Things To Do In Mackay
Finding things to do in Mackay isn’t too hard, it is a big city so everything is fairly local and really easy to find. As well as exploring we also picked up a new Ipad from Jb-HiFi and the boys had haircuts. We also made doctors appointment to sort out some prescriptions and creams for Little C’s eczema. Little C’s eczema had been getting worst because he had been swimming in more chlorinated pools than beaches here in Queensland so the flair up was pretty bad.
We stayed at the BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park, not usually do we book the BIG4 parks but this was reasonably priced and there wasn’t much free camping that suited us. We need good internet reception everyday and at this point we had not purchased our cel-fi booster. The kids loved making some new friends and having access to the waterpark and pools all day everyday!
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The Town Of Mackay
Mackay is a big city in the Mackay region of North Queensland. Nicknamed the sugar capital of Queensland you can expect to see plenty of sugar cane fields and sugar cane mills. If you don’t know what a sugar cane mill looks like, then keep an eye an out for the white steam pouring into the sky. That is your first sign of a sugar cane factory in action….oh and you may even smell a sweet burning smell in the air. The closer you get to the factory the stronger the smell.
If you are in the town of Mackay then I highly recommend going to Cape Hillsborough. There is so much to do here that I recommend a day trip.
Here are a list of places to visit when there
– Twin Beaches Lookout (easy walk for the whole family.
– Wallaby feeding on the beach.
– Take a walk To Redcliffe Island
– Yumi Trail ( easy 4×4 drive track) with a beautiful view at the end.
The Big Banana
If you are travelling around Australia and are counting the BIG THINGS that you find then a stop here at the BIG BANANA is a must! The banana is a city local and has been there for over 30 years. It has recently had a make over and has been revamped to the new look of the ‘half-peeled’ cool banana you see today.
Finch Hatton Gorge
Finch Hatton Gorge is well gorge-ous! The gorge is worth the 1 hour drive east of Mackay. It is family friendly and two wheel drive which makes it a great day out for everyone. The walk is a two kilometre return walk through the rainforest. The path has some stairs and rocks to walk over but overall can suit just about any family member.
At the end of your walk you can cool down in the natural swimming pool and swim under the cascade. Yes you can jump from the rocks but be mindful where you jump as there are rocks beneath. After the wet season is best for jumping as the pool is much fuller than between the months of June- December.
Best Beaches In Mackay
There are plenty of beaches in Mackay, below are five of the beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards. They are patrolled during weekends, school holidays and on public holidays.
Swimming in Queensland beaches do come with risks. During the months from November- May is stinger season which means that stinger wetsuits are recommended for wearing if swimming during those months. We honestly did not want to risk being stung by a stinger and didn’t want to lug around a suit for every beach visit. So we skipped the beaches during those times. NO-ONE wants to be stung by a stinger!
Eungella National Park
I mentioned earlier in this blog post about visiting the Finch Hatton Gorge, well if you do decide to go then on your way out head a further 10 kilometres up the road and view the platypus’s swimming in the Broken River. Not often will you be able to view these creatures up close and hey they are one of Australia’s native animals so I think it’s personally worth the drive!
If you didn’t see any then you can always head to the Criterion Hotel and stop in for a drink on your way out.
As much as we absolutely love swimming in the beach, the kids and (myself) were always hesitant to swim in Queenslands beaches. We paddled but didn’t really venture out too far. The thought of roaming crocodiles entered our minds far too often.
So if this is you too then head to the Bluewater Lagoon. The lagoon is the public swimming pool with grass, picnic tables, changerooms, cafe and lifeguards. It is an all round great place to cool off and relax.
Sarina Sugar Shed
If you have entered Mackay and have gone for a drive then you would have seen the acres upon acres of sugar cane fields. Some crops are small and some crops are about to be harvested. We had driven past so many fields of sugar cane that it was now our time to learn about the process of how sugar is made.
If you too want to learn more about the sugar mills and the process then head to the Sarina Sugar Shed, here you will get a great tour and everyone gets to taste test some fairy floss for the kids and some home made rum from the factory!
I don’t know about you but I love marina’s. Something about seeing all the boats parked up sends my mind into story mode. I start to think about all the adventures that the yachts have been on, the fishing trips and the stories behind everyone’s rigs.
But I am a dreamer and an overthinker so this is what I do about everything. A nice stroll down here is relaxing and we dropped into the pub to watch the AFL Grand final. It overlooks the water and has a real ocean feel. Plus it is great for throwing out a line with the kids. Our three aren’t big on fishing but do love to have a cast when possible WITHOUT getting snagged!!!!
If you ask any of the kids or Dan then they will tell you that I always take them on the scenic drive of every coast of every town or city. We always find something interesting and this is what we found in Mackay at Slade Point. This beautiful art piece was painted by Scott Nagy an Australian artist. The silo art can be found at 1 Albatross Street Slade Point.
***TIP- Head to The Grove Bar and Grill for a nice drink afterwards. The kids loved the playground and gave us some relaxing time to ourselves!