Pacific Coast Way - Mackay, Cape Hillsborough and Seaforth

Multiple Locations

Serene, sand-strewn shorelines, the rustling of palm fronds in the sea breeze and the gentle lull of the tide; it’s time to leave your worries behind and relax in the tranquil tropics.

As you head North from Mackay, a world of adventure awaits. Visit the distinctively different communities in the Northern Beaches, then continue your journey to the captivating Cape Hillsborough.

Cape Hillsborough Beach provides one of the most iconic Australian photo backdrops, the famous “Roo on the beach.” Enjoy this unique phenomenon as the morning sky is ablaze in spectacular shades of magenta as wild marsupials bound up and down the beach.

Journey Details

Duration
48 Hours
Distance
80 Kilometres

Full Itinerary

Mackay to Cape Hillsborough

Mackay City
Begin your adventure with exploration and breakfast in the vibrant city of Mackay. Beside the blue Pioneer River, Mackay is a great destination to refuel and experience regional culture before your journey.

Northern Beaches
A 20 minute drive from Mackay's city centre, each community in the Northern Beaches area is distinctively different. Dolphin Heads boasts a fantastic resort with ocean views and a poolside restaurant. Eimeo Beach is a popular destination for swimming and is patrolled during the summer months and school holidays. It is home to the heritage-listed Mango Avenue.

TIP: Enjoy lunch with a 'million dollar view' at the Eimeo Pacific Hotel.

Drive: Mackay to Cape Hillsborough.
TIP: Stop at The Leap to browse gemstones and learn about the history of Kowaha at the Leap Hotel.
Keep an eye out for fresh fruit stalls along your journey, then stop at the Old Station Tea House for tea and scones.

Settle in for the evening at the Nature Tourist Park at Cape Hillsborough and enjoy the serenity.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Caravan, Motorcycle
Distance 70 kms
Route Type One Way
Explore Cape Hillsborough and Seaforth

Sunrise with wallabies: Wake early to enjoy a spectacular sunrise on the beach. Watch as kangaroos and wallabies fossick through the tide for their morning breakfast and capture an iconic Australian photograph.

Explore Cape Hillsborough through a number of easily-accessible walking tracks. The trail from Casuarina Beach to Beach Comber Cove is a must-do for butterfly lovers, in fact, there are approximately 25 species of butterflies within Cape Hillsborough National Park.

The Andrew’s Point walking trail provides breathtaking views and is a great vantage point to see turtles feeding on the grass beds.

Starting from Hidden Valley, the Yuibera Plants walking trail shows how the original inhabitants of the area gathered food within Cape Hillsborough.

Drive to Seaforth: Continue your journey North to explore the coastal villages of Seaforth, Ball Bay and Halliday Bay.
A boat ramp at Victor Creek provides an ideal launch location for fishing and exploration of nearby islands. Crocodiles do inhabit the area so caution is advised.
Ball Bay is a popular location for swimming and beachside barbecues.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Caravan, Motorcycle
Distance 10 kms
Route Type One Way

Find What's Nearby

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Daintree Discovery Centre

Cow Bay, Douglas Area
From AU$32 - 32
A multi-award winner, the Discovery Centre is nestled in the heart of the rainforest, 10 kilometres north of the Daintree River. The Centre is a 'must see' for anyone visiting the area and where you can experience the rainforest at every level - from the forest floor to the upper most reaches of the canopy.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Smithfield, Cairns Area
From AU$51 - 210
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a unique rainforest experience, taking you on an unforgettable journey over and through Australia's World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests. Spanning seven and a half kilometres in the Barron Gorge National Park, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway glides just metres over the canopy, its comfortable six-person gondola cabins providing spectacular views of the rainforest, tropical Cairns, the Coral Sea and lush Cairns Highlands.

Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman, Douglas Area
From AU$9.50 - 9.50
Visit Mossman Gorge and experience the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest with pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna, all the while getting lost in its enchanting stories and rich Indigenous heritage.

Tijou Reef

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Located off Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef is Tijou Reef, home to many different dive sites, particularly the coral gardens on the inner side and wonderful wall dives on its outer eastern side.

Mackay Cay

Cape Tribulation, Douglas Area
The snow white sand and the crystal clear waters of Mackay Cay act as the ultimate holiday backdrop. As a small sand island approximately fifty kilometers from Port Douglas, Mackay Cay is located on the north west corner of the Mackay Reef.

Three Sisters Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
The Three Sisters, part of the impressive Milln Reef, can be found just a short boat trip from Cairns. The three large, colourful bommies are perhaps most famous for the Gorgonian Gorge, with the second and third sisters rising to within one metre of the surface - the three metre gap between them is constantly filled with schools of fusiliers and snapper.

Monolith Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Located on Ribbon Reef No.10, Monolith offers the diver the option of exploring a coral wall or a collection of scattered bommies, or both if you have time. In depths to 30 metres divers will commonly see nudibranchs, coral trout, sweetlips, batfish, pufferfish, moray eels and many colourful reef fish.

Hope Vale

Hope Vale,
Hope Vale Aboriginal community lies 40 kilometres north of Cooktown. Originally established as a Moravian Lutheran Mission on the east coast near Cape Bedford, the community was later moved to its present location.

Northern Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Cairns and Tropical North Queensland is the closest point in Australia to experience the Great Barrier Reef. When travellers visualise themselves on the Great Barrier Reef - they think of Tropical North Queensland.

Daintree

Daintree, Cairns Area
Stretching from Daintree Village across the river, the Daintree encompasses Cape Kimberley, Cow Bay, Thornton's Peak, Cooper Creek, Thornton Beach, Noah Valley, Cape Tribulation and the Bloomfield Track to the north.
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