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.

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.

Pacific Coast Way - Mackay to St Lawrence

Multiple Locations
Experience four wheel drive adventures, a coral reef teeming with marine life, beautiful beaches and great camping when you travel the Pacific Coast Way between Mackay and Clairview. This stretch of coast is largely untouched.

Follow the Platypus Trail

Multiple Locations
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.

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.

The Serenity Coast

Sarina, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Take an opportunity to explore a relatively unspoiled area that has retained much of its original historic charm while having developed into a thriving business area. Collectively known as the Serenity Coast, the townships that stretch from Hay Point to St Lawrence enjoy a selection of beautiful beaches and prime fishing locations.

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.

Barramundi to Trevally – A Seaforth Fishing Adventure

Multiple Locations
Avid anglers love fishing in Seaforth and this trail gives an opportunity to catch a variety of fish. You’ll definitely need a boat to complete this fishing adventure. If you're fishing for barramundi, their season closes from midday November 1 to midday February 1.

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.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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