Living in Mackay – Expat Diary Month Two

Living in Mackay – Expat Diary Month Two
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Expat Diary is my monthly round-up all about our expat life in Mackay Queensland. If you are considering a move to Mackay or Queensland or Australia in general I hope my experiences will give you some idea of life Down Under!



A few Australian animals have featured in our lives over the past month and have to be included in my expat diary for October 2018.

How to see amazing Australian animals in Queensland


We got up early and drove 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! Note – we have since been 4 times! It is awesome!!

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 school caretaker in his ute rounding up kangaroos to get them off the school grounds. Priceless!

A guide to the best time to see Cape Hillsborough kangaroos


I f you read my expat diary for last month you will know that we had a great day out at Eungella National Park looking for the platypus. Well since then 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 (LINK BELOW)

expat diary

What you need to know about finding platypus in Eungella National Park


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!


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 (], 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!

  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!!!!

Living in Mackay - Expat Diary - Month Two

65 Fun Things to Know Before Moving to Australia - You'll Be Amazed!
30 things I do after living in Queensland for a year!


101 Things to Know When Visiting Australia

Top tips to support children emigrating to Australia

15 photographs that will inspire you to visit Queensland



Author: Tracy

Tracy has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information.

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  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.

    • 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.

  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!

  6. November 9, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    You got to see a bilby! They are so cute. Wait til Easter when you can have a chocolate one, LOL! So pleased it was just a tree snake and your dogs were ok.

    • TracyJane
      November 14, 2017 / 9:38 am

      I have just heard about the chocolate ones!

  7. 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.

  8. TracyJane
    November 14, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Really having an amazing time!

  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!