Mackay to Townsville Road Trip: Outright Guidance

Mackay to Townsville Road Trip
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Setting out on a road trip is more than just a journey from one place to another; it’s an adventure filled with discoveries, experiences, and the freedom of the open road.

The road from Mackay to Townsville, winding through the heart of Queensland’s coastal beauty, offers an incredible opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes, charming towns, and hidden treasures this region offers.

The Mackay To Townsville Road Trip is a great way to see some of the best of tropical North Queensland. The drive is just over 386 kilometres and can be completed in about 4 hours and 30 minutes. However, there are plenty of places to go and explore along the way, so you can easily make it a longer trip.

On the east coast of Australia, in Queensland, sits the city of Mackay. A portion of the Great Barrier Reef is located off the coast. The islands of St. Bees, including reefs, forests, and koalas, and Keswick, rich in marine life, are closer to the coast.

A bustling, contemporary coastal city recognized as Australia’s Sugar Capital. A newcomer once could have been forgiven for calling Mackay the “motel capital of the world” if they had arrived from the south along the Bruce Highway and Nebo Road.

Travel Distance495 km
Travel Time by car5 Hours and 45 Minutes

Mackay To Palm Tree Creek Rest Area

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from Mackay Foreshore Community Park To Palm Tree Creek Rest Area.

Travel Distance36.1 km
Travel Time by car31 minutes

In Queensland, Australia, the Palm Tree Creek Rest Area is situated on the Bruce Highway, approximately 90 kilometres south of Mackay and 130 kilometres north of Townsville. The rest spot contains a playground, picnic tables, barbeques, and restrooms and is surrounded by a lush palm tree grove that provides shade.

A little creek that runs through the rest area is also a well-liked fishing site. If you’re making your way between Mackay and Townsville, the rest area is an excellent location to pause and unwind. Additionally, it’s a great spot to get some exercise and stop driving.

Some rest sites, including Palm Tree Creek, may permit overnight parking for self-contained vehicles like camper vans and caravans. Before arranging an overnight stay, familiarising yourself with the rest area’s unique policies is imperative.

Rest zones like Palm Tree Creek are developed for drivers to take a break from the road safely. When approaching and leaving the rest area, especially when there is traffic, it is crucial to follow the rules for driving safely.

Palm Tree Creek Rest Area To Proserpine Historical Museum

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from Palm Tree Creek Rest Area to Proserpine Historical Museum. 

Travel Distance88.6 km
Travel Time by car56 minutes

The Proserpine Historical Museum is a fascinating attraction that gives tourists an insight into the rich legacy and history of the Whitsunday region. It is situated in Proserpine, Queensland, Australia. The museum, built to conserve and present the region’s historical artefacts, tales, and cultural value, offers both locals and visitors an interesting experience.

Discover the interesting past of this town known for its sugar cane and cattle by visiting the Historical Proserpine Museum. Creating a permanent museum in the Whitsunday area was a significant undertaking that enjoyed broad support from everyone in the neighbourhood.

The structure serves multiple functions and provides access to vast local history and historical research, housing the museum collection.

It has been recognised as a cultural hub for regional arts and crafts, book fairs, and touring exhibitions because it offers educational benefits to both residents and visitors. The museum connects the years since the Federation with historical, thought-provoking exhibits that highlight the most noteworthy accomplishments of the area during the previous 100 years.

Proserpine Historical Museum To Whitsunday Gold Coffee

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from Proserpine Historical Museum to Whitsunday Gold Coffee.

Travel Distance2.4 km
Travel Time by car3 minutes

In the Whitsunday region of Queensland, Australia, high-quality coffee beans are produced under the speciality coffee brand Whitsunday Gold Coffee. The company is dedicated to providing coffee lovers with a distinctive and flavorful coffee experience and advancing ethical and sustainable practices.

