Mackay is a city located on the coast in central Queensland. It is so great to vacation here because there is so much to do and everyone is going to find something they absolutely love about the laid-back vibe here - there's no hustle, bustle or hurry in Mackay.
Mackay is south of the Great Barrier Reef, but still close enough to take an excursion to the lower reaches of the reef; and there is still plenty to see and do on the beaches and ocean in Mackay.
The city is situated on the Pioneer River. If you follow that inland, you will see the mountains and rainforests.
Then there are 26 National Parks in the Mackay and Prosperine region.
The Mackay Harbour Marina is a great place to find good eats and shopping.
Mackay’s Northern Beaches
Just 15 minutes north of the city center in Mackay are the secluded Northern Beaches. It’s like the local’s hidden gem that you will be able to take advantage of the white sand, the quiet, and the amazing views. Whether you are relaxing on the beach or dining at one of the resorts for lunch, be sure to take in those million dollar views.
Mackay’s Island Getaways
Just off the shores of Mackay, island adventures are waiting for you. On the beaches, you can enjoy the tropical surf, sun, and sand but if you want to experience the island lifestyle, they are just a hop, skip, and a jump away on a boat or charter plane. Choose from Keswick Island, Newry Island or Brampton Island, all southern Whitsunday Islands. Each island is its own national park and also part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Each island has its own ecosystem with diving and other ways to enjoy the protected waters in the beautiful blue Coral Sea. Keswick Island offers guest accommodations including guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and an upscale resort.
Eungella National Park
Eungella National Park is located just 90 km west of Mackay and is one of the must see places to visit while here. The park is known as the best place in the world to catch a glimpse of the elusive and shy platypus. Eungella is an aboriginal name that means “land of the clouds”. Here, you can see the varying terrains of the Clarke Range Mountains and the Pioneer Valley. Inside the park is the longest continuous stretch of sub-tropical rainforest in Australia. The park features cooler weather than on the coast and makes perfect bushwalking weather to explore the walking trails and mountain tracks in the park. Eungella is home to a number of unique and rare animals and plants as well as waterfalls, gorges and picture perfect landscapes.
Cape Hillsborough National Park
Less than an hour drive to the north is the beautiful coastal park at Cape Hillsborough. This unique and rugged land has been eroded away by the sea and carved out by now dormant volcanoes. It features bushwalking trails through the rainforest and eucalypt forest, hoop pines, and rocky headlands. Overnight accommodations are available including beachfront huts, bush camping, or motel rooms. Fishing and boating charters leave right from the park.
Pioneer Valley Scenic Drive
As you drive your car from the coast of Mackay west to the Pioneer Valley, it is important to point out that in addition to it being a beautiful and scenic drive, that you should be aware of the history of the area. Learn about the history of the pioneers and the aboriginal, original inhabitants of Mackay. The Pioneer Valley is home to the Historic Melba House and museum which is also the Pioneer Valley information centre and where you can plan your day in the valley. Your itinerary might include lunch at the Pinnacle Pub and a Pioneer Valley Show.
Enjoy your Mackay adventure
Mackay is a vacation mecca in Queensland. There is so much to do, you can have a varied vacation with something for everyone to enjoy. Enjoy the blue waters of the Coral Sea on Mackay’s beaches, the Northern Beaches of Mackay and the island getaways near Mackay and the Great Barrier Reef. Then you can head inland on the Pioneer Valley scenic drive to see some of the national parks, rainforest, eucalypt forest, waterfalls, and much more.