Eungella National Park
A pleasant National Park within 2 hours drive of Mackay in Queensland. I highly recommend the rustic accomodation at the Platypus Bush Settlement, where huts are open sided and built no stilts so you ake up not only to the sound of birds, but also to the sight of them perched just a few metres away. The site backs straight onto a pool in the creek where platypus can be seen in the evenings - a great opportunity to see these reclusive animals.
An easy walk in the area takes you through rainforest and past beautiful waterfalls - a couple of spots are great for swimming.
Trips can be arranged through the Youth Hostel in Mackay.
Our Queensland itinerary plan was Townsville - Cairns, and Mackay wasn't part of it, but when our particular air fare worked out cheaper to fly into Mackay and then find our own way to Townsville, we decided to do things this way.
Far from the slightly dumpy little old town I was expecting, Mackay is actually rather large - population of the area is about 130,000.
We only had an hour or so to explore the streets before our bus arrived, but what we saw impressed us.
A combination of historic (well, late 1880's) and modern buildings in Queensland style (large wide verandas even wider than normal Oz style), a palm tree lined mall with plenty of shops, plenty of restaurants nearby, starting at reasonable prices and going up from there.