Explore national parks, get up-close-and-personal with wildlife, swing through the trees like Tarzan and chill out with some fun in the city for the whole family. Here are a few examples why you should book your next family holiday in Mackay.
Start your day at one of the family-friendly cafes in the Mackay City Centre and see if you can spot the unique art structures scattered around the main streets.
If it is a hot day, head to the Bluewater Lagoon, comprising three swimming pools, a small children’s water park and water slide. It is completely free and has barbecue facilities, amenities, a café and lots of space to play.
Just two minutes from the City Centre is Caneland Central, which has a popular arcade store. Let the kids burn off some energy playing laser tag while mum and dad grab a coffee or do some shopping at the largest shopping centre in Mackay.
The Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens is also nearby and offers educational information, guided walks and tours around the impressive gardens and lagoon. Lunch is available at the Lagoons Café upstairs with incredible views stretching right across the gardens.
If adventure is what you’re after, try wakeboarding at the water cable park. All equipment is supplied and it is suitable for beginners and advanced riders.
There’s also a zip line that runs 25 metres above ground through the rainforest at Finch Hatton Gorge. You have to travel about 45 minutes out of Mackay into the hinterlands of the Pioneer Valley to experience this one, but it’s definitely worth it.
An overnight stay in Eungella will act as a perfect, quiet retreat for the adults, while the kids will love the experience of staying in a cabin or lodge in the rainforest.
Wake up early and spot the platypus playing in the billabong; a rare experience, as these creatures are very shy.
From the Information Centre at Broken River, you can enjoy long or short walks through Eungella National Park, which is the longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest in Australia with over 860 plant species.
Breakfast can be enjoyed at a few spots in Eungella, which will fuel your next stop to Finch Hatton Gorge, a little further east as you head back to town.
The wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulders make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction.
Embark on a short bushwalk from the picnic area to Araluen Waterfall. Take in the scenery or enjoy a refreshing dip in one of the nearby rock pools before heading back up.
If the bushwalking and swimming have made you hungry again, you can stop in for a famous pie at one of the local pubs, or enjoy some lighter options from the cute cafes on the side of the road.
If you decide to return to Mackay, an afternoon barbecue at Mulherin Park is the perfect way to end your stay in Mackay. The park has some huge playing structures, which are famous children’s cartoon characters.
Mulherin Park is one of the biggest playing parks in the Mackay region and offers plenty of space, picnic tables, amenities, barbecue facilities and plenty of food shops across the road in case fish and chips is a better option for dinner.
Taste the tropics both literally and metaphorically along one of Queensland’s most scenic routes which winds for 140kms between Cairns and Cape Tribulation in Tropical North Queensland. Known as the 'Great Barrier Reef drive', the road winds between two World Heritage icons, the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
Drive west from Townsville and you’re in the gold rush era, drive north, and you’ll hit the southern gateway of the Wet Tropics World Heritage-listed rainforests. In whichever direction you decide to travel, start in Townsville, home to the famous Strand – a 2.5km stretch of inner-city beach and playgrounds – and museums which pay homage to the Great Barrier Reef. Once you’ve experienced the reef for real, head to Townsville’s Reef HQ Aquarium touted as the world’s largest coral reef aquarium which is also home to a Turtle Hospital. At the Museum of Tropical Queensland, right next door, you can learn the story of the HMS Pandora which sank on the Great Barrier Reef.
There are 31 beaches in Mackay, one for every day of the month, but why not head inland and discover the Pioneer Valley instead?
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