Expat Diary – Things to do in Mackay Part 2

Expat Diary – Things to do in Mackay Part 2

Welcome to my expat diary part 2 from Mackay in Northern Queensland! So what have we been up to in October? Eating out (too much!) exploring a little more of our surroundings and beginning to feel the heat (thank goodness for a pool!)

Animal adventures!

A few Australian animals have featured in our lives over the past month and have to be included in expat diary for October!


We got up early and headed to Cape Hillsborough to see the place where the kangaroos hang out at dawn! Yep the place where all those beautiful photographs of kangaroos hopping along a beach at sunrise is a 30 minute drive away. We arrived to find 3 kangaroos on the beach and about 50 humans! It was awesome though and we enjoyed it so much that we are very soon once again going to tear ourselves away from a comfy bed at 4.45 am to go again! Post all about visiting Cape Hillsborough coming next month!

I also had a defining Aussie moment earlier in the month when I travelled to the outback for my job. Arriving at the school I was visiting there was the funniest thing I have seen this year – the caretaker in his ute rounding up kangaroos to get them off the school grounds. Priceless!


We have returned to Broken River once again as the lure of the platypi is strong! I am pleased to say that this last visit was our best yet and you can find out why and what we saw in my recent post “Finding Platypus at Broken River!”

expat diary


The soaring temperatures and humidity seem to be bringing the snakes out and this month one decided to stray into our garden for a chat with the dogs. Unfortunately for the snake the dogs were not in the mood and promptly killed it…with one dog getting a few bites in the process. This led to a few phone calls to get the snake identified – the vet was excellent – and luckily it proved to be a harmless tree snake. As there are a number of highly venomous snakes in this area it pays to be very careful!

A few meals out

We have tried a number of restaurants in Mackay recently and we definitely have our favourites. For those of you possibly heading to Mackay (any grey nomads out there?) our 2 recommended restaurants this month are:

The Deck Steakhouse

This is our favourite destination for Saturday lunch – beautiful views of the marina and great food at a reasonable price. We usually have one fish dish and one steak dish which are the specials on the board. We spend around $60 for 2 adults with 2 soft drinks.

Where – Mackay Marina

Mt Pleasant Tavern

If you are after that Aussie favourite schnitzel (who knew?!!!???) then this is where you need to head! They have a huge choice of toppings for your chicken or pork schnitzel! We really love the food and staff are friendly. Again we usually spend around 60 dollars for the 2 of us (one soft drink/one alcoholic)

Where – Malcomson Street, North Mackay.

A trip to the outback

I was lucky to have to go to the outback a few weeks ago for work! What an adventure that was for me! We stayed in a town called Moranbah – population 10,000 in 2015. Not only did I see kangaroos but also a bilby! Another strange Australian creature!

By stephentrepreneur from Adelaide, Australia (I Shot the Easter Bilby!) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


I also had to stop on our way out of town for a photograph of the big red bucket! And it is a very very big red bucket!! It is a 42 tonne dragline bucket used at Peak Downs Mine in the Bowen Basin which was refurbished and relocated at the entrance to the town! An interesting landmark worth stopping for on your way in or out of town!

Things I learnt in October!

This is my favourite part of my expat diary as I get to reflect on the little things I have learnt about living in Australia this month!

  1. I may not like snakes but I am more scared of spiders – that is now a fact! I have tested the hypothesis!
  2. Going to the supermarket in Australia is not like in the UK – for a start off the cashier packs your bags! And they usually have a chat asking how your day has been etc etc – so friendly! You also get the occasional shopper walking round barefoot – kids very often adults too sometimes!
  3. I still love it when someone says “G’day!” (That is a shout out to you Denise!)
  4. I have no idea how people survived in Northern Queensland without air conditioning! I am also extremely pleased we have a pool to cool down in!
  5. Beaches maybe beautiful here but they can also be deadly – the sign at our local beach warns of crocs and stingers!
  6. I have learnt the names of a few more of the birds and can now identify a Galah!
  7. New South Wales have put their clocks forward and are now 1 hour ahead of Queensland (weird!)
  8. The 3 most popular destinations mentioned by people I have spoken to who are off on holiday are – New Zealand, Bali and Melbourne. Hopefully we will get to Melbourne for a long weekend in the next few months!
  9. Locky (Lockie?) seems to be an extremely popular boy’s name here – short for Lochlan. Not a name I heard often in the UK.
  10. Cane toads are disgusting….
  11. You can get chocolate koalas!!!!


