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, Cape Hillsborough and Seaforth

Multiple Locations
Serene, sand-strewn shorelines, the rustling of palm fronds in the sea breeze and the gentle lull of the tide; it’s time to leave your worries behind and relax in the tranquil tropics. As you head North from Mackay, a world of adventure awaits.

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.

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.

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!

Connie Bay on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
At the far north end of Keswick Island, Connie Bay is a secluded beach of sweeping white sand, turquoise water and fringing coral. Connie Bay boasts uninterrupted views towards the northern Whitsunday islands.

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.

Cathu State Forest

Yalboroo, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Along the rugged Clarke Range behind the Whitsunday coast is Cathu State Forest, where you'll find distinctive poplar gum woodlands and exotic Caribbean pine plantations on the creek flats and dense rainforest, hoop pine plantations and tall wet eucalypt forest along the range.

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.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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