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. Rugged and raw, this section of natural coastline is home to patches of ancient rainforest, remote beaches and exciting marine life.

Allow at least two days to explore this area, more if you intend to camp at the wild and remote Cape Palmerston.

Journey Details

Duration
48 Hours
Distance
130 Kilometres

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking/Trekking

Full Itinerary

Mackay to Cape Palmerston

Mackay to Sarina: Drive 38 kilometres south from Mackay to Sarina, home of the award-winning Sarina Sugar Shed. This is Australia's only miniature working sugar mill and distillery, offering tours, tastes and insights into the sugar industry. Taste the distillery's own rum and watch candy floss being made.

You can find the Sarina Tourist Art and Craft Centre near the Sugar Shed at the Field of Dreams complex.

Nearby Sarina and Grasstree Beaches provide lovely coastal locations to enjoy a beachside picnic.

Cape Palmerston National Park: An off-road paradise 25 kilometres South of Sarina providing a serene place for self-sufficient camping. Open eucalypt woodland grows on the ridges; while mangrove swamps, rainforest and sand dunes are all part of the cape’s rugged attraction. Traverse the oceanside cape to view abundant marine life below, including turtles, dugongs or humpback whales from June to September as they migrate north. Self-sufficient campers can bush camp at Windmill Bay, Clark Bay or Cape Creek. The camp sites can only be reached by four wheel drive and permits are required.

The undeveloped wilderness surrounding Cape Palmerston’s camping areas provides access to excellent fishing locations and rugged bush walks.

TIP: Bring your own drinking water.

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Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4
Distance 100 kms
Route Type One Way
Cape Palmerston to St Lawrence

Delightful beachside communities, popular for fishing and crabbing, line the coast from Cape Palmerston to St Lawrence.

Catch a crab in Carmila: Camp near the ocean and reel in the ocean’s bounty by trawling nearby creek mouths. Facilities include toilets, barbecues and picnic tables. A boat ramp is located at Carmila Creek with a playground and beach access nearby.

Flaggy Rock: Accessible by four wheel drives, it provides beautiful 360 degree views toward the ranges and across the Coral Sea. Stop at a local café and gift shop to indulge in home baking, sample some of the freshly-made fruit ice cream or purchase a precious gem to take home.

Dugongs in Clairview: 120 kilometres South of Mackay, the beachside community of Clairview is known for excellent fishing and crabbing. A dugong sanctuary was established in 1997. Visitors may catch a glimpse of these incredible creatures from the beach.

Fun Fact If you are travelling from the south, Clairview is the first place you catch a glimpse of the sea from the highway since the Gold Coast, 1,850 kilometres south.

St Lawrence: One of the most historic towns on the Queensland Coast, worth a visit to view historical buildings and relics.

Route Details
Mode of Travel 4x4, Car, Four Wheel Drive
Distance 140 kms
Route Type One Way

Find What's Nearby

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Yongala Dive

Multiple Locations
Yongala Dive is a PADI Dive Resort offering a full range of Dive Courses, Dive Lodge and Day Trips to one of the world's top dive sites- the historic S.S. Yongala Wreck. In 1911 it sank without trace in a tragic cyclonic event.

Burdekin River Bridge

Home Hill, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
The Burdekin River Bridge is the district's best known landmark. Locally known as the Silver Link, it is a road and rail bridge which also has a pedestrian walkway. The bridge makes an excellent subject for architectural photos or a great location for holiday snaps.

Inkerman Hill

Home Hill, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
Inkerman Hill, a 10 minute drive south of the township of Home Hill, is currently undergoing an upgrade! With funding received through the Queensland Government's Scenic Lookout Upgrade Program, the Burdekin Shire Council is busy working to bring their valued visitors a more enjoyable experience.

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.

Charlie's Hill

Home Hill, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
Constructed by the RAAF in 1943, the No 211 Radar Station on Charlie’s Hill was one of twenty radar installations along the North Queensland coastline. These operated to give an early warning of approaching enemy aircraft during World War II.

Anzac Park, Ayr

Ayr, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
At the top of Anzac Park, the Ayr War Memorial takes pride of place. It commemorates those who died in service in various theatres of war including the First and Second World Wars, and Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Claredale Pastures

Upper Haughton, Burdekin Area
Claredale Pastures is proud to boast a real Paddock to Plate Café, which offers all patrons a genuine, as their owner likes to say, farm to fork experience. Their focus is on home-style cooking done well.

Hand Cane Cutters

Home Hill, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
You are welcome to stop in at the Home Hill Showgrounds to see these larger than life statues for yourself. Completed in May 2016, the two Hand Cane Cutter sculptures represent the multicultural history of the Australian sugarcane industry.

Alva Beach

Ayr, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
Alva is a relaxed Burdekin location, 15 minutes drive from Ayr. Holiday houses and permanent residences fill the township, with Alva Beach a short stroll over the sand dune. A lookout area is located to the right as you enter the township.

Old Brandon Church

Brandon, Burdekin Area
Free Entry
The Old Brandon Church is the place to go if you love historic buildings. Formerly Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, the building is listed on the Registers of both the National Estate and the National Trust of Queensland.
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