1997 Nikki Phillips and her late husband, Pete, founded the plantation. In a deep, fertile valley, more than 140,000 Arabica coffee trees are planted on this estate. Here, coffee is locally roasted and sold in the cafe and store of the plantation.

The plantation behind Whitsunday Gold Coffee is dedicated to using sustainable farming methods and produces only organic coffee. Visitors can go on a tour to the coffee plantation and discover how coffee is made. The plantation is a well-liked tourist attraction.

Whitsunday Gold Coffee sources its coffee beans from properly tended coffee estates. High-quality coffee beans may be grown in the Whitsundays thanks to the region’s tropical environment, fertile soil, and altitude.

Whitsunday Gold Coffee To The Big Mango

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from Whitsunday Gold Coffee to The Big Mango.

Travel Distance58.2 km
Travel Time by car41 minutes

The ten-meter-tall Big Mango represents the delectable fruit that inspired the “Bowen Mango” municipality to get its name. It’s the ideal place to stop for the legendary East Coast Australian road trip on the A1 Bruce Highway with amazing views of the Whitsunday coast.

The Big Mango may be near the Bowen Visitor Information Centre, 4 miles south of Bowen. Take a picture with the Big Mango by visiting the summit of the Whitsundays.

Visit the information center while you’re there and sample some delectable mango sorbet from the region. As its name implies, it is a huge fiberglass reproduction of a mango fruit, and it has grown to be a famous landmark that draws tourists and residents. 

Public art displays are showcased by regional artists in the Big Mango Gardens. The Big Mango is pet-friendly, has an off-leash dog park area, and plenty of parking space for vehicles of all sizes.

The Big Mango To The Big Pumpkin

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from The Big Mango To The Big Pumpkin.

Travel Distance66.8 km
Travel Time by car46 minutes

One of the lesser-known yet intriguing sculptures on Australia’s Big Things list is The Big Pumpkin, found in Gumlu, Whitsunday region, North Queensland, Australia, along Bruce Highway. One side of the pumpkin is removed, exposing the luscious interior.

The Big Pumpkin building is close to a roadside market run by neighbourhood farmers, where residents sell largely fruits and vegetables and fresh food from their farms. The Big Watermelon is located a few meters north of the Big Pumpkin. 

The Whitsunday region’s Gumlu area, located between Home Hill and Bowen, is renowned for its November mango harvests and winter vegetable growing in April and May. The Big Pumpkin and the Big Watermelon highlight the region’s dedication to agriculture because fresh agricultural products from this region are available throughout the year.

To cultivate different pumpkins for export to Japan, pumpkin growers in Gumlu and Bowen, a neighbouring community, have banded together under the name of the Bowen Gumlu Association. The chance to export pumpkins benefits the Japanese food market and rewards the farmers in the two communities for their dedication and hard work in agriculture.

The Big Pumpkin To Home Hill Comfort Stop Rest Area

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from The Big Pumpkin To Home Hill Comfort Stop Rest Area.

Travel Distance38.4 km
Travel Time by car28 minutes

The Home Hill Comfort Stop has everything you require for a quick stop while travelling. Restrooms, hot showers, barbeques, tables and benches for food preparation, picnics, a space for parents, and a bathroom accessible to the disabled.

The Comfort Stop is highly popular in the winter, from April through September, so it’s better to get there by noon to guarantee a site for the night.

Parking is available on Railway Avenue, the road that runs behind the Comfort Stop, for self-contained caravans, motor homes, and campervans. Visitors are permitted a free 48-hour stopover.

If you’re only going to stop for a moment to use the restrooms, plenty of parking is available on Eighth Avenue in front of the Comfort Stop. As you enter Home Hill, look out for the signage.

Home Hill Comfort Stop Rest Area To The Sunbird Motel

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from Home Hill Comfort Stop Rest Area To The Sunbird Motel. 

Travel Distance81.1 km
Travel Time by car56 minutes

In Julago, Queensland, Australia, there is a 3-star motel called The Sunbird Motel. It is located about 10 minutes south of Townsville on 16.5 hectares of dry tropical bushland that overlooks the Nome Valley. 40 rooms with kitchenettes, free WiFi, air conditioning, and flat-screen TVs are available at the motel.

