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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Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

West Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Located just five kilometres from the Mackay City Centre, the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens showcases the beautiful tropical flora from Mackay and the Whitsundays, along with other beautiful Australian native and exotic plants from similar climates around the world.

Rainforest Scuba

Multiple Locations
Enjoy this world first experience diving in the rainforest in crystal clear waters where platypus live and play. Will you be one of the few in the water at the same time as a platypus in natural conditions?

Alligator Falls Track, Bowling Green Bay National Park

Multiple Locations
In the Mount Elliot section of Bowling Green Bay National Park, Alligator Creek flows through the landscape in a series of cascades, deep pools and waterfalls. The Alligator Falls track starts from the southern end of the Alligator Creek day-use area.

The Heritage and Mining Trail

Multiple Locations
Tracing the passage of coal from Queensland's Bowen Basin mines, to the port of export to overseas customers, those with an interest in resources and minerals will enjoy The Heritage and Mining Trail of the Mackay region.

Pacific Coast Way

Multiple Locations
The Pacific Coast Way links coastal havens, hinterland towns, and major cities all along the east coast, from the Gold Coast to Cairns. The Pacific Coast is a 'big' drive. Take your time: the real journey hides just out of sight, ready to be discovered off the highway.

Cape Hillsborough National Park

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Cape Hillsborough National Park is one of the most striking and peaceful places on the Central Queensland coast. It's teeming with life and diverse habitats—from rainforest and eucalypts, to mangroves, beaches and rocky headlands.

Dugong Sanctuary - Clairview

Clairview, Isaac Area
Free Entry
In 1997, the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council established Clairview (a small beach town approximately 1.5 hours south of Mackay) as a dugong sanctuary. Often dugongs can be spotted when they surface to breathe from the shore, or in the water, when in a kayak, boat or other recreational vessel - so keep an eye out for these majestic creatures!

Mount Elliot, Bowling Green Bay National Park

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Rugged mountains rise abruptly from the wetlands, saltpans and mangroves of the coastal plain, south of Townsville, in the Mount Eliot section of Bowling Green Bay National Park. Mount Elliot reaches a height of 1,210 metres, jutting out of the surrounding coastal plain and dominating the landscape, and Alligator Creek descends in a series of cascades, deep pools and waterfalls.

Hibiscus Coast

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
20 kilometres north of Mackay lies the Hibiscus Coast which includes the delightful seaside towns of Seaforth, Halliday Bay, Ball Bay and Cape Hillsborough. This is the perfect place to find a quiet beach or picnic table and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Pacific Coast Way - Mackay to St Lawrence

Multiple Locations
Experience four wheel drive adventures, a coral reef teeming with marine life, beautiful beaches and great camping when you travel the Pacific Coast Way between Mackay and Clairview. This stretch of coast is largely untouched.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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