Best Places to Snorkel and Dive in The Mackay Region

Simon Mallender on August 25th, 2023

Diving in the rainforest

Have you ever thought of diving in the clear waters of the rainforest? In the hills behind Mackay, at Finch Hatton Gorge, you can do just that and see a whole bunch of different critters: long neck turtles, catfish, eels, worms, shrimp, and if you are lucky – even a platypus.

The unique, fully guided tours start with platypus education and a show and tell of the different critters so you know what to look out for. 

Mackay islands

Keswick Island – The waters around Keswick Island are home to numerous snorkelling and dive sites. Discover shipwrecks that lie off the shores or enjoy shallow-depth shore dives that allow you to explore the reef and an array of marine life including Maori wrasse, manta rays and humpback whales (during whale season). The Great Barrier Reef coral fringes Keswick and provides magnificent snorkelling, especially at Connie Bay and Coral Gardens, where you’ll spot turtles, rays and a host of rare marine life.

Scawfell Island – This uninhabited island offers pristine coral gardens to explore as well as the historic Llewellyn shipwreck (discovered 80 years after it had sunk). Spot olive sea snakes, endangered and vulnerable loggerhead, hawksbill and green turtles, moray eels, sharks and manta rays.

A range of day and extended Great Barrier Reef tours for snorkelling and diving the islands are available from Mackay. 

Mackay Snorkel Tours


When you are holidaying in Mackay don't miss out on booking one of the best island and snorkel tours in the Whitsundays. Our new reef trip provides guests the fastest yet smoothest ride out to the Great Barrier Reef and her islands. We will visit places such as Scawfell Islands, St Bees, Brampton Island, Keswick Island and Cockermouth. 

This is a small group tour carrying a maximum of only 40 guests who will be looked after by our dedicated crew for the 7 hour tour. All snorkel gear and food and beverages are included in our day tour.

Read all about this exciting island hopping tour here 

Mackay Sunset Cruise

The sunsets over the Great Barrier Reef are what dreams are made of and there is no better way to experience them than onboard a boat enjoying the scenery with friends and loved ones. 

Book a 2 hour sunset cruise around the Mackay Marina and enjoy a platter of food and a glass of sparkling wine upon boarding. More beverages may be purchased onboard the boat.  

Read more here about this Mackay sunset cruise.

Cays & Reefs in the Mackay Region

Mackay is a beautiful destination for a holiday that all types of people can enjoy. Far away from the crowds forming in the usual tourist spots Mackay offers a  much more relaxed vibe and natural beauty.

Find out more about the cays and reefs in the Mackay region.

If you are travelling up to Airlie Beach have a look at all the tours and attractions in the Whitsundays.  

Simon Mallender

Simon Mallender

Passionate eco-warrior, Simon is also a scuba diver, videographer and writer. He has produced promotional wet and dry video for a number of Australian and overseas tourism boards, as well as dive centres and cruise lines. His dive features have appeared online on Queensland Blog, Expedia’s ‘Out There Starts Here’ Blog, Wego Editor’s Desk, and in print in many inflight magazines.

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