Well until next month’s edition of expat diary (when I will be making a big announcement) have a good November wherever you are in the world!




An expat review of life in Australia

Living in Australia – expat dreams versus expat reality

A round-up of 65 things I have learnt since moving to Australia

 Life in Brisbane Part 1

Expat diary – Life in Brisbane Part 2

 Life in Brisbane Part 3

Expat diary – Life in Mackay Part 1

Life in Mackay Part 2

Expat diary – Life in Mackay Part 3

Top 20 things to do in Queensland

6 common Australian myths debunked

5 reasons to visit Bowen

Where to find animals in their native habitat in Queensland

Rachel’s story – Moving to Australia

10 Australian movies to watch before you visit

A guide to visiting Uluru

25 books about Australian animals to share with children

Sharing stories about our expat life in Brisbane Part 4

Things I love about living in Australia

Things I don’t love about living in Australia

A guide to finding kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

20 things to do in South Bank Brisbane



  1. November 4, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    Glad you are enjoying Australia, I recommend heading down to Melbourne. It’s well worth a visit. If you do visit take a drive down the great ocean road.
    Sarah recently posted…Our Disney Aulani Food GuideMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      November 5, 2017 / 4:55 am

      Definitely on our to visit list – hopefully in January!

  2. November 7, 2017 / 2:17 am

    That schnitzel looks to die for! All of the animals are so cute, I’ve loved following your instagram lately 🙂 it’s beautiful.

    • TracyJane
      November 8, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Thank-you Scarlett!

  3. November 7, 2017 / 10:09 pm

    I’ve got friends that live there and I always say we should visit but never do, it always seems to loose out to Sydney or Brisbane!

    • TracyJane
      November 8, 2017 / 9:11 am

      It is worth visiting as there are some lovely things to see up here!

  4. November 8, 2017 / 10:19 am

    Nice post. I’ve been to Australia once. We saw ehidna in wild nature. I said – ” we’ve flown 12 000 km to see this hedgehog” I’d love to visit Aussie again. The steaks there are the best.

  5. November 8, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    Love all of the animals! Being a school teacher, your comment about rounding up the kangaroos made me laugh. I can’t imagine having that problem!

    • TracyJane
      November 14, 2017 / 9:38 am

      I have just heard about the chocolate ones!

  6. November 9, 2017 / 10:25 pm

    You guys had some awesome wildlife experiences as you only can in Australia – I really miss seeing so many animals in close proximity to humans. Missing Australia every day! Great to hear you are having a blast!
    Travel Lexx recently posted…19 Top Things to Do in ChicagoMy Profile

    • TracyJane
      November 14, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Really having an amazing time!

  7. November 10, 2017 / 4:05 am

    Wow! You have already had so many adventures in Australia. Glad you are enjoying it!

  8. November 12, 2017 / 12:11 am

    I’ve always wanted to see a Bilby and never been to McKay so now have the ultimate reason to make sure I get there. Great post, thanks for the introducing me to a great part of our country I definitely must see.

  9. November 15, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    We’re going to Australia for the FIRST time next year for our honeymoon and I can’t wait!!! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday – hope to see you again this weekend! xo

    • TracyJane
      November 25, 2017 / 3:53 am

      Enjoy! Where are you heading in Australia Kana?

  10. November 15, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    Very cool. I love Australia and will be moving back there in a few years. Hubby hails from Sydney. I would LOVE to see a Bilby!! They are so cute. Hope to see you at Fly Away Friday this week!

  11. November 25, 2017 / 11:33 pm

    Aw I totally love these posts Tracy – keep em’ coming won’t you! I knew Oz was a total culture shock but I still ove hearing about it all. And really!? You’re better with snakes than spiders!? WHats that all about!? G’day mate!

    • TracyJane
      November 26, 2017 / 1:09 am

      lol thanks Alex! Just writing this months this morning!

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