22 Fun Things to Do in Mackay, Australia

Things to do in Mackay
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Mackay, Australia is a beautiful city with a lot of things to offer. It has amazing beaches and mountains that are perfect for hiking. There are also many restaurants, pubs, and clubs where you can spend your evening. 

Mackay is the capital city of Queensland, Australia. It’s a small-sized city that has a population of 36,000 people. Mackay is located on the eastern shore of Huntley Bay near the Great Barrier Reef and it can be reached by three airports: Mackay Airport, one in Brisbane, and one in Cairns. 

Have you always wanted to visit Mackay, Australia but aren’t sure where to start? Look no further! This article will give you the top things to do in Mackay from eating and drinking to touring the city, and more.

22 Amazing Things to do in Mackay, Queensland, Australia

Mackay is a beautiful city located in Queensland, Australia. It is known for its stunning beaches, rainforests, and Great Barrier Reef. There are plenty of things to do in Mackay, Australia, whether you’re looking for an adventure or want to relax.

Some of the best things to do in Mackay, Australia, include exploring the rainforests, going on a Great Barrier Reef tour, and relaxing on the stunning beaches. The rainforests here are indeed a sight to behold, and plenty of tours will take you through them.

The Great Barrier Reef is also nearby and can be easily reached by taking time from Mackay. The beaches here are gorgeous and perfect for spending a day or two relaxing in the sun. Here are 20 things to do in Mackay, Australia.

You can read also: 20 Fun Things to do in Sunshine Coast

1. Bluewater Lagoon

Bluewater Lagoon is a beautiful and natural swimming spot in the Northern Territory. The lagoon is part of the Kakadu National Park and is a popular tourist destination. The lagoon is home to many different species of fish, turtles, dugongs, and crocodiles. 

There are many different places to swim in the lagoon, but the most popular place is at the southern end where you can swim out to a small island and back. This is a perfect place to go for a swim when you feel like escaping from the world for a few hours.

2. Eungella National Park

Set out for Mackay’s backcountry, which is home to what may be Australia’s most extended continuous length of rainforest. Eungella National Park, located in the same township, is in charge of protecting this.

The rainforest reaches via trails suitable for quick strolls or strenuous multi-day walks. It is perched on foggy mountain slopes, commanding the plain. Whether you’re admiring Pioneer’s wide cleft or discovering hidden ponds and gullies in the rainforest, the scenery is surreal.

At Eungella National Park, numerous rare plant and animal species exist, including the Mackay tulip oak, Eungella day frog, honey eater (bird), and spiny crayfish. There is a platform on the Broken River from which you may see turtles and platypuses.

3. Caneland Central Shopping Centre

After receiving a significant extension in the 2010s, this mall near the Pioneer River and Bluewater Lagoon, which has been operating for more than 40 years, currently includes more than 200 tenants across two levels.

This is the main shopping area in the Mackay Region and a great place to go in the summer to avoid the afternoon heat. You can find everything at local Target, Coles, Myer, Big W, Woolworths, and Harris Scarfe stores. There are also a lot of independent companies that sell everything from gifts to gear for water sports.

You can get take-out meals from a few cafés and domestic and foreign franchises, including McDonald’s, Red Rooster, KFC, Subway, Sushi Sushi, and Donut King.

4. Visit the Sarina Sugar Shed

Although mining is significant, sugar is the primary industry in Mackay. As a result, learning about the sector while you’re there is valuable. The Sarina Sugar Shed is the closest thing to a tour of one of the area’s sugar mills, as none can be visited. The award-winning tourist attraction is situated in the little hamlet of Sarina, 30 minutes drive south of Mackay, and provides four daily trips.

 Although on a modest scale, you’ll watch the production process in action and understand how the business has changed over the years. The tour concludes with a sample of homemade preserves, adult liqueurs and schnapps, and kid-friendly fairy floss.

Please spend some time exploring the nearby Sarina Field of Dreams Parkland and its collection of relocated and restored historic structures, which serve as the current residences of the Sarina Museum, Art Gallery, and Arts and Crafts Center.

Check the webpage for operating hours, as they are all staffed by volunteers. The modern Mackay Region Visitor Information Centre, housed in the renovated Sarina railway station, is also located in the Parkland. There is a wealth of fascinating material for history fans, including some background on the activity that the area pioneers called “blackbirding.”

Between the 1860s and the early 1900s, an estimated 60,000 Pacific Islanders were transferred to the site, frequently under duress, to perform labour in sugarcane fields. Many labourers perished under horrifying circumstances and were interred in large, unmarked graves.

5. Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

The Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens is a beautiful place to visit in the city of Mackay, Australia. The Botanic Gardens is one of the best things to do in Mackay, Australia. The gardens are huge and beautifully landscaped, with plenty of areas to explore.

There are also plenty of activities for children, making it a great place to spend a day with the family. The gardens were originally founded in 1879 and have since grown to become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region. 

