Whether you want to lose yourself in nature or enjoy private wining and dining, Mackay has a host of experiences to enjoy with your loved one.
Imagine being surrounded by wallabies and kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough Beach, as you watch the sunrise over the water. Capture the moment, or spend quiet time sitting on the beach enjoying this incredible experience.
When the sun has come up, explore more of the nearby national park with a bushwalk to enjoy amazing views of the ocean below, or head to a charming little tea house nearby for scones with jam and cream or a delicious breakfast.
The drive back to Mackay takes around 45 minutes. Once you’re there, stroll through the city, enjoy hot chocolate at a Cuban café or make your way to the Bluewater Quay and take in the views of the blue Pioneer River.
If you are looking for lunch ‘with a million dollar view’, just drive 15 minutes north towards Eimeo Beach. Follow the heritage-listed, 80-year-old Mango Avenue, with trees that form a spectacular shady canopy 20 metres above the streetscape, towards a hotel at the top of the hill. Once there, you will be greeted with spectacular elevated coastal views, as well as great lunch and dinner options.
Laze around the beach for the afternoon and make your way to Sunset Bay, at Eimeo Beach for an incredible sunset. Stroll hand in hand along the white sandy beach or capture the beautiful sunset.
Enjoy something light from the local take away restaurants at the northern beaches and call it an early night, it’s been a big day!
Enjoy coffee and breakfast overlooking the luxurious Mackay Marina before hopping on your boat to depart for secluded Keswick Island. You also have the option of a quick 20-minute flight and, while a little more expensive, the views are absolutely worth it.
Nestled within the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Keswick Island is a natural wonderland, brimming with tropical rainforests, fringed by white sands and boasting a coral reef bursting with vibrant marine life.
Day trips will allow you enough time to enjoy the island in its entirety, whether you want to hire a golf buggy, grab a kayak, snorkel, bushwalk or laze on the beach, the choice is yours.
An uncrowded, secluded slice of paradise, Keswick Island also has a few interesting trimmings which makes the island special including the spectacular Tiger Blue butterflies, koalas, fireflies and purebred Caucasian bees. There are also some great vantage points for whale watching during migration season.
You can stay the night at the Beach House, set up your own tent or use the one they have on the island and ‘glamp’ for the night.
If you’re coming back that evening, be sure to grab a jar of the Keswick Island honey, a delicious blend using the hives on the island.
There’s a number of classy and private restaurants around Mackay with dim lighting and soft music where you can enjoy a delicious meal with your loved one after a big day of island living.
Some of the top romantic restaurants, with delicious menus, are Romeo and Juliet’s, Church on Palmer or Burp. Eat. Drink.
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.
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.
How long does it take to get to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns? It very well may seem like a simple and easy question to answer, however, there are so many variables that make the answer not quite as straight forward as you may have initially thought.
No matter whether you are a snorkeller or a certified scuba diver, there are number of amazing Great Barrier Reef experiences that are a once in a lifetime absolutely ‘must do’. And a Minke Whale snorkel and dive Expedition is one of those that should be on your list!
Thinking of becoming a Certified Scuba Diver and looking to do your learn to scuba dive PADI certificate? Do you wish to learn to dive with a high quality professional company that has an outstanding reputation for not only skill but also safety and can match this with some of the best liveaboard dive boat fleets on the Great Barrier Reef?
This tour is special in so many ways, and is unrivalled to all other reef tours in Far North Queensland. First of all, it has the shortest open water crossing to get to the Great Barrier Reef. Fantastic news for anyone prone to motion sickness. Although this tour is a ‘Reef’ tour, it includes a ‘River Cruise’ on the journey there with Island activities on arrival. And a huge PLUS to guests that like to avoid the crowds, it has one of the lowest passenger capacities of all the island tours with a maximum of 100 guests. The destination is to an uninhabited continental island called Normanby in National Park which is part of the archipelago of Frankland Islands. It is located 10km offshore from the mouth of the Russell and Mulgrave Rivers at Russell Heads, which is approximately 45km South-East of Cairns. The Normanby Island has an abundance of wildlife not only in the water, but also on the island itself. The island is pristine, and has its own rainforest and a fringing reef not far out from its sandy shores. There are also coral gardens located further out from the island for the those that want to explore the deeper waters.
This is not a blog, it is a pitch on how good this Great Barrier Reef 2 day 1 night liveaboard dive trip from Cairns is such good value. One of our team members wrote it because she thinks it is such an amazing good value Great Barrier Reef tour, she wanted to write about it and put it on our Barrier Reef Australia blog page. We were not sure it was appropriate to pitch a single tour but we decided on free speech and free opinions so read more if you are inclined, or go to another page now. From our wonderful Great Barrier Reef Tour Specialist Chelsea Are you looking for a good value liveaboard Great Barrier Reef scuba diving adventure from Cairns without the crowds? Do you want the best dive deal money can buy in Cairns? If your answer is yes, then check out what deals we have on offer with our Great Barrier Reef Tour 2 Day 1 Night Sail, Snorkel and Scuba Dive tour!
If you are scared of the water and the creatures that live there or have never been exposed to an aquatic life in your younger years, but still wish to live out that lifelong dream of seeing the iconic wonders of the world the Great Barrier Reef, then that is okay, we have a tour that will enable you to see the coral reef from above the water and also below the water’s surface without you even getting your hair wet!