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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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?

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.

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.

Natural Wonderland

Multiple Locations
Abundant in natural beauty, Mackay is home to a plethora of parks, gardens and nature walks that showcase its unique subtropical flora and fauna. You don’t even need to travel out of the city to experience the beauty of nature.

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.

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.

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.

Bushwalking on Keswick Island

Multiple Locations
Keswick Island has many trails along which you can walk to explore the island. Trails wind through tropical vegetation, up hilly climbs that reward you with spectacular views, or along sandy beaches and fringing reef at low tide.

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.

48 hours in Cape Hillsborough and The Hibiscus Coast

Multiple Locations
For a holiday that will immerse you in all kinds of nature, explore what lies to the north of the sugar cane capital with an overnight escape to Cape Hillsborough. Less than 50 kilometres north of the Mackay city centre, you'll find an ancient volcanic landscape, untouched beaches and 1012 hectares of national park that make up Cape Hillsborough.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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