Mackay sits in a region known as Mackay-Whitsunday, halfway between Brisbane and Cairns. It is a thriving small city, which was rebuilt extensively in 1918 after it was devastated by a cyclone.

The resulting art deco architecture is well worth a look, with notable buildings including the former Main Post Office with its clock tower; the Masonic Temple; the Pioneer Shia Council; Taylors Hotel and the Ambassador Hotel, all built in the 1930s and 40s. Much of the surrounding area is given over to sugarcane production, which produces more than a third of the country’s cane sugar. Be spoilt for choice with impressive scenery along the award-winning Bluewater Trail that links the Bluewater Lagoon, the Bluewater Quay and the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. Close by is the Eungella National Park, with its waterfalls, diverse wildlife and scenic drives. The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef are within striking distance to the north – head here to enjoy some of Australia’s finest cruising grounds.

Next destination


  • Explore the 75-mile-long Pioneer River.
  • See rare frogs and the shy platypus in their native environment.
  • Take a trip along the Heritage and Mining Trail to discover the rich history of the surrounding area.


A flavour of Mackay


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