Wildlife and Nature in Mackay

Those with a penchant for nature need no introduction to Mackay. Famed for its unique encounters with Australian wildlife, it’s a region smothered by some of the most jaw-dropping natural sceneries and adventures in the sunshine state.

Wildlife experiences in Mackay 

Mackay is popping up on the bucket lists of travellers who want to get up close with nature and wildlife, camp out under the stars, wet a line and hang with some friendly locals. You'll want to be an early bird to catch sunrise with the wallabies who frolic (or jump) along the beach at Cape Hillsborough National Park. Venture down the coastline to the waters of Clairview, south of Sarina, is a designated Dugong sanctuary and a top spot to spy the mermaid of the sea. Spot a platypus in Eungella National Park or take a river scuba with them – yep, this is a real thing!  

Get your nature on

Think of Mackay as Mother Nature's playground and let the great outdoors entertain you. On a hot day, you can’t beat the rock pools of Finch Hatton Gorge. If you’ve got little ones with you, park up and take the short bushwalk to the bottom where most of the family’s hang out; keen walkers can hit up the more challenging Araluen Cascades and Wheel of Fire tracks to work up a sweat. If a hike's what you like, witness the epic view from the Sky Window walk of Eungella National Park. Off the mainland, Keswick Island is the place to be if you want to fill your day with beautiful beaches, snorkelling and reef adventures on the Great Barrier Reef with day trips available via boat or seaplane. 



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Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest.

The Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park

Multiple Locations
A wonderland of waterfalls, refreshingly cool rainforest and the chance to see a platypus in the wild awaits in Eungella National Park. Australia's longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, Eungella, (pronounced young-ge-lah), is a must-see attraction.

Lamberts Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Lamberts Beach is seasonally patrolled and the nearby Lambert's Lookout offers fabulous sea views out to the Cumberland Islands. It's also a popular spot for surfers when the swell is right, and a great whale watching platform during the winter months.

Cape Palmerston National Park

Ilbilbie, Isaac Area
Free Entry
Cape Palmerston National Park features sandy dunes, unspoilt beaches and rocky headlands, with Mount Funnel towering to 344 metres. The park's beaches and inland roads are accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Follow the Platypus Trail

Multiple Locations
Have you ever wanted to see an Australian platypus in the wild? The Mackay Region offers the best and most reliable locations to see these unusual mammals swimming in rainforest creeks and rivers. Journey to Finch Hatton Gorge and Eungella National Park for a natural adventure the family will cherish.

Bluewater Trail

Multiple Locations
See highlights of Mackay along the Bluewater Trail, a shared bicycle and pedestrian walkway which connects art, historic architecture and points of interest with natural beauty. The Bluewater Trail is approximately 20 kilometres in length, linking key attractions, including the picturesque Mackay Regional Botanical Gardens and the Bluewater Lagoon to Mackay's natural features, the Pioneer River and Town Beach.

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.

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.

The Leichhardt Tree

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
After the first supply schooner "Presto" arrived in August 1862 The Leichhardt Tree played a significant part in Mackay's maritime history. As thousands of settlers, ships and cargoes arrived in Mackay the tree was used as an anchor for ships to tie to for access into Mackay.

Forest Flying

Multiple Locations
The Forest Flying eco-tourism experience allows you to view the pristine rainforest of Finch Hatton Gorge from a unique angle. Suspended in your personal harness up to 25 metres above the forest floor, you can glide along the cable through the rainforest canopy.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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