Additionally, it offers a gaming room, a BBQ area, and a pool. Some nearby attractions are Award-winning Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary, Alligator Creek National Park, and Mount Elliott Forest Reserve. Townsville General Hospital, Murray Stadium, and Townsville Crematorium are all conveniently close to the accommodation.

The Sunbird Motel To Big Mango Man

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from The Sunbird Motel To Big Mango Man. 

Travel Distance85.9 km
Travel Time by car1 Hour 1 minute

The Big Mango Man, a 3.5-ton (7,700-lb) fibreglass sculpture of a mango with arms and legs, is situated at Mutarnee on the Bruce Highway between Townsville and Ingham. Alf and Heidi Smith, proprietors of the Frosty Mango, a roadside fruit and ice cream business, created it in 2015.

The Big Mango Man is a strange roadside sight that’s become a favourite location for selfies and photographs. Weddings and other events are frequently held there as well.

Big Mango Man To Townsville Rd

Here are the travel distances and times you must travel from Big Mango Man to Townsville Rd. 

Travel Distance37.7 km
Travel Time by car25 minutes

Townsville’s city and significant port is at the mouth of Ross Creek on Cleveland Bay of the Coral Sea in eastern Queensland, Australia. As a port servicing North Queensland’s fledgeling pastoral industry, Townsville was established in 1864. The town evolved as the primary centre and de facto capital of North Queensland due to the discovery of gold in the nearby hinterland at Charters Towers and then Ravenswood.

The most recent honour for Townsville comes after the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named it as one of the SMART21 communities of 2021. The award evaluated areas like broadband connectivity, air quality, sustainability initiatives, and digital equality in the workplace.


Q: Where Do You Stop Between Townsville And Mackay?

A: The top attractions en route from Mackay to Townsville (with brief detours) include Reef HQ Aquarium, Whitehaven Beach, and Airlie Beach Lagoon. Billabong Sanctuary, Hamilton Island Marina, and The Forts are a few more well-liked locations.

Q: Is Mackay An Australian City?

A: At the mouth of the Pioneer River, Mackay is located on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia.. One of the largest bulk-handling facilities in the world is located in its deepwater artificial port. It also manufactures dairy products, lumber, and alcohol. It is the hub of Australia’s sugar industry and the location of a research institute dedicated to sugar (1953).

Q: Is It A Great Place To Live In Mackay?

A: Deciding whether to move to Mackay, Australia can be challenging. Still, the city’s excellent schools, excellent career opportunities, active lifestyle, and closeness to the Great Barrier Reef are major draws. Therefore, take a risk and migrate north to the region of sugar cane, clear water, and virgin rainforests.

Q: Is Mackay A City Or Farmland?

A: There are 30 townships, little rural communities, and rural residential areas in the Mackay region, home to a diversified and thriving society offering possibilities for living in the country and on the coast. Mackay, Sarina, Walkerston, Marian, and Mirani are a few of the region’s thriving cities.

Q: Why Is Cairns Renowned?

A: The Great Barrier Reef can be entered from Cairns. The largest reef system in the world is the Great Barrier Reef, which is made up of over 2,900 different reefs. The reef is home to more than 1,500 aquatic species, and every year, tourists from all over the world congregate there to swim, snorkel, and dive alongside them.

In The End

After the twists and turns of the Bruce Highway, take a moment to relish the sunsets over serene landscapes, indulge in the flavours of local cuisine, and make memories that will stay with you long after the road trip.

The  Mackay To Townsville Road Trip is more than just a route; it’s an experience that captures the spirit of adventure and the beauty of exploration.

Whether you embark on this journey with friends, family, or as a solo traveller, it’s a testament to the allure of the open road and the joy of discovering the hidden gems that await around every corner.

Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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