Mackay | Things To See and Do

You’ll find nature at its best in the Mackay region. Walk through misty mountains in a national park, see wallabies on the beach at Cape Hillsborough, spot a platypus in the rainforest or charter a boat and reel in a trophy fish just offshore.

Unspoiled Nature

Behold the point where rainforest meets ocean in the rugged Cape Hillsborough National Park, swim in crystal-clear rock pools at Finch Hatton Gorge and search for the elusive platypus in the rivers of the Eungella National Park. On the water, spot dugongs in the designated sanctuary at Clairview or snorkel right from the beach on Keswick Island, one of the southernmost of the Whitsunday Islands on the Great Barrier Reef. 

Fishing

A Net Free Fishing Zone runs from Cape Hillsborough to St Helens, meaning commercial fishing is banned, making it ideal for recreational anglers. Fish right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, hook up a monster on a deep-sea expedition or troll around one of the islands just offshore. Inland, head for estuaries or dams in search of freshwater fish. 

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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.

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.

Cape Hillsborough

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Cape Hillsborough National Park, approximately 50 kilometres north of Mackay, is a natural paradise where rainforest meets the ocean. The rugged scenery, picturesque walking tracks and native wildlife make it a perfect destination to explore.

The Cremer Shipwreck Dive Site - Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Cremer was a 50 metre passenger and cargo ship that was employed in trading with Indonesia, Singapore and China. It ran aground off St Bees Island (nearby Keswick Island) during a major storm in September 1943.

Sarina Beach

Sarina, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Sweeping golden sand, gentle waves and a popular location for nesting turtles is what makes Sarina Beach a hot-spot for visitors and locals alike. Only a few minutes from the town of Sarina, this beautiful beach is fringed by an esplanade park with barbecue and picnic facilities.

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.

Mackay Harbour Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Adjacent to Mackay's multimillion dollar Reef Marina development, popular Harbour Beach is a favourite beach with locals and visitors alike. Only a five minute drive from Mackay's Central Business District, it is home to the Mackay Surf Lifesaver Club and is seasonally patrolled.

Brampton Island

Brampton Island, Mackay Area
Sitting at the southern entrance of the Whitsunday Passage, Brampton Island is a tropical island haven. Brampton Island is 32 kilometres north-east of Mackay and 50 kilometres south of Hamilton Island.
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Finch Hatton Gorge