Located on the eastern coast of Queensland, halfway between Brisbane and Cairns, the metropolis of Mackay is a destination frequented by corporate travellers and holidaymakers alike, drawn to the year-round subtropical climate, close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, and countless unspoilt natural wonders.
Renowned as the ‘sugar capital of Australia’, once producing more than a third of Australia’s sugar cane, Mackay presents a melting pot of attractions, activities and heritage-listed buildings to discover, explore and enjoy.
Mackay is home to the largest regional arts festival in Queensland, the Festival of Arts, held annually for more than 20 years and fusing live music, exhibitions, dance, culture and food.
Part of the Mackay Region’s charm lies in the stunning natural scenery that surrounds it, like the Pioneer Valley, just a short drive from the heart of town. Visitors can spend the day hiking, cooling off in the many swimming holes or soaking in the serenity and natural flora and fauna. The Eungella National Park, the longest and oldest stretch of subtropical rainforest in Australia, is also within easy reach, as is a selection of stunning swimming and surfing beaches, like the patrolled Harbour Beach, adjacent to the Mackay Marina.
A number of fishing hot spots are located just off the Mackay coastline, including the blue water paradise of St Bees Island and Brampton Island.
In the city, travellers will be treated to a smorgasbord of cafes, restaurants, bars, markets and entertainment on the buzzing River Street, which has recently undergone significant transformations. There are also three main shopping centres located in and around the CBD.
The soon to be competed Bluewater Trail Project will also be a popular draw card for both locals and visitors to the area, presenting 20 kilometres of pedestrian pathways and bikeways that will link a number of new attractions including the Bluewater Lagoon, Bluewater Quay and Regional Botanic Gardens – a must-see destination showcasing an assortment of rare and native plants and blooms.
Mackay is also recognised within the mining industry as the gateway to the Bowen Basic Coal Mining Reserves of Central Queensland – the largest of its kind within Australia.