. More information closer to the date.


Saturday 28th November 6.30 start 

Friends of the Gardens Christmas Party and 
Shiny Shovel Award presentation.



Sunday 13th December

Christmas in the Gardens 5.30 - 8.30pm

Come along and bring all the family to this very popular Christmas event from 5.30 to 8.30pm. Featuring well known local entertainers for an evening of family enjoyment. The 'Friends of the Gardens' will have their ever-popular raffles, glow candles, bracelets, and Christmas songbooks for sale. The Lagoon Cafe will be open until late. Contact Maya Harrison 49527300. From 5.30 pm. Any assistance from Friends to sell... would be greatly appreciated.


This is what has happened already in 2015


The "BIRD and the BEES" Garden Friends Guided Walk and Welcome BBQ.
Saturday February 14th    Walk at 4.00pm, Welcome BBQ following at 6.00pm


The 14th February was Valentine's Day and the reason for our Guided walk title > 'The Birds and The Bees".
Friends of the Gardens members were joined by members of BirdLife Mackay.
With over 100 different species of birds making their home in the Botanic Gardens, we  spotted a few with binoculars, scopes or just with our eyes. Birdlife members were very excited to get a glimpse and a photo or two of the two Little Kingfishers who have taken up residence in the Coastal Lowlands habitat of the Botanic Gardens.

Bees also featured on the day with some information about different native bees, which are often seen among the flowers. Not many Blue banded bees, Carpentar bees or some other of the 10 most noticed native bees were on display and we thought this was due to the lateness of the day.
A welcome to 2015 BBQ followed with participants bringing along a salad or sweet / fruit to share. 

 Dale Arvidsson (Curator) would soon be taking up the same position at the Brisbane and Mt. Coo-tha Botanic Gardens, so the welcome BBQ was also an oopportunity to say farewell to Dale. His last day at the MRBG was February 20th.


Saturday 21st 3.00pm

Weed and Feed –

Dale hated them in our Botanic Gardens! Weeds that is...


Garden Friends learnt some Weed Identification using a collection of laminated pictures and information on weeds and some matching real life examples provided by Maya. Meryl and Ross added some information about the growing pattern of weeds, their seeds and ways of using common tools (screwdrivers, pliers and some weeders / mini matiks) to remove the stubbon and prickly ones.This short activity assisted the Friends in knowing which plant were definitely a weed and which ones to pull out during the walk through the Regional FloraTerraces, Timber tree Arboretum and Torres Strait Islanders areas of the Botanic Gardens. 10 large plastic bags were filled with weeds, but still more remain for another day, possibly the next Heritage Gardens Working Bee.  Friends were also shown how the Botanic Garden's staff are serious about introducing fungus, bacteria and other pests when the Friend's home gardening tools were sprayed with a metho/ water combination before digging in any of our soils.


After all that hard work, some feeding of the masses was on the agenda. We hosted a BBQ at the Tamarind shelter (this shelter has lights) near the children's 'Under the Banyan PlayGarden' (with it colourful mosaics). BBQ meat, bread rolls and light drinks were provided.  Friends  brought along some wonder salads and sweets to share. A successful, relaxed and enjoyable afternoon/ evening that made a big difference to the Gardens.

Thank you friends for your wonderful help.