The gardens are home to a wide variety of plants and flowers from around the world and are perfect for anyone who is looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The gardens offer a serene place to walk and relax in their beautiful surroundings.

6. Greenmount Homestead

Within 20 minutes of entering the hinterland of Mackay, you’ll find a classic Queenslander homestead built more than a century ago. On your tour, you can look at more than 20,000 artifacts, including authentic Cook family furnishings and fixtures. As the Cooks lived there, the gardens, which included an arbour, fernery, and a formal front garden, have been preserved.

7. Eimeo Beach

The pristine sands and crystal-clear seas at Eimeo Beach, a well-liked sheltered harbour for locals and tourists, are only 20 km north of Mackay. 

The Beach is suitable for swimming between the flags and is patrolled during the summer. You might have a picnic on the esplanade after exploring the Beach while the kids play in the Park, or you could go to the neighbouring Eimeo Pacific Hotel for supper with a fantastic ocean view.

8. Bucasia Beach


Bucasia Beach is a beautiful and popular spot on the north coast of Queensland. It’s perfect for swimming, surfing, fishing, and relaxing in the sun. There are also plenty of great restaurants and cafes nearby for grabbing a bite. 

If you’re looking for things to do in Bucasia Beach, there’s plenty to keep you busy. You can go for a swim, catch some waves, or simply relax on the sand. If you’re feeling active, there are also plenty of great hiking and biking trails nearby. 

And of course, don’t forget to sample the local cuisine! There are some great restaurants and cafes in the area serving up fresh seafood and other Queensland specialties. So whether you’re looking to relax or stay active, Bucasia Beach has something for everyone. Come check it out today!

9. Harbour Beach

There is a long curve of beautiful white sand with calm waters protected by a reef south of the large breakwater surrounding Mackay Marina. Harbor Beach conducts seasonal patrols, and the Mackay Surf Lifesaving Club hosts weekend events to the north.

You’ll see that Harbour Beach is well-known as a fishing location, particularly around the breakwater. Although the Beach is calm, the posh marina, which includes some bars and restaurants, can be reached quickly.

10. Snap Sunset at Shoal Point

It is known for its stunning beaches and lush rainforests. There are plenty of things to do in Mackay, Australia. one popular activity is snapping sunset photos at Shoal Point. Shoal Point is a beautiful location for sunset photography.

The golden hour light creates stunning visuals of the sky and water. Visitors can snap some amazing photos of the sun setting over the water. This is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

11. Cruise the Marina

If you’re looking for things to do in Cruise the Marina, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, whether you’re a fan of the outdoors or prefer to stay indoors. For those who enjoy being outdoors, there’s plenty to do. 

The marina offers stunning views of the water, and there are plenty of opportunities to go fishing, swimming, or sailing. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a helicopter tour of the area. If you prefer to stay indoors, there are plenty of options for you as well.

 There are numerous shops and restaurants to explore, and you can even catch a movie at the theatre. There’s also an arcade if you’re looking for some fun and games. No matter what your interests are, you’ll find something to do in Cruise the Marina.

12. Cape Hillsborough National Park

Anyone would consider it a treat to get up and personal with kangaroos in the wild, and in the magnificent Cape Hillsborough National Park, just north of Mackay, you can do it for free!

One of the most iconic Australian pictures is the regular appearance of kangaroos on this Beach, so it would be foolish to wake up late to miss it. It’s said that the kangaroos and wallabies congregate on the Beach at Cape Hillsborough to consume the mangrove seed pods that the morning tide hashed up.

But believe me, you need to arrive early because the animals only stay for a short while. Since you won’t have to travel far in the early morning, camping overnight in the Park is the ideal way to watch them.

It takes less than two minutes to walk to Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park, located directly above the Beach, where wallabies and kangaroos eat in the early morning. The incredibly affordable and lovely Smalleys Beach Camping Area, where we slept, is about 8 kilometres distant.

Make sure to put seeing kangaroos on the Beach at Cape Hillsborough on your Mackay bucket list; it’s a rare experience even for Australians, let alone foreigners.

13. Artspace Mackay

Mackay’s modern regional art gallery won several architectural awards when it opened in 2003. For top-notch travelling exhibits drawn from local and national art collections, visit Artspace Mackay.

Displays of the Mackay Regional Council Artists’ Book Collection are also frequent. In addition to three exhibition rooms, the gallery offers lectures, workshops, visits, classes in visual arts, presentations, and more.

Mackay is a beautiful city in Australia that is full of culture and art. If you are looking for something to do in Mackay, there are plenty of options available. You can visit one of the many museums or art galleries, go for a walk or bike ride through the scenic parks, or take a tour of the historic buildings. 

There is also a range of dining and shopping options available, so you can easily find something to suit your taste. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out or an action-packed adventure, Mackay has something to offer everyone.

14. The Whitsunday Islands

The breathtaking Whitsundays, located in the Centre of the Great Barrier Reef, is only 150 kilometres north of Mackay. Spend your days exploring by boat while based at one of the well-known island resorts like Hamilton Island or Daydream Island.

