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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
Free Entry
Visit Broken River in Eungella National Park for one of the best spots in Australia to see a platypus in its natural environment. The platypus is most active during dusk and dawn or cloudy and overcast days, from the viewing platform or under the traffic bridge. Be sure to call into the Information Centre at Broken River for more information about the platypus and National Park. Four of the nine walking trails can be accessed from Broken River and they all differ in difficulty and distance to suit all abilities. National park camping is available at Fern Flat opposite Broken River. Camping permits are required prior to arrival and can be made online or call.
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Bucasia Beach is located in the Northern Beaches of Mackay only 10 to 15 minutes north of Mackay City. Ideal for swimming all year round with a stinger-resistant enclosure and a popular spot for the keen angler. This is a pet-friendly beach with a designated off-leash area between Williams Avenue and Symons Avenue everyday between 5am-8am and 5pm-8pm. The Esplanade Park is a beautiful spot to get together with a playground for the kids, barbecue and picnic tables available. Camping is available at the beachfront caravan park.
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The beautiful Bundoora Dam is located approximately 28 kilometres south-west of Middlemount along Middlemount Road that joins onto Connection Road. It is a delightful man-made spectacle that was constructed on German Creek for mining purposes. It holds around 10,000 mega litres of water when full and is an ideal spot for water skiing and swimming. For those keen fishermen, the dam is full of Saratoga, Golden Perch, Eel-Tailed Catfish, Sleepy Cod, Spangled Perch and Redclaw Crayfish. So don’t forget to bring your rod and tackle! Boating is permitted (however a six knot speed limit applies to the whole of the dam). If you are looking for a spot to stop overnight, this is a perfect place as camping is permitted and it’s well equipped with tables and public amenities!
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At Cape Hillsborough National Park, rainforest literally meets the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, providing unique habitats for plants and animals. Rugged, rainforest-clad hills plunge to rocky headlands of rhyolite boulders. Created by volcanic activity, the boulders separate white sandy beaches in this scenic and peaceful park. Watch the sunrise on the beach and meet friendly wallabies as they search for treats that the ocean washed up overnight. This is the perfect opportunity to get beautiful photos of the sunrise over the national park and get up close to these playful creatures. Learn about the history of the park and the Yuibera (Yuwi) Aboriginal people who continue their traditional use of the rich natural resources found here. The 1.2 kilometre Yuibera trail illustrates traditional coastal life. Observe more than 150 species of birds and 25 species of tropical butterflies and along the award-winning Diversity boardwalk, see shell middens from Yuibera feasts. Camping, cabins and motel rooms are available at the nearby tourist park and national park camping at Smalleys Beach
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Cape Palmerston National Park features sandy dunes, unspoilt beaches and rocky headlands, with Mount Funnel towering to 344 metres. Within its 7200 hectare expanse, this park protects a range of plant communities and threatened animals. The false water-mouse lives in the mangroves and beach stone-curlews frequent the shores. Both are considered threatened species. Enjoy nature in this remote, undeveloped park. Scramble up Cape Palmerston for breathtaking views towards the Northumberland Islands and Mount Funnel. Try your luck fishing or crabbing, but remember to be croc wise. Self-sufficient campers can bush camp at Windmill Bay or Cape Creek. Camping fees apply.
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