The Mackay Region, QLD
Get back to nature with a visit to the enchanting Mackay Region on Queensland’s tropical coast.
The Mackay Region is a unique pocket of Queensland surrounded by 24 National Parks.
As a result of this geographical blessing, the Mackay Region is home to an abundance of native wildlife, including the elusive and adorable platypus, and incorporates both coastal reef and mountainous rainforest. And then there’s the town of Mackay itself; bright and welcoming with a striking art deco streetscape, you will not be left wanting for a great meal at this waterside city.
Things to do in the Mackay Region
Any trip to the Mackay Region should be accompanied by an adventurous spirit. There are countless opportunities for bushwalking, snorkelling, fishing, 4WDing, kayaking… you name it, you can probably do it in Mackay. In the Mackay Region, it’s all about exploring the beautiful natural surrounds, from the Great Barrier Reef Islands just off the shore, to the wildlife rich sub-tropical rainforests that stretch all the way inland. And when you’ve had your fill of adventures, collapse on one of the 31 beaches that surround Mackay and soak up the tranquil, yet electric, atmosphere.
Attractions in the Mackay Region
Cape Hillsborough National Park
If you’ve ever wanted to experience a tropical beach all by yourself, this is your chance. In fact, on any given day, the closest thing to a crowd you’ll experience is a number of wallabies strolling the beach. The park is littered with walking tracks and fishing spots, but be sure whatever you do you get to the beach in time to watch the sunrise.
Eungella National Park
Eungella National Park is one of Queensland’s most ecologically diverse parks, boasting 860 plant species and abundant wildlife. In fact, the park is perhaps most well-known as a great destination to glimpse a platypus in the wild. Scuba divers will also relish a trip to Eungella National Park.
Newry Islands National Park
Escape the crowds at the Newry Islands National Park. The park lies within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and offers unbelievable natural beauty, turquoise waters, pearly beaches and dense rainforest. Camping is also available on Newry, Outer Newry and Rabbit islands, though be sure to book in advance.
Finch Hatton Gorge
Finch Hatton Gorge is located within Eungella National Park, and is truly a must see. This spectacular section of tropical rainforest features pristine rock pools and waterfalls, and is one of the most popular fresh water swimming holes in the region. Remember to pack a picnic.
Getting to the Mackay Region
Located halfway up Queensland’s coast line, Mackay is about 736km south east of Cairns and 974km north west of Brisbane.
The drive from Cairns to Mackay will take about eight and a half hours and the drive from Brisbane to Mackay will take about eleven hours, via National Highway 1.
Direct flights operate from Cairns to Mackay (taking two hours) and from Brisbane (taking one and a half hours).
Where to stay in the Mackay Region
Experience bush camping at its best at Cape Palmerston National Park or Homevale National Park.