Mackay Travel Guide

  • Rock formations along the beach
    Rock formations along the beach
    by lou31
  • Kangaroos on the beach at Cape Hillsborough
    Kangaroos on the beach at Cape...
    by lou31
  • The beach, looking north
    The beach, looking north
    by lou31

Mackay Highlights

  • Pro
    lou31 profile photo

    lou31 says…

     Excellent weather, great beaches and close to the Whitsunday Islands. 

  • Con
    reinansanc profile photo

    reinansanc says…

     We needed to stay for 5 more days !! 

  • In a nutshell
    Kate-Me profile photo

    Kate-Me says…

     Gateway to some of the Barrier Reef islands, and a great town by itself. 

Mackay Things to Do

  • Cape Hillsborough

    This lovely beach is about a 3/4 hour drive from Mackay and is well worth the drive. Along the expanse of open beach there is a variety of caves, rock pools and geological structures to explore. Another intriguing aspect of this area is the local kangaroo population that regularly sunbakes on the beach. They are quite tame and can be patted though...

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  • Seaforth Beach

    Seaforth lies about 40 kilometres north of Mackay and has been one of the more popular beaches and day trip destinations for years. Facilities at this quaint beach community include a swimming enclosure, bowls club, nice park like surroundings and a large and well maintained caravan park right on the beach. There are also public toilets and...

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  • Sunday Markets

    Each Sunday morning the City Heart comes alive with colourful stalls, rides, music and entertainment.You can find all sorts of merchandise for sale. Local fruit and vegetables, jewellery, handicrafts, flowers, cakes, pot plants, art and cosmetics etc.The Mackay Pipe Band usually put on a performance and there is always some form of entertainment...

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Mackay Hotels

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Mackay Restaurants

  • Best Thai in town!

    This is my favourite restaurant! For me it ticks all the boxes. From the food to the service and the decor you can't go past it.Inside is nice and roomy with pleasant furnishings and the staff are always friendly and efficient. I always go for the chicken Gang Panang...a red curry dish made with coconut milk. The Pad Thai goes down well too!I...

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  • Great steaks!

    This place is a busy and popular steakhouse down on the Marina. They cater for both small and large groups and the service is quick and efficient.It is one of those places where they display the raw steaks and they always look fresh and tempting.It is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. I had a rib fillet which melted in my mouth...cooked...

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  • New dining experience.

    This Bistro/Restaurant has recently opened up in Mackay. It is situated below newly the erected Rivage condominium. Most of the seating is outside in pleasant surroundings and there are some tables inside.It is fully licenced and there is also a small gourmet deli/grocery store attached selling premium local produce. Nearby is a boardwalk along the...

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Mackay Nightlife

  • Good music. Good bands.

    The best thing about Molloys is the good music they offer. There is always a good band playing and the place is very popular.It has a pleasant interior and there is an outdoor seating area at the rear.

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  • Great Karaoke

    Gordi's is well known for it's Saturday night karaoke sessions. Situated in Victoria Steet it is a popular drinking hole.Lunch / dinner meals and oudoor alfresco dining is available. I remember having one of the nicest steaks I have ever had at Gordi's.

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  • One of the most popular spots

    Pulse Night Club in Victoria street is open Friday and Saturday nights till 3am. It is a popular place with young ones and typical of all nightclubs.

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Mackay Transportation

  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo
    aerial shot coming into Mackay

    by Kate-Me Written Oct 7, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We flew with Australian budget airline Virgin Blue (tip: smuggle yourself a snack onboard because you don't get any food provided) and here is the nice view we got, flying into Mackay.
    The airport doesn't look huge, and you just step out of the plane onto the tarmac, but when you reach the town itself, it's rather surprisingly large

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

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Mackay Shopping

See all 6 Shopping in Mackay
  • Interesting and colourful!

    This interesting little shop caught my eye as I walked down Victoria street. There are lots of good gift ideas as well and knick knacks and decorative items for around the home. Vases, candles, photo frames etc.

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  • A great little boutique

    This fashionable dress shop has some lovely, modern and exciting clothes. I don't shop here often but when I do I always come out a winner! Womens clothes and accessories. Prices are comparable to other up market boutiques.

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  • Shopping Centre

    Mount Pleasant Shopping Centre is situated in Norh Mackay. Not as big as Canelands but less conjested. An escalator takes shoppers from the underground carpark up to the main shopping area. Numerous boutiques, eateries and speciality stores. Also K Mart, Coles and Woolworths. What ever! Clothes, books, cosmetics, shoes, liquor, homewares, flowers...

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Mackay Local Customs

  • Pretty churches

    Wasn't sure where to put this but here it is anyway. There are some nice old churches throughout the town. This is the Uniting Church in Macalister St. Lovely old building which has been around for years. Actually it's where I got married!

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  • Our language

    Mackay locals have a quirk with the English language compared to other areas. If you are talking to us we are likely to end our sentences with...'heh'.So we would say...'It's a nice day heh'. Or 'Gee it's hot heh!'. Or 'Nice day for the beach heh'.'We're not weird just a bit different...heh'

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  • Mackay Hotels

    30 Hotels in Mackay

    861 Reviews and Opinions

Mackay Warnings and Dangers

  • Stingers!

    Unfortuneately in our summer months it is hazardous to swim in the ocean. Stingers pose a threat to most of the Queensland coast and Mackay is no exception.This sign is at Black's Beach.

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  • Cane Trains!

    During the 'crushing' or the cane harvesting season cane trains traverse the countryside day and night. Pulled along by locos these long trains cart the cut cane from roadside 'cuttings' to the mills. Be aware as most often they cross roads and highways, and although their approach is signalled by lights they are sometimes hard to see. They travel...

