MackayCopyright: Timothy Baxter/Shutterstock.com
MackaySituated halfway between Brisbane and Cairns, Mackay is surrounded by lush rainforests, pristine white sandy beaches, and the fertile Pioneer Valley. It is home to one of Australia’s richest sugar cane growing regions. Beyond its shores, the Great Barrier Reef's awe-inspiring coral formations, diverse marine life, and serene islands offer a tropical paradise for all. With its outstanding dining options, picturesque parks, and thriving art scene, Mackay caters to every taste and budget.
The CityMackay is an exceptionally scenic city with a relaxed tropical ambience. The picturesque sparkling blue Pioneer River winds its way through the city providing an ever-changing landscape as the tides come and go. Palm trees lining the streets present not only a wonderful vista, but are also a retreat for thousands of the city’s colourful lorikeets as they settle in the city centre at dusk each evening. While Mackay boasts a stress-free country charm in character, it has become an effervescent hub for visitors who enjoy all that is trendy. Dining in Mackay is a gastronomical delight – especially for seafood lovers. Fishermen return daily with fresh catches of the ocean’s finest and the Mackay Fish Market is renowned for quality seafood straight from the trawler. On either side of the city are some of Australia’s most precious natural treasures: 31 long white sandy beaches line the coastline, the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef, and Australia’s largest rainforest national park. This is a city with an enchanting appeal – many find hard to leave – and one where there is "much more than meets the eye."
Do & See
In Mackay there is something for every taste and budget, excellent restaurants, beautiful parks, and a vibrant art scene. The surrounding area is extremely beautiful, and there are plenty options to choose from for a day trip out into the nature.
With access to some of the best fishing waters in Australia and the fertile Pioneer Valley, Mackay has generated a reputation for exquisite cuisine. Local fishermen catch and supply about half of Queensland’s fish exports and a visit to the Mackay Fish Market allows everyone to sample their finest. There is a large choice of venues from al fresco dining on the ocean’s edge to hidden cafes in the rainforest.
Queensland is in general a lovely part of Australia with tons of nice, cosy cafes and Mackay is, of course, no exception. In the heart of city centre you will find cute cafes and palm trees lined up so pick a place and relax with a coffee or tea.
Bars & Nightlife
Mackay is still a relatively relaxed and small city. However, with its premium location on the Pioneer River and by the Coral Sea, it has slowly started gaining a reputation of a party city at night. There are numerous venues, both pubs and clubs, ensuring there is always something happening every day of the week. Each Thursday the local newspaper "The Daily Mercury" prints a list of what bands are playing and where.
Within the city of Mackay, you will find a range of shopping options from the chic and expensive to bargain hunter’s markets. A stress-free tropical atmosphere makes the heart of Mackay a great place to wander. Check out the palm-fringed streets lined with specialty shops and the more everyday shops carrying Australian and international brands. Throughout the Mackay region, weekend markets sell local wares, handmade arts and crafts, delicious homemade food and fresh produce. Four times a year, The Leap and District Community Markets are held at The Leap Community Hall — always well worth going to for some fabulous buys from local artists and an array of intriguing bits and pieces.