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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Things to see and do
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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.

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.

Platypus Viewing at Broken River

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Eungella National Park, approximately a one hour drive west of Mackay, is home to one of the most reliable spots in Australia to spot the elusive platypus - in the wild! From the viewing decks at Broken River, spot this shy creature in it's natural habitat, as well as turtles and other wildlife in this beautiful National Park.

Theresa Creek Dam

Clermont, Isaac Area
From AU$15 - 15
Situated 22 kilometres south-west of Clermont off the Peakvale Road, discover the oasis in the outback of Theresa Creek Dam. An angler's paradise, golden perch, jewfish, barramundi and red claw can all be found beneath the surface.

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.

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!

Platypus Beach, Mirani

Mirani, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Platypus Beach is a popular swimming hole for locals and tourists, a little slice of sandy paradise on the bank of the Pioneer River, near the country town of Mirani. This is a beautiful location to enjoy swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and picnics.

Bundoora Dam

Middlemount, Isaac Area
Free Entry
Beautiful Bundoora Dam is located approximately 28 kilometres south-west of Middlemount on Connection Road, which links Middlemount and Dysart with Tieri and Capella. The man-made dam was constructed on German Creek and is near the German Creek Coal Mine.

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.

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.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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