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.

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.

Forest Flying

Multiple Locations
The Forest Flying eco-tourism experience allows you to view the pristine rainforest of Finch Hatton Gorge from a unique angle. Suspended in your personal harness up to 25 metres above the forest floor, you can glide along the cable through the rainforest canopy.

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 National Park

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Cape Hillsborough National Park is one of the most striking and peaceful places on the Central Queensland coast. It's teeming with life and diverse habitats—from rainforest and eucalypts, to mangroves, beaches and rocky headlands.

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.

Eungella Dam

Eungella, Mackay Area
From AU$5 - 5
Eungella Dam is a scenic lake fringed by rainforest, the ideal spot for boating and skiing with peaceful natural surrounds. Camping is by self-registration on-site. No motorbikes allowed. Fishing permits are required and can be obtained from local tackle shops and Mackay Tourism.

Kinchant Dam

Multiple Locations
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.

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!
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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