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What's on: Queensland Garden Expo, net sculptures, Secret Garden and weekend gigs

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This three-day celebration of gardening attracts more than 40,000 green thumbs and novice gardeners from across Queensland and interstate. The event is ideally situated to showcasing all the best of subtropical gardening. An extensive lecture and demonstration program, landscape display gardens, in excess of 360 exhibits including 55 nurseries, a giant kitchen garden feature and a cooking stage are among the highlights.

When: Friday, July 7, to Sunday, July 9, 8am to 4pm.

Where: Nambour Showgrounds, Coronation Avenue, Nambour.

Entry: From $22.50 via Queensland Garden Expo.

Picture: Shutterstock.

Tapas cooking class

Spend a fun morning learning about food from the Mediterranean, in particular tapas. It’s all about the spice. The classes are hands on, cooking in pairs. Bring a friend or meet a new one to cook with on the day. Then, sit down and relax with a free drink over lunch, eating the food that you have prepared and cooked throughout the morning.

When: Saturday, July 8, 9.30am to 1.30pm.

Where: Red Hot Chilli Pepper Cooking School, Earnshaw Street, Golden Beach.

Entry: $140 via Red Hot Chilli Pepper.

Johnny Cash and June Carter show 

Relive the moments that captured the life of a legend. For more than 40 years, Johnny Cash and June Carter enthralled audiences around the world with their songs. Take a step back in time to when country music told a true story of life, love and heartache and experience a life story played out through some of the greatest songs ever written.

When: Saturday, July 1, 7.30 to 9.40pm.

Where: The Events Centre, 20 Minchinton Street, Caloundra.

Entry: $69 via The Events Centre.


Disability support organisations Equity Works and Spiral, and advocates for inclusivity and artistic expression present their upcoming art exhibition, ArtWorkz: Art for Everyone. This showcase aims to amplify the diverse voices and talents of artists with disabilities.

When: Saturday, July 1, 9.30am to 2.30pm.

Where: Coolum Civic Centre, Park Street, Coolum Beach.

Entry: Free.

Secret Garden

Once a month Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens plays host to performances by local and touring artists. From folky tunes and gritty blues to reggae vibes and sweet pop sounds, you’ll discover something different at each event. This family-friendly music event starts around 2pm, so bring a picnic rug, snacks and drinks, and prepare to soak up some delicious ear candy and live performances in this stunning venue.

When: Sunday, July 9, 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

Where: 51 Palm Creek Rd, Tanawha.

Entry: Adults $15, children $5 via Trobadour Wagons.

Outdoor Cinema: The Sapphires 

Break out the deck chairs and cheeseboards to see the fabulous film The Sapphires, in celebration of NAIDOC Week. The Sapphires is a 2012 Australian musical comedy-drama based on the 2004 stage play of the same name by Tony Briggs. It is loosely based on a 1960s girl group. Follow the story of four Yorta women who are discovered by a talent scout and form a music group to sing for troops during the Vietnam War.

When: Saturday, July 8, 5.30pm.

Where: Sunshine Coast Stadium, 31 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina.

Entry: $10 via Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Soup n Soul exhibition and market

Make your selection from the range of hand-crafted and decorated pottery bowls, have it filled with your choice of soup and enjoy some crusty bread. You can even buy a microwave soup bowl holder to go with it. A huge display of handmade art and craft items, as well as artworks, also will be for sale.

When: Saturday, July 1, 9am to 2pm.

Where: Sunshine Coast Art Group, William Parker Place, Buderim.

Entry: Free. More info via Sunshine Coast Art Group.

Ghost Net Sculptures 

On loan from Pormpuraaw Art and Cultural Centre through FireWorks Gallery in Brisbane, see Ghost Net Sculptures from Pormpuraaw (on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula) by Christine Holroyd, Christine Yantumba, Michael Norman, Mylene Holroyd, Steven Kepper and Syd Bruce Shortjoe. These artworks utilise recycled materials, in particular nets that have been dumped by commercial fishing boats, causing significant environmental harm. Four of these works were exhibited in Australia/Defending the Oceans: Ghost Net Sculptures at the Paris Aquarium and the United Nations in Geneva in 2017.

When: Friday, June 30, to Sunday, August 13.

Where: Caloundra Regional Gallery, 22 Omrah Avenue, Caloundra.

Entry: Free entry. More info via Caloundra Regional Gallery.

Walk on the wild-flower side

Do you want the chance to witness stunning wildflowers in bloom and learn why they are so special? Then mark your calendar for Monday, July 3, to book a spot at the Sunshine Coast Wildflower Festival, for guided walks around the region in August and September. The festival is specifically timed and scheduled around the flowering of the wallum heath species – although spring sparks the flowering of many other plants. 

When: Walks at various times from Saturday, August 19, to Sunday, September 3. The full program will be listed at Sunshine Coast Events.

Where: Various locations from Bribie Island to Noosa.

Entry: Free and low cost. Bookings open Monday, July 3, via Sunshine Coast Events.

Weekend gig guide

Friday, June 30

  • Sister Doll, Norton Music Factory, 7.30pm
  • Zebra Finch, Solbar, 7pm
  • Simon Meola, Caloundra RSL, 5.30pm
  • Me and Jodie Lee, Maroochy RSL, 5.30pm
  • Shannon B, Alex Surf Club, 4pm
  • Tom Webber, Coolum Surf Club, 8.30pm
  • Colin Dodds, Cooroy RSL, 6pm
  • Wildkatz, Coolum Bowls Club, 7pm

Saturday, July 1 

  • Johnny Cash and June Carter Show, The Events Centre, 7.30pm
  • Flaskas, Solbar, 7pm
  • Alexis, Caloundra RSL, 5.30pm
  • Black and Red, Maroochy RSL, 5.30pm
  • Whisky Highway, Alex Surf Club, 7.30pm
  • Tony Boyd, Maroochy Surf Club, 7.30pm

Sunday, July 2

  • Skunkhour, Kings Beach Tavern, 3pm
  • Route 66, Maroochy RSL, 6pm
  • Captain Thunderbolt, Alex Surf Club, 4pm
  • Chris Ramsay, Maroochy Surf Club, 2.30pm
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