Photo: Kangaroos on Beach, Cape Hillsborough
The attractive town of Mackay and in the heart of Queensland, is virtually surrounded by cane fields. The town itself has some classic 19th Century architecture, including the National Trust protected Customs House and the Commonwealth Bank.
Combined with it’s many secluded and beautiful beaches it also has national parks with lots of wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies and bush turkeys, all within easy reach.
With the restored colonial buildings and with the lush tropical setting complete with palm trees, Mackay is pretty as a picture.
It is also the Sugar Capital of Queensland. There are a number pioneer townships and sugar mills that you can tour in the historic farming and mining hinterland.
Artspace Mackay offers visitors a blend of the area’s history with contemporary art - there are both travelling exhibitions of art and culture and historical displays.
Visit Eungella National Park at the head of the gorgeous Pioneer Valley. The park is named from an Aboriginal word meaning Land of the Clouds and ranges over 51,700 hectares. Finch Hatton Gorge is where you will find some of the unique Australian wildlife including platypus, gliders, bandicoots and ring tailed possums.
Or explore the coastal Cape Hillsborough National Park, also famous for rugged scenery, walking tracks and native wildlife.
Off the coast, in the Great Barrier Reef National Park are the Whitsunday Islands, an archipelago of gorgeous islands and atolls. Most of the seventy four islands are uninhabited, but there are some great experiences to be had here.
You can get accommodation at the resort islands of Hamilton, Daydream, Hayman, South Molle and Lindeman, each with their own charms. Fishing, diving, stunning beaches, delightful sunset cruises and just about everything you can imagine a tropical setting is available here.
Hamilton Island is one of the larger islands of the Whitsunday, great for families. Activities available include sea kayaking, twilight sailing, game fishing, scenic flights, diving, cuddling a koala, bushwalking, relaxing by the pool, waterskiing. Or you can just relax on the beach or by the pool. A good range of restaurants are on the island, at the Koala Gallery Wildlife Experience you can enjoy the "Breakfast with the Koalas". More about Hamilton Island.
Tours available include visiting the Eungella National Park for viewing in the wild, platypus and Cape Hillsborough National Park for kangaroos. There are cruises out to the Great Barrier Reef and the many islands including Brampton Island. Even tour a sugar mill and see how its all done.
Accommodation of all kinds, including caravan parks and camping grounds. There is the luxury of Laguna Quays Resort with its famous Turtle Point Golf Course as well as hotels, motels and farm stays.
There are many restaurants offering dining experiences of the fresh local produce and great seafood, as well as international cuisine.
For more information - Mackay Tourism Information Tel +61 7 4944 5888
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Photo: Finch Hatton Gorge, Eungella National Park - Image Courtesy of Tourism Queensland