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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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?

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.

Mackay Marina Village and Shipyard

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Mackay's magnificent world-class Marina Village has a tropical ambience, with leafy palms lining the waterfront esplanade and a view beyond to luxury yachts, sailing boats, blue skies and tropical islands.

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!

Lake Barfield

Hay Point, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Lake Barfield is located between the bustling beachside communities of Half Tide and Salonika Beach, near the Hay Point Coal Terminal. It is a small, picturesque lake which provides peaceful waters for a variety of fish, bird and animal life.

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.

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.

Alligator Falls Track, Bowling Green Bay National Park

Multiple Locations
In the Mount Elliot section of Bowling Green Bay National Park, Alligator Creek flows through the landscape in a series of cascades, deep pools and waterfalls. The Alligator Falls track starts from the southern end of the Alligator Creek day-use area.

Hibiscus Coast

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
20 kilometres north of Mackay lies the Hibiscus Coast which includes the delightful seaside towns of Seaforth, Halliday Bay, Ball Bay and Cape Hillsborough. This is the perfect place to find a quiet beach or picnic table and enjoy the sounds of nature.

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.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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