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.

Llewellyn Dive Site

East Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Exciting wreck diving is to be had at the historic 'Llewellyn' site, east of Mackay on the Great Barrier Reef. This 34 metre long, single screw coastal steamer was last seen departing Cape Capricorn Lighthouse on 17 July 1919 and disappeared during heavy gales as it sailed from Rockhampton to Bowen.

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.

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!

Basil Bay on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The beautiful Basil Bay is Keswick Island's prime swimming beach. Located on the western side of the island, Basil Bay boasts crystal clear water at high tide, crisp white sand and gentle shade trees - making it an idyllic spot to enjoy your quintessential island adventure.

The Singapore Shipwreck Dive Site - Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Singapore was bound for Sydney from Hong Kong when she struck what is now called 'Singapore Rock' sometime in January 1877. Fortunately, no lives were lost. The Singapore was a 964 ton single screw steamer with a length of 87 metres and a width of 10 metres.

Eungella National Park

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Eungella National Park, sitting high above the surrounding plains, is a mist-shrouded and forest-clad mountain refuge harbouring diverse plants and wildlife. One of Queensland’s most ecologically diverse parks, a visit to Eungella is both an exciting adventure and an escape to tranquillity.

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.

Cluffies Park in Coppabella

Coppabella, Isaac Area
Free Entry
Cluffies Park in Coppabella is the perfect place to pull-over the car, stretch the legs and absorb the serenity of the natural environment! You can find it at the entry of the little country town which lies approximately 159 kilometres west of Mackay along the Peak Downs Highway.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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