Mackay Travel Guide

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Roll out a towel on one of the gorgeous local beaches, encounter playful platypus from a viewing deck in Eungella National Park, or explore one of the thriving local markets

Mackay, QLD

From ocean vistas to ancient hinterland rainforests, Mackay is a gem on the Queensland Coast. You’ll also find family-friendly water parks and treetop adventures, as well as an exciting nightlife packed with great restaurants and bars.

Blue lagoons, treetop adventures and night markets

Mackay is full of adventure for all sizes. Cool off in the city during the warmer months at Bluewater Lagoon, a custom-built network of safe swimming pools where the kids can play under drop-bucket and magic waterfall. This area also contains barbecue areas, cafes and restaurants. Kids will also love Mackay Aqua Park and WakeHouse Cable Park, complete with ramps for wakeboarding.


Both young and not-as-young can spend a day walking or cycling around the Bluewater Trail, a gorgeous track that hugs the blue waterways of Mackay. Stop at local highlights including the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, Pioneer River and Town Beach. An hour from Mackay, the treetop zip lines at Forest Flying, where you can glide through the canopies of the breathtaking Finch Hatton Gorge rainforest.


In the evening refresh yourself at one of Mackay’s restaurants and bars. You’ll find plenty of flavours centred around Wood Street, from paddock-to-plate restaurants with Asian twists to authentic Italian diners, Cuban-themed bars and American-inspired eateries with ribs and burgers.


There are plenty of markets to explore around Mackay, with everything ranging from produce to local arts. Paxtons Night Markets entice you into the vibrant creative heart of Mackay, with music, arts, vintage wares and food every Friday. The weekly Mackay Showgrounds Market is a popular weekly event full of clothing stalls, seafood and produce.

Explore breathtaking nature

With spectacular nature lapping at Mackay’s doorstep, take the opportunity to relax on one of the many sumptuous and sandy beaches. Trail your toes through the warm sands of curling Black Beach, Mackay’s longest beachfront, found only 15 minutes from town. Other popular beaches, patrolled between September and May, include Bucasia, Eimeo, Harbour, Lamberts and Sarina Beach.


For a meeting of local wildlife, don’t miss Eungella National Park. This pristine refuge is home to a viewing platform that overlooks a local platypus population. You can also walk the Sky Window Track, a fascinating walk that encompasses local history, heritage and nature. Only 40km from Mackay, Cape Hillsborough National Park is a spectacular landscape of volcanic formations, with walking tracks and wallabies that graze along the beach.  

How do I get to Mackay?

Mackay is easy to get to by plane, train or road. Mackay Airport services flights from around the country with Virgin Australia, QantasLink and Jetstar. You can also arrive at Mackay Station by train on The Spirit of Queensland, which travels from Brisbane to Cairns.


Take some time to explore the region on a scenic drive to Airlie Beach, by the spectacular Whitsundays. This scenic two hour drive takes you past the gorgeous town of Proserpine.  

Top things to do in Mackay

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