There are many continental islands offshore of Mackay, but the main outer reefs are The Swain Reefs – a large collection of small, tightly packed reefs which provide great opportunities for line fishing. Most are unnamed and simply carry the GBRMPA’s listing number such as ‘21-114’; many have a tiny coral cay at their centre, just a few tens of metres across.
Six of the largest, known as the Swains Reef Cays are protected by National Park zoning as they form part of important turtle and seabird breeding and nesting habitats. A quarter of all known loggerhead turtle nesting in Queensland takes place on those few cays.
The Swains Reef Cays are also important breeding sites for many species of tern, noddy and booby, as well as foraging sites for the black noddy and shearwater birds. It’s amazing how much environmental significance can be concentrated into such a small area.
Mackay Reef Tours - Island Adventure
Book a multi island Great Barrier Reef tour with departure from Mackay marina to snorkel and explore these pristine parts of this World Heritage wonder. This full day tour will take you at a fast yet comfortable pace around the outlying islands and reefs off Mackay. This is a small group reef tour that carries a maximum of 40 passengers and includes all your snorkel gear, food & beverages and the services of our local crew.
Mackay Reef Tours - Sunset Cruise
Enjoy a two hour sunset cruise around the Mackay Marina and drink in the magnificent skyline as the sun sets behind the mainland. On offer is not on the sunset cruise but a glass of sparkling wine and some nibbles to enjoy. There is also a bar on board should you wish to buy some more beverages.
Snorkel and dive sites
Read our blog, Best places to snorkel and dive in the Mackay Region to find out about some of the region's snorkel and dive sites.