Gatakers Artspace & precinct

I’m embarrassed to confess that it took me six months of being back on the Fraser Coast before I ventured to Maryborough’s trendy Gatakers Artspace and precinct.

Sadly time didn’t permit an excessive amount of sightseeing so I skipped the Bond Store and the Military & Colonial Museum (which I’ve also visited previously); but as the much beleaguered Muddy Waters Cafe was reopening after repeated floodings and a new art show, by local artist Gina Davey was being launched, I figured it was a good time to pop down there.

GatakersI’d been to Gatakers Artspace years ago and decided then that I could indeed live in the venue. Its renovation / refurbishment reminds me of some high spec house which should be featuring on Lifestyle TV or the like. I must confess (though) to being a bit underwhelmed last time I visited the gallery – with mostly local knitting on display. This visit however, was much more fruitful, with Davey’s Person of Interest exhibition featuring downstairs and an array of artwork and sculptures upstairs.

In fact I was so mesmerised with a series (by a local artist whose name I’ve forgotten – in bottom right corner of pic) that I even contemplated whether my current state of poverty would permit me to buy one of the pieces.

MuddyWatersI was keen to show Muddy Waters Cafe some support after the bad luck they’ve experienced. I know that building by a river is fraught with danger, but am pretty sure they didn’t expect five floods in three years. The Cafe is now in the Customs House building (home of the former Port Residence), which offers some pleasing views.

Owners Michael and Mia Cox say they are starting small; they are yet to get their liquor licence and only open from 9 – 4 (Tuesday – Sunday) at the moment.

I’ve decided I’ll cut them some slack, as they’re still getting started, but in my case – as a coeliac – gluten-free options were very limited. In fact they were practically non-existent. The helpful waitress said that they could just remove parts of a dish, but it seemed wasteful to pay for something and only receive half of it and nothing tempted me anyway. We were also offered the breakfast menu (all day breakfast I assume) but again there was no GF bread and they were unsure about the chorizo and bacon.

It’s not cheap and I have to admit I won’t be rushing back at this stage. I’ll keep an eye out though because if their menu expands, it is a nice spot and might be worth a second chance. I know people thought well of it previously.

janetsOn the suggestion of my mother and a few locals I also visited Janet’s Art while at that end of town. And… Oh. My. God. I was super-impressed. “Atmosphere and gluten-free options galore!” I tweeted afterwards. I saw several things I was keen to buy, but only left with some cards (Mother’s Day was approaching!).

I picked up a takeaway menu and was pleasantly surprised at the array of GF options on offer. There’s a lovely space out the back which should prove nice during winter and I love that the store supports local artists and jazz.

I’m keen to return to the precinct to make it to Gatakers by Night, which is staged from 5-9pm on the last Saturday (of each full weekend of the month) and features music and artists-in-action. And it’s nice to see that the beautiful space is being put to good use.

Fraser Coast Vintage Movie Club

One of my fondest childhood memories is of Sunday afternoons spent baking chocolate slice and watching old movies from the comfort of my lime green beanbag (while eating the aforementioned slice. Or milk arrowroot biscuits and icing. But that’s a whole other story!).

Given that Maryborough only had two TV channels back in the 70s and 80s I can only assume that ABC TV was responsible for my love of Doris Day, Debbie Reynolds, Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Fred Astaire and Mickey Rooney.

So it is with great excitement that today I discovered that the Maryborough and Hervey Bay libraries will be featuring classic movies on a monthly basis as part of their Vintage Movie Club.


I know you can rent many old movies for a pittance from the local video library (well, if you have one… as mine in Urangan recently closed!), but surely it won’t have the same atmosphere as watching it in a room with other classic movie buffs. Plus, in my little mind it’s important to support Council initiatives when it comes to the often-ignored arts.

Spaces are limited so bookings are essential and can be made by contacting your library:  Maryborough 4190 5788 or Hervey Bay 4197 4220.

Click here for a full list of movies and their screen times and dates. 

Any movie buffs out there? 
What old movie would YOU like to see featured?

Culture on the Coast

One of the things that worried me when I moved from ‘the city’ to the Fraser Coast was the possible absence of a bit of ‘kulcha’, if you know what I mean.

I love being part of a city that plays home to a range of cultures, evidenced by the people you see in the streets and the variety of food and entertainment available.

Which is why I was stoked to learn that the Fraser Coast hosts a cultural festival each year. The Fraser Coast Cultural Festival is an annual event featuring a range of activities and across the Fraser Coast.

Supported by local businesses and government, the festival not only welcomes guest artists from elsewhere in Queensland and Australia, but also provides local residents with a chance to share some of their own culture with their neighbours and community.

This year it involved films, a luncheon and community workshop and culminated in a concert at Maryborough’s Brolga Theatre and a family day held at Scarness.

PicMonkey Collage brolga

My mum attended the gala night at the Brolga and couldn’t stop raving about the quality of the acts. She was a little disappointed at the crowd in attendance and said they really missed out on something special.

Some of those same acts featured on one of several stages at the festival parade and fun day on Sunday in Hervey Bay. Thousands took the opportunity to visit the craft and food stalls, view basket-weavers in action and even try circus tricks. I must admit – despite my own hatred of crowds – I was excited by what was on offer.

culture festival

Congratulations and thanks should go to the local organisers, volutneers and participants and if you can make it to the Fraser Coast in/around March make sure you pop along to the Cultural Festival.