Welcome to

the Mackay Region

If you're looking for a destination that brings nature to life, then look no further than the Mackay Region. From beach-lounging wallabies at Cape Hillsborough National Park, to shy-but-oh-so-cute platypus in Eungella National Park and secluded beaches that only a local would know, its got natural attractions on tap.
 
Mackay City
Art deco buildings, cute cafes and palm-tree lined streets make up the city heart of Mackay, while nothing is more than a 20-minute drive away.
 
  • Slip on your deck shoes and settle in for an afternoon of tapas, cocktails and yacht-envy on the water at the Mackay Marina.
  • Walk or ride the Bluewater Trail, taking you past the Pioneer River, botanic gardens, free man-made swimming lagoon and fishing platforms.
 
Beaches & Rainforest
Those in the know have been exploring Eungella National Park for years, but there always something new to be discovered in Australia’s oldest and longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest.
 
  • Pack a picnic and plunge into the cool fresh waters of Finch Hatton Gorge.
  • Take your pick of the 31 beaches that surround Mackay.
  • Catch all the action of events like the annual Mackay Beach Horse Races for a different spin on beach fun.
 
Great Barrier Reef & Islands

Weekends here are about jumping in the kayak, setting sail or packing the fishing rods and hiking gear and getting out to experience one of the Great Barrier Reef islands just offshore.

 
  • Organise a charter boat to get you to Brampton Island, the Newry Island group or Cumberland Islands including Keswick and St Bees, to explore the walking trails, snorkel in waters teeming with coral and marine life, and camp blissfully disconnected from the world.
  • Take a day trip Airlie Beach – just 1 ½ hours drive north of Mackay – to explore the beauty of the Whitsundays.
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Places to Visit
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Armstrong Beach

Armstrong Beach, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Armstrong Beach is a gentle 12 minute drive from the township of Sarina. From Sarina head south along the Bruce Highway and turn left onto Armstrong Beach Road, signposted from the highway. Armstrong Beach is renowned for its fishing and prawning, both of which are best attempted from the beach. A Four Wheel Drive is required to launch a boat from the beach so be prepared for the launch. There is a small community at Armstrong Beach and accommodation is available at the local caravan park. From Armstrong Beach head to Freshwater Point, which is where Captain Cook first landed in 1770 looking for fresh water, hence its name. Armstrong Beach facilities including a picnic area.

Bakers Creek

Bakers Creek, Mackay Area
Bakers Creek is a meat processing town, located near Mackay. Hang about, as this is where some of the best Central Queensland T-bones are 'created'. There are no shops or facilities, but then it is not the sort of place one stops off for a picnic, being located just a few kilometres south of Mackay. It's worthwhile taking a break to inspect the town's war memorial, which pays tribute to a US plane which crashed in the district back in World War II. The town's main claim to fame is the annual Oakenden rodeo, usually held each June, catered by the Dundula School as its major fundraiser. Those in the know also frequent Bakers Creek because of its fishing opportunities. They are also aware that the local tavern depicts a typical Aussie pub.

Ball Bay

Ball Bay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The picturesque beach settlement of Ball Bay is located 35 kilometres north of Mackay. Ball Bay offers secluded camping on a small grassy campground. The facilities include toilets, cold beach showers, wood barbecues and drinking water, however animals are not allowed. Ball Bay offers easy and close access to Cape Hillsborough National Park bushwalking tracks. Ball Bay is also a great beach for fishing.

Birdwatching in Dysart

Dysart, Isaac Area
Free Entry
Mining towns are sometimes overlooked when planning an itinerary, yet if you happen to enjoy a spot of birdwatching, then Dysart is one mining town worth visiting! Enjoying a diverse array of habitats, Dysart is home to a variety of bird species that even the most passionate birdwatcher hopes to see! Pack your walking shoes, don a hat and some SPF 30+ and prepare to listen out for bird calls and study the wildlife with your naked eye through some binoculars. Learn from these animals and the values they transmit on respect to nature and the fragility of ecosystems. Dysart is part of the Mining Trail drive and brochures can be picked up from Visitor Information Centres in the region.

Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach, Mackay Area
Blacks Beach is located just 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Mackay. It’s the longest of Mackay’s northern beaches, and a great place to base yourself as you explore what this balmy North Queensland destination has to offer. Boasting six kilometres of clean sparkling sand and gentle waters, this palm-lined beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing with a good book. During the school holidays the beach is patrolled by the local life savers making it a safe spot to take the kids. The beach fishing here is some of the best in the state with bream and whiting on the menu. Fire up one of the free barbecues on the foreshore and enjoy a fresh feast of fish as you watch the sun dip below the horizon. Just south of Blacks Beach is Lamberts Beach and Slade Point. It’s a popular spot for surfers when the swell is up and boasts spectacular views out over the ocean and surrounding coastline. The Point is also a great whale watching platform during the winter months. To the north at Eimeo you’ll find a famous pub perched on the side of a cliff. Enjoy a meal and a cold one, but be prepared to be blown away by the knock-out views! Accommodation at Blacks Beach ranges from camping and caravan parks to self-contained and motel style apartments. All accommodation is within easy walking distance to the beach.

Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The area's longest stretch of beach, lined with tropical gardens (about six kilometres), Blacks Beach at Mackay's Northern Beaches is a great place to watch the Blue Pacific roll in at sunset. Guests at any one of the beachfront caravan, camping, resort, self contained and motel style accommodation spots dotted along this sandy coastline wake up each morning to the sound of the gentle surf. Bream and whiting are caught off the beach. A beautiful spot with seasonally patrolled beaches and located only 10 to 15 minutes drive from the city centre. This is also a pet-friendly beach and the perfect spot to bring your dog for a run. Please note this is not an off-leash area therefore all pets do need to remain on their lead under your control at all times.

Blue Mountain Park

Middlemount, Isaac Area
Free Entry
Blue Mountain Park boasts of being Middlemount’s "Jewel in the Crown"! It is a picturesque setting that provides visitors with a perfect place to have a family barbecue while enjoying the panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Many evenings, there are even wallabies feeding in the park and the birdlife is utterly spectacular including many Australian favourites like galahs, kookaburras, blue mountain parrots and colourful rainbow lorikeets! Middlemount plays host to a number of natural environments and parks that are all equipped for fun to be enjoyed by the likes of young and old.

Bluewater Trail

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Get out and explore this great region along the Bluewater Trail. Take a leisurely stroll or scenic bike ride along the award winning shared pathway whilst taking in much of the region's natural beauty. Six of the region's key attractions sit along the trail including the beautiful Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, the Sandfly Creek Environmental Walkway, the Catherine Freeman walk, the free three-tiered Bluewater Lagoon aquatic facility, Bluewater Quay (with barbecue facilities) and Iluka Park (all abilities playground). Get active and enjoy the 'ring of activity' which boasts pedestrian and bicycle pathways, raised boardwalks, environmental areas, disabled access and activities for children and young people. Winner of the 2010 National Heart Foundation Local Government Award.

Brampton Island

Brampton Island, Mackay Area
Sitting at the southern entrance of the Whitsunday Passage, Brampton Island is a blue water, white sand tropical island haven. Almost entirely National Park, Brampton has seven glorious beaches and its own coral reef. Brampton Island has an abundance of native bush and wildlife, including kangaroos. Explore the island on a leisurely bushwalk through the National Park. Snorkelling safaris exploring Brampton's coral gardens are one of the many ways to enjoy the remarkable blue waters of the Whitsundays.

Brampton Islands National Park

Brampton Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Brampton Island National Park, at the southern entrance to the Whitsunday Passage, consists of Brampton and Carlisle islands. Rocky headlands dotted with hoop pines, open grasslands, woodlands, sheltered bays and long sandy beaches make these islands some of the most scenic off the Queensland coast. The islands and surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and are protected. Both islands are important turtle rookeries. Walking tracks traverse the Brampton Island's many ecosystems, from open eucalypt forest on ridges and sheltered slopes to the dense vine forest in gullies and valleys. An amazing display of marine life and coral surround the islands. Dense eucalypt forest clothes Carlisle Island, and rainforest thrives in its sheltered gullies. Bush camping is available on Carlisle Island. Camping fees apply and bookings are essential. It is recommended to book in advance for school holidays. Take water and a fuel stove. Check restrictions on activities such as spearfishing, anchoring, fishing and collecting. The park is part of the sea country of the Ngaro people, which stretches north to the Whitsunday islands.
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