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Mackay Tourist Traps

  • by Ballet_Buff Written Jun 2, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For anyone with kids they will know only too well how much they want to keep SOMETHING they have just found at the beach for a pet and the PROMISE they will look after it. But Beware! Somethings are not to be touched, let alone kept.

    Toad fish may look cute but they are highly poisionous and will kill your kids, if in doubt, just put them back.

    Shells are ok, right? Wrong. Some types are poisionous too, like the Conch Shell that shoots poisionous barbs out. So ask a lifegruard before picking up a cone shaped shell, as it may be the las ttime that you do.

    Unique Suggestions: If you must go to the beach

    1. swim between the flags
    2. cheak for when stinger season is
    3 ask if you are unsure of someting
    4 wear sunsrean and cover up despite what you may see other s doing- you will get burt if you don't

    Fun Alternatives: If you are tooscared by what i have said there are plenty of good wave pools and salt water pools. there may be one at you're hotel

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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Mackay What to Pack

  • lou31's Profile Photo

    by lou31 Written Sep 4, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A hat preferably wide brimmed. Swim wear and thongs will do at the beach. Maybe a sarong or two. Comfortable footwear for walking around.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen - a big bottle at least 15+ and mosquito repellent.

    Photo Equipment: Heaps of film though you can buy some here if you run out.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Large beach towell.

    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Beaches

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Mackay Off The Beaten Path

  • Nebo and the now famous Nebo Hotel

    This should really be a restaurant tip but because Nebo is so far from Mackay I thought it would be better as an off the beaten path tip.About an hours drive south west of Mackay is the small dusty township of Nebo. Situated along a dry desolate stretch of highway between Mackay and Moranbah it was always just a 'blink and you'll miss it' kind of...

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  • Flaggy Rock Ice cream

    On the road south from Mackay towards Rockhampton is the Flaggy Rock Icecream and exotic fruit garden. A lovely place, we screeched to a halt and stopped here. I had a mixture of Macadamia nut, lychee & ginger and coconut & rum icecream for AU$3.40, lovley. That's what I find a lovely little thing about Australia, you can mix ice creams, you can't...

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  • Melba House

    For those interested in opera Melba House is a place to visit. It is the former home of Dame Nellie Melba who once lived in the pretty town of Marian outside Mackay.Before she became an opera star she married Charles Armstrong who was the Marian Mill Manager. The marriage was short lived however due to Nellie heading off to Melbourne to persue her...

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Mackay Sports & Outdoors

  • lou31's Profile Photo

    by lou31 Written Mar 12, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are 5 golf courses in and around Mackay. Maleleuca, Mackay, Black Springs, Mirani and Sarina golf clubs ensure there is always somewhere you can enjoy a game.

    Equipment: Equipment can be hired at all courses or of course you can bring your own.

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    • Golf

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Mackay Favorites

  • lou31's Profile Photo
    Our 'blue' Pioneer River 1 more image

    by lou31 Updated May 30, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you decide to come to Mackay don't be put off by it being a 'tourist' spot. The town, though not large is big enough to let the tourists blend in so as not to stand out. I live here and can't really say I see any tourists, though I know they are here. The weather along with the location [ eg. Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef ] make Mackay a popular tourist destination without the huge costs of places like Cairns. It is not a mega international tourist distination that has been spoilt by the 'big bucks'. We have still retained our laid back lifestyle and homliness. In the winter months an incredible amount of southerners flock here to enjoy our weather. They come in droves, towing their caravans and staying for weeks or months. Some come back year after year like migratory birds!

    Fondest memory: If someone was to ask me to list 5 things synonomous with Mackay I would say :
    Sunny days
    Blue skies
    Beaches
    Cane fields
    Palm trees

    Another local feature is our river. It has been said that the Pioneer River is the only 'blue' river in Queensland. It meanders quietly along disecting the town in two. South, East and West Mackay on one side and North Mackay on the other. There are 3 bridges - Forgan Smith, Ron Camm and the Hospital bridge to choose from. These bridges are also popular fishing sites.

    A new boardwalk has been established along the southern bank from the Forgan Smith bridge through to Caneland park. This walkway makes for a nice stroll. Shady pergolas provide quiet places to sit and relax or enjoy a picnic.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Mackay
Good Asian Food
Restaurants
Best Asian food in town.
Restaurants
Biggest meals in town.
Restaurants
Popular but a bit overated.
Restaurants
Good Mexican Food
Restaurants
Good Thai Food!
Restaurants
Good Italian Food
Restaurants
Botanical Gardens
Things to Do
The steaks don't get better than this.
Restaurants
The Mackay Marina
Things to Do
Great location
Restaurants
Jungle Johno Platypus Trip
Things to Do
Cheap cocktails - 'Happy Hour'
Restaurants
Trendy and popular
Restaurants
Good food / Good Price
Restaurants
Pioner Valley
Things to Do
Greenmount Homestead
Things to Do
The pub with million dollar views.
Restaurants
Lamberts Beach
Things to Do
Slade Point Lookout
Things to Do
A Good Feed!
Restaurants
Shoal Point
Things to Do
Black's Beach
Things to Do
Eimeo Beach
Things to Do
Go fishing!
Things to Do
Pioneer Valley
Things to Do
Take a drive
Off The Beaten Path
Pioneer Valley
Things to Do
Play the Pokies
Things to Do
Football clubs
Restaurants
Queens Park
Things to Do
Mango trees...Attention!
Off The Beaten Path
Tourist Information Centre
Things to Do
More shopping
Shopping
More pubs!
Nightlife
Pick a Pub - any Pub!!
Nightlife
Down town shopping
Shopping
Meet the local croc
Off The Beaten Path
Shopping Centre
Shopping
Absolutely Fabulous!
Restaurants
Map of Mackay

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