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?

Lake Barfield

Hay Point, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Lake Barfield is located between the bustling beachside communities of Half Tide and Salonika Beach, near the Hay Point Coal Terminal. It is a small, picturesque lake which provides peaceful waters for a variety of fish, bird and animal life.

Kinchant Dam

Multiple Locations
Swimming, fishing, boating or a picnic in serenity, Kinchant Dam in the picturesque Pioneer Valley is the perfect place to retreat for some peace and quiet. Located 41 kilometres west of Mackay, it can be reached within an easy 40 minute drive past the sugar cane fields of North Eton.

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.

Edward Lloyd Park, Marian

Marian, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Named for the Clerk (1921 to 1954) of the former Mirani Shire, Edward Lloyd, who was instrumental in preserving and maintaining parkland in the Shire, the park recently had a major make-over by Mackay Regional Council.

Romantic Retreat

Multiple Locations
Sneak off for a long weekend of love. Treat your special someone to a romantic getaway with a secluded island adventure, fine dining, luxurious accommodation and unforgettable experiences. It's the perfect blend of seclusion and surprises.

Gooseponds, North Mackay

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Gooseponds in North Mackay are a combination of popular walking tracks around a large central wetland lagoon, an initiative of Mackay Regional Council's 10,000 steps program. There are also a number of exercise stations along the walk giving fitness fanatics a varied workout.

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.

The Kommo Toera Trail

Multiple Locations
This magnificent walking track allows you to meander under the shade of towering Melaleuca trees to observe a distinctly unique wetland ecosystem. To access the walk, drive 15 minutes north of Mackay towards the Mackay Marina along Harbour Road.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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