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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Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park, The

Multiple Locations
A wonderland of waterfalls, refreshingly cool rainforest and the chance to see a platypus in the wild awaits in Eungella National Park. Australia's longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, Eungella, (pronounced young-ge-lah), is a must-see attraction.

Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest.

Broken River

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Located within the cool tranquillity of Eungella National Park, Broken River is touted as one of the best locations in the world to see a rare marsupial in the wild, a platypus. A little over a one hour drive from Mackay, travel through the picturesque Pioneer Valley and climb the mountain range to Eungella township.

Blissful Northern Beaches

Multiple Locations
A selection of the Mackay region's most popular beaches can be found dotted throughout Mackay's Northern Beaches. Serene beachside communities with enviable coastlines and carefree lifestyles. Sublime sandy shores, sparkling blue water and the fact that these beaches are usually quiet are what attracts visitors to experience the peaceful nature of these communities.

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.

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!

Bushwalking on Keswick Island

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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.

Follow the Platypus Trail

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Have you ever wanted to see an Australian platypus in the wild? The Mackay Region offers the best and most reliable locations to see these unusual mammals swimming in rainforest creeks and rivers. Journey to Finch Hatton Gorge and Eungella National Park for a natural adventure the family will cherish.

Kinchant Dam

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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.

Cape Hillsborough – A Low Tide Fishing Adventure

Multiple Locations
Low tide in Cape Hillsborough often reveals many overlooked land-based fishing spots for visiting anglers. This fishing adventure takes advantage of the low tide and shows you some of Cape Hillsborough’s best tourist attractions.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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