Munga-Thirri National Park (Simpson Desert)

Birdsville, Diamantina Area

Munga-Thirri National Park, also known as the Simpson Desert, spans 1,012,000 hectares in the arid outback, making it Queensland’s largest protected area.

Parallel wind-blown sand dunes dominate the striking landscape. Some dunes extend 200 kilometres and reach 90 metres high. Saltpans and gibber-ironstone flats occupy interdunal areas. More than 180 species of birds, including the Eyrean grasswren, and numerous mammals and reptiles live in the park.

Wildflowers are prolific after good rains. Along your way, visit Big Red, the largest sand dune just east of the park boundary. At Poeppels Corner, attempt to stand in two states and a territory at once. Camp and admire the expansive night sky and make sure you take binoculars and a camera!

This park is extremely remote and visitors need to be self-reliant, well-prepared and experienced in remote outback travel. The park closed from 1 December to 15 March due to extreme summer temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees celsius.

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Snorkelling on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Great Barrier Reef coral fringes Keswick and provides magnificent snorkelling, especially at Connie Bay and Coral Gardens. Keswick's coral reef offers something for everyone, from swim-through caves and deep canyons to wide shallows, teeming with marine life.

Shoal Point

Shoal Point, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Shoal Point is the northern-most community of the Northern Beaches group, with a visually spectacular coastal beach. At low tide, the beach can almost be mistaken as a small sweeping desert. The sand stretches for hundreds of metres, allowing a close-up view of Green Reef Island.

Birdwatching on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Keswick Island is a bird watcher's paradise. The island is home to many different bird species, with sightings of at least 33 different birds documented to date - an impressive variety for an island of Keswick's size.

Basil Bay on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The beautiful Basil Bay is Keswick Island's prime swimming beach. Located on the western side of the island, Basil Bay boasts crystal clear water at high tide, crisp white sand and gentle shade trees - making it an idyllic spot to enjoy your quintessential island adventure.

Whale Watching on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Humpback Whales can be frequently seen around Keswick Island during their annual migration through the Whitsundays between the months of July to September. Seeing the whales frolicking nearby, or guiding a newborn calf through the protected waters of Egremont Passage, is a truly magical experience.

Brampton Island

Brampton Island, Mackay Area
Sitting at the southern entrance of the Whitsunday Passage, Brampton Island is a tropical island haven. Brampton Island is 32 kilometres north-east of Mackay and 50 kilometres south of Hamilton Island.

Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Most visitors to Mackay are surprised to learn that one of the southern-most Whitsunday Islands can be visited directly from the Mackay coast. Keswick Island is situated 32 kilometres from Mackay and is accessible via the water from the Mackay Marina, or by air.

Fishing on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Deep sea and reef fishing at Keswick Island is legendary. The nearby coral reefs, mangrove habitats and protected waters of Egremont Passage attract a vast array of fish. The proximity of the outer reef also boosts the diversity of fish species.

The Singapore Shipwreck Dive Site - Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Singapore was bound for Sydney from Hong Kong when she struck what is now called 'Singapore Rock' sometime in January 1877. Fortunately, no lives were lost. The Singapore was a 964 ton single screw steamer with a length of 87 metres and a width of 10 metres.

Keswick Island Dive Site

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Mackay is not generally well known as a dive destination, but with offshore islands and reefs it certainly has the potential for some great diving. However, there is one location off Mackay that is regularly dived, the wonderful Keswick Island.
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