Wildlife and Nature in Mackay

Those with a penchant for nature need no introduction to Mackay. Famed for its unique encounters with Australian wildlife, it’s a region smothered by some of the most jaw-dropping natural sceneries and adventures in the sunshine state.

Wildlife experiences in Mackay 

Mackay is popping up on the bucket lists of travellers who want to get up close with nature and wildlife, camp out under the stars, wet a line and hang with some friendly locals. You'll want to be an early bird to catch sunrise with the wallabies who frolic (or jump) along the beach at Cape Hillsborough National Park. Venture down the coastline to the waters of Clairview, south of Sarina, is a designated Dugong sanctuary and a top spot to spy the mermaid of the sea. Spot a platypus in Eungella National Park or take a river scuba with them – yep, this is a real thing!  

Get your nature on

Think of Mackay as Mother Nature's playground and let the great outdoors entertain you. On a hot day, you can’t beat the rock pools of Finch Hatton Gorge. If you’ve got little ones with you, park up and take the short bushwalk to the bottom where most of the family’s hang out; keen walkers can hit up the more challenging Araluen Cascades and Wheel of Fire tracks to work up a sweat. If a hike's what you like, witness the epic view from the Sky Window walk of Eungella National Park. Off the mainland, Keswick Island is the place to be if you want to fill your day with beautiful beaches, snorkelling and reef adventures on the Great Barrier Reef with day trips available via boat or seaplane. 



Plan your holiday

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The Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park

Multiple Locations
A wonderland of waterfalls, refreshingly cool rainforest and the chance to see a platypus in the wild awaits in Eungella National Park. Australia's longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, Eungella, (pronounced young-ge-lah), is a must-see attraction.

Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest.

Slade Point

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Slade Point is a short five minute drive from Mackay Harbour, and is one of the few locations in the region where you can enjoy both a stunning sunrise and sublime sunset. Slade Point Reserve lies at Lamberts Beach, stretching 73 hectares and conserving one of the last remaining areas of coastal dunes and paperbark wetlands in the Mackay region.

Pioneer River, Marian

Marian, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Pioneer River, one of the few 'blue water' rivers in Queensland, and its main tributary, Cattle Creek, flow through the heart of the Pioneer Valley, from the Clarke Connors Ranges in the South and West to the Pacific Ocean at Mackay.

Hibiscus Coast

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
20 kilometres north of Mackay lies the Hibiscus Coast which includes the delightful seaside towns of Seaforth, Halliday Bay, Ball Bay and Cape Hillsborough. This is the perfect place to find a quiet beach or picnic table and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Platypus Beach, Mirani

Mirani, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Platypus Beach is a popular swimming hole for locals and tourists, a little slice of sandy paradise on the bank of the Pioneer River, near the country town of Mirani. This is a beautiful location to enjoy swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and picnics.

Platypus Viewing at Broken River

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Eungella National Park, approximately a one hour drive west of Mackay, is home to one of the most reliable spots in Australia to spot the elusive platypus - in the wild! From the viewing decks at Broken River, spot this shy creature in it's natural habitat, as well as turtles and other wildlife in this beautiful National Park.

48 hours in Cape Hillsborough and The Hibiscus Coast

Multiple Locations
For a holiday that will immerse you in all kinds of nature, explore what lies to the north of the sugar cane capital with an overnight escape to Cape Hillsborough. Less than 50 kilometres north of the Mackay city centre, you'll find an ancient volcanic landscape, untouched beaches and 1012 hectares of national park that make up Cape Hillsborough.

Whale Watching on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Humpback Whales can be frequently seen around Keswick Island during their annual migration through the Whitsundays between the months of July to September. Seeing the whales frolicking nearby, or guiding a newborn calf through the protected waters of Egremont Passage, is a truly magical experience.

Keswick Island Dive Site

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Mackay is not generally well known as a dive destination, but with offshore islands and reefs it certainly has the potential for some great diving. However, there is one location off Mackay that is regularly dived, the wonderful Keswick Island.
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7 Nature Experiences in The Mackay Region

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