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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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.

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?

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.

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.

Grendon Park

Hay Point, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Nestled between Half Tide and Salonika Beaches is Grendon Park, named after the original owners of the land prior to its development. Facilities include toilets, picnic tables, shelter, barbecue and a playground.

Mackay Region Drive

Multiple Locations
Boasting 31 beaches, one for every day of the month, ancient reefs teeming with life off untouched Great Barrier Reef islands, a lush tropical rainforest and rugged golden hinterland, Mackay is a gem in the Queensland tourism tale.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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