 The majority of The Whitsundays’ 74 exquisite tropical islands are uninhabited. For those who enjoy the outdoors, check out the hiking trails at Hydeaway Bay’s National Park, the environmentally varied Eungella National Park, or the seaside community of Airlie Beach.

15. Lamberts Lookout

In recent years, improvements have been made to what may be the Mackay Region’s most picturesque vantage point. Lamberts Lookout, located at the northern end of the stunning Beach bearing the same name, offers magnificent views over the Cumberland Islands, Slade Point to the north, and Mackay’s interior.

This rocky promontory is a fantastic site to view humpback whales migrating along the coast from May to November. The overlook boasts a chic pavilion, designated viewing spaces with informational boards, and binoculars to aid in seeing the whales.

16. Mackay Orchid House

The Queens Park open grassland area, family amenities, and tropical greenery are all easily accessible on foot from the CBD. The Ken Burgess Display House, erected in 1988 to display a fantastic collection of orchids in a naturalistic setting, can be found there. It may be viewed from circular walks.

This one of Australia’s most outstanding attractions, which reopened in 2020 after undergoing renovation, contains so many varieties of orchids that you might easily spend several hours trying to identify them all. Most of these rather strange blooms are rock and tree orchids, but some can grow in beds in the ground.

17. Finch Hatton Gorge

Suppose you enjoy searching for waterfalls, including Finch Hatton Gorge, in your plan for Mackay. Finch Hatton, 70 kilometres west of Mackay, is a beautiful location to take in the splendour of the subtropical rainforests. 

Araluen and the Wheel of Fire Cascades are two of the most visited waterfalls in this area. The Wheel of Fire is 1.4 kilometres from the parking lot, and Araluen is 1.6 kilometres away.

18. Brampton Island

Brampton Island is one of the isolated tropical islands that are only offshore from Mackay’s shoreline and waiting to be explored. It’s the ideal romantic day trip—a barefoot paradise surrounded by gorgeous coastal mangroves.

One of the seven lovely beaches, each easily accessible via walking paths, coral gardens, and a variety of walking and jogging tracks, is the perfect place to unwind if you prefer a quiet swim on your own isolated Beach.

19. Bluewater Quay

On the Pioneer River’s last reach, on either side of the Forgan Bridge, is a freshly improved public park spanning over 250 meters of waterfront. A boardwalk, viewing platform, fishing platform, children’s playground, picnic, and BBQ spaces, and a stage for outdoor performances and activities can all be found at Bluewater Quay.

There is a historic Leichhardt tree (Nauclea Orientalis) nearby as well. In the 1860s, this tree served as an anchor for Mackay’s first maritime commerce.

20. Mackay Aqua Park

If you’re looking for things to do in Mackay, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy during your stay. If you’re a fan of the water, why not head to the Mackay Aqua Park? 

This fabulous water park has something for everyone, from thrilling slides and rides to calm pools and lazy rivers. Plus, it’s located right on the beach so you can enjoy the stunning views while you splash around!

21. Explore the city’s diverse dining scene

The Centre of Mackay’s dining scene is Wood Street. There are many cafes and restaurants to select from, but these suggestions will help you get started. The Dispensary is slick and sassy, serving meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (Tuesday to Saturday). 

There is little doubt that no effort was spared in the interior design, and the cuisine is varied enough to satisfy most palates. Evening specialties like Wednesday’s roast night and Thursday’s steak night keep things authentic. 

A Cuban-style cocktail bar is maybe the last thing you’d expect to find in a provincial Queensland city, yet it’s just a few doors up. Surprise! At Coco Cubano, relax in the plush wingback chairs and nibble on your favourite delectable tapas appetizers.

 Located across the street in an arcade, You’ll be delighted you landed on 9th Lane Grind, a cool hangout. The cafe is unique due to its modern decor, creative food, and creative presentation.

22. Explore the Other Local Beaches

In Mackay’s Northern Beaches, the Comfort Resort Blue Pacific offers a resort-style home away from home. Numerous possibilities for self-catering villa-style lodging are available, some of which are just a few meters from the magnificent Blacks Beach. You’ll struggle to leave. The beautiful coastline is surrounded by swaying palms and many lawn chairs.

Econo Lodge Beachside is a cozy, modern hotel conveniently located between the airport and the city Centre, making it the perfect home base for exploring all Mackay has to offer. This motel will delight families. Children stay free in existing bedding; the expansive Illawong Beach and well-equipped Quota Park are only across the street. Look at some of these fantastic Mackay eateries while you’re there.

Final Thought 

Mackay is a beautiful city located in Queensland, Australia. It is known for its stunning beaches, rainforests, and Barrier Reef. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy while you’re in Mackay, from swimming and snorkelling to hiking and exploring the city’s many shops and restaurants. No matter your interests, you’re sure to find something to do in Mackay that will make your trip memorable.

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

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