The Mackay Region is home to some of the most spectacular coastal waters in Queensland. From the glistening shores of the Serenity Coast to the rugged rainforest retreats on the Hibiscus Coast, there is enough sand and space to treat submerge yourselves into Mackay's picturesque landscapes and create everlasting memories.
This drive itinerary is created for travellers entering the Mackay Region from the South, but if you are travelling from the North, simply reverse the tour. See as much or as little as you desire!
Stop in the historic town of St Lawrence, only a few minutes' drive from the Bruce Highway. View historical buildings in one of Queensland's oldest coastal towns and pick up fresh supplies from the convenience store to enjoy a picnic lunch, barbecue dinner and beachside breakfast within the following 24 hours.
From St Lawrence, drive 40 kilometres North on the Bruce Highway to the relaxed community of Clairview. Walk the golden sand and keep a close eye on the water for unique marine life, including the endangered mammal, the dugong. The beach is also a popular crabbing location. Enjoy an absolute, picturesque beachfront picnic at the area on Colonial Drive known as Blue Rocks, or continue North to Colonial Drive to the community centre and shaded parklands of Wilsons Park, which includes public barbecues, toilets, a playground and picnic tables.
Continue your journey North along the Bruce Highway, winding your way past fields of sugar cane. Take extra caution of train crossings during cane crushing season, between June and November, as trans regularly cross country roads during this time. Take a moment to relax in a tropical garden, overlooking a tranquil pond as you indulge in home-made ice cream and a freshly extracted coffee at Flaggy Rock!
Choose form a range of accommodation on offer in Ilbilbie and Carmila, from a motel on the Bruce Highway to camping grounds a short stroll from the beach. Bush turkeys wander the coastal bushland of Carmila at sunset.
Carmila Beach is an ideal location for a morning stroll, to watch the sun rise from behind the Coral Sea!
Drive North on the Bruce Highway for 70 kilometres to the sugar town of Sarina. Enjoy lunch at one of the town's cafe's, or visit the local shopping centre to collect supplies for a beachside picnic lunch.
Many beachside communities surround Sarina, including Armstrong Beach, Sarina Beach, Grasstree Beach, Salonika Beach and Freshwater Point. Sarina, Grasstree and Salonika Beach all have fantastic beachfront reserves, ideal for a picnic lunch. Dig your toes into the warm sand, enjoy a refreshing dip into the sparkling blue water and let the tropical sea breeze invigorate your senses!
Take the scenic drive of 65 kilometres to Mackay's Northern Beaches. With the host of beachside accommodation available, to the palm-lined shore is only metres away. Choose from a range of spacious, self-contained accommodation, ideally perched near the ocean, some with barbecue areas, pools and private sun lounges available for guests to enjoy.
The Northern Beaches provides a range of dining options, from a chic restaurant indulgence to a hearty gourmet takeaway burger.
Most Northern Beaches locations are perfectly positioned to capture a magical sunrise, followed by an ocean-view breakfast, for an invigorating start to the day.
With kilometres of golden sand to explore, the Northern Beaches provide ample opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation. Helpful hint- take insect repellant for exploring shoreline parklands. Mosquitos won't bother you by the waves, but can sometimes be prevalent within the surrounding parklands.
Stroll on Mackay's longest continuous beach, Black's Beach, or explore the walking tracks amongst vegetation which fringes the shore!
Enjoy a swimmers paradise at Eimeo Beach! Choose to picnic on the beach using facilities on Eimeo Esplanade, or dine with incredible ocean views at a nearby hotel or resort.
Visit the beautiful beach of Bucasia! Enjoy coffee and cake with a refreshing sea-breeze on the esplanade, before walking along the warm, white sand of Bucasia's expansive beach. At low tide, watch for multiple tiny balls of sand, indicating crab holes. Watch hundreds of tiny soldier crabs move from their holes as they feel the vibrations of your approaching footsteps!
Seaview Park on the Bucasia Esplanade provides facilities to freshen up and relax, including barbecues, showers, toilets, picnic tables and a children's playground. A memorial stone tells the story of how Bucasia received its name.
To view a spectacular sunset over the rugged peaks of Cape Hillsborough and Green Island, end your day of beach-hopping at Shoal Point. Barbecue facilities on O'Brien Esplanade provide a tranquil setting under majestic trees, overlooking sparkling water. Dine in twilight and watch as an array of colourful parrots make their way home as the sun sets!
Take a charter flight or catch a boat to Keswick Island, 32 kilometres off the coast of Mackay.
The island is covered in lush greenery and surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park! Fringed by beautiful coral reefs, it is an ideal location for snorkelling, dive one of four shipwreck sites!
Connie Bay at the northern end of the island is a secluded haven of sweeping white sand, sparkling blue water and magnificent coral, with panoramic views towards the northern Whitsunday Islands!
Choose from a range of accommodation including holiday homes, a fully-licensed guest house, camping and glamping.
|Mode of Travel||Boat|
|Route Type||One Way|
Return to Mackay via plane or boat.
Drive North on the Bruce Highway to the Hibiscus Coast and explore the friendly seaside communities of Seaforth, Ball Bay and Halliday Bay, all with picturesque swimming beaches!
If you have access to a boat, explore the isolated and seemingly untouched natural beauty of the Newry Islands National Park, by launching form the Victor Creek boat ramp near Seaforth.
The trip to Seaforth takes you past lush subtropical rainforest and fields of sugar cane. Seaforth itself is a quaint beachfront town that is also one of the most popular recreational fishing destinations in the Mackay region, especially with its well maintained boat ramp at Victor Creek.
Today sugar and tourism are thriving industries for Seaforth. Facilities include a bowls club, public swimming enclosure, nearby public toilets, and a well maintained caravan and camping area located directly on the beach.
The picturesque beach settlement of Ball Bay is located 35 kilometres north of Mackay. Ball Bay offers secluded camping on a small grassy campground. The facilities include toilets, cold beach showers, wood barbecues and drinking water, however animals are not allowed. Fish off the beach in this small piece of paradise, surrounded by lush bushland. Ball Bay offers easy and close access to Cape Hillsborough National Park bushwalking tracks. In the early hours of the summer months it is possible to see Flatback turtles hatching.
Nestled amongst swaying palms, and overlooking the Whitsunday Passage, the resort sits on the shores of beauty in this tropical hideaway. You can spend your Halliday holiday as you please, relax on the beach, dangle a line or take to the sparkling blue waters on a catamaran. Try a set or two on the full-size tennis court, paddle a canoe, or surf ski, or discover the magic of nearby National Parks and sheltered coral reefs.
After your exploration of these seaside communities, or islands, drive towards Cape Hillsborough National Park, where rugged rainforest hills plunge to rocky headlands of rhyolite boulders separating heavenly beaches. Enjoy afternoon tea amongst lush tropical gardens at the relocated Marian Train Station, now a teahouse popular for scrumptious home-style baking. Settle into your accommodation for the evening, staying beachside at a nature resort.
View the morning sunrise at Casuarina Beach and enjoy a truly Australian sight as wallabies feast and play in the morning tide.
Walk one of many tracks throughout the park fro sweeping views out to sea, for the chance to spot whales during migration season. As the tide falls, walk the exposed low tide causeway to Wedge Island and enjoy the serenity of Wedge Island beach! Be sure to cross the causeway before the tide comes back in.
Depart Cape Hillsborough.
Note: Information on listed products and services are provided by the operator and were correct at the time of publishing. Rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum available prices of products and services. Please visit the operator’s website for further information. All prices quoted are in Australian dollars (AUD).