Bringing all players in the local food scene together, the Greater Whitsunday Food Network is a not for profit community organisation with a passionate desire to foster the development of a vibrant regional food culture where locals and visitors alike can access and enjoy the wonderful produce and value-added goods that are grown, raised, caught and made in our region.
Established in 2015, the Greater Whitsunday Food Network brings together the farm to plate value chain to encourage and support investment in local food and agritourism products in the region.
The Greater Whitsunday Region comprises the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday Regional Council areas .This covers 90,000 square kilometres, which is three times the size of Belgium and twice as big as Denmark.
We have abundant resources and diverse landscapes to produce quality food all year around. With a diversity of rainfall and temperature we boast a broad range of agricultural production in different parts of the region. The wetter coastal regions around Mackay are ideal for cane growing with Bowen’s slightly drier climate well suited to winter vegetable production. The drier western areas are ideally suited to crop and cattle production. This allows us to produce world-class beef, grains, sugar, seafood, aquaculture, fruit and vegetables all within the same region.
In the north, Bowen is the largest winter vegetable production region in Australia, with capsicums, tomatoes, beans and melons among the main crops.
To the west, Clermont is cattle country, boasting a beef herd in excess of 500,000. According to Regional Development Australia the industry accounts of a gross value of nearly $500m, which represents just under 10% of Queensland’s total beef production.
Another significant industry is aquaculture, with a major prawn farm south of Mackay and a larger facility north of Bowen. The small township of Sarina is gaining a reputation as a big player in the food tourism sector, with Sarina Sugar Shed producing its award-winning rum along with their very popular range of sauces, liqueurs and ice-cream.