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Travel guides covering numerous destinations across the globe with a focus on: must-visit cities, places of historical and culture significance including Unesco World Heritage Sites, and opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitats.

Read up-to-date tips and advice for expats based on my own experiences of expat life including our recent move to Australia.

 

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Things to do in Mackay Queensland

Things to do in Mackay Queensland

This is part one of my series “Things to do in Mackay Queensland.” After relocating to Mackay from the UK and knowing nothing at all about the Mackay Region prior to the move I have enjoyed exploring the area and writing about all the great things to do in Mackay.

I am hoping this will be helpful for anyone considering a visit to the region. Whether you are a backpacker or a grey nomad there is something to appeal to all!


WHERE IS MACKAY?


First off though…do you know where Mackay is located in Australia?

To be honest we had no idea at all until I saw a job in Mackay applied. Mackay is located 10 hours drive north of Brisbane in Queensland Australia. It has a population of approximately 117,ooo people.  Sugar cane farming is predominant in the area.

READ MORE
15 photographs that will inspire you to visit Queensland

THINGS TO DO IN MACKAY AND SURROUNDS


This is a list of some of the great things to do in Mackay and surrounding area. I would highly recommend heading to Cape Hillsborough to see the kangaroos on the beach at dawn. Eungella National Park is the place to visit to see platypus in their natural habitat.

  • Mackay harbour

  • Dolphin Heads

  • The beaches (so many beaches!)

  • Slade Point (to see whales during the annual migration)

  • Eungella National Park (to see platypus!)

platypus

READ MORE
What you need to know about finding platypus in Eungella National Park
  • Finch Hatton Gorge (a nice hike plus swimming holes)

  • Airlie Beach

  • Whitehaven Beach/The Whitsundays

 

READ MORE
Visiting Whitehaven Beach at the Whitsundays in Queensland
  • Cape Hillsborough – to see kangaroos at dawn.

READ MORE
A guide to the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

WHERE TO EAT IN MACKAY


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


PLACES TO STAY IN MACKAY AND SURROUNDS


MACKAY – LANAI APARTMENTS

Although we were housesitting in Mackay we spent a week at the Lanai Apartments before the sit. The apartments are not cheap but they are central and the staff were excellent. Well equipped apartments and good facilities make these a sure bet for a stay in Mackay.

CLICK THE LINK TO BOOK A STAY AT LANAI APARTMENTS

AIRLIE BEACH – BUSH VILLAGE BUDGET CABINS

We spent one night in Airlie Beach  prior to heading over to Whitehaven Beach for the day. These cabins are great and we will definitely stay there again – they have hammocks! They are well equipped and we found them very comfortable. The site is close to the centre of Airlie – a 5 minute drive away – and the price was good.

CLICK THE LINK TO BOOK A STAY AT BUSH VILLAGE BUDGET CABINS

 

PIN FOR LATER – THINGS TO DO IN MACKAY

things to do in Mackay queensland


YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN THESE POSTS ABOUT AUSTRALIA AND EXPAT LIFE


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

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


JOIN MY NEW FACEBOOK GROUP FOR ALL MY EXPAT TIPS AND  INFO ABOUT  LIFE IN AUSTRALIA FACEBOOK LINK




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32 Comments

    • September 17, 2017 / 9:58 am

      We can’t wait to drive up to Cairns and Port Douglas – soon hopefully!

  1. Jenn | By Land and Sea
    September 15, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    It’s sounds like you’ve been having a great time in Mackay so far! I’m all for pedicures on the spot, but snakes…. not so much!

    • September 17, 2017 / 9:58 am

      I know! Snakes seem to be featuring quite a lot at the moment!

  2. September 15, 2017 / 6:48 pm

    Tracy, this is all so awesome! Those beaches are gorgeous. I will like to see platypus. I think you are the first person I hear is having problems with an automatic car (it is usually the reverse). I can tell you we rented a manual in Iceland since my husband told me he knew how to drive it. Well, it was kind of a mess because he couldn’t remember some things. #feetdotravel

    • September 17, 2017 / 9:57 am

      I am now totally converted to an automatic!! It is so easy – just took a few hours to stop trying to change gear!

  3. Isobel Malloy
    September 15, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    This is fantastic reading and so informative. A must for all travellers in your new location. I look forward to reading your next blog. Keep up the good work.

    • September 17, 2017 / 9:56 am

      Thanks Isobel 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it and it is useful 🙂

  4. September 16, 2017 / 1:55 am

    This is fabulous! Cannot believe you get to spend your time here. Thanks for sharing the great places you’ve discovered!

  5. Linda Tallett
    September 16, 2017 / 7:10 am

    Brilliant review Tracy, loving learning all about Mackay! It certainly looks like a good start to your expat adventure!

  6. September 17, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    Mackay is a great spot on the Qld coast for you to explore from. You’re going to love Cairns and Port Douglas. See if you can get to Double Island off the coast between Port Douglas and Cairns. It was the first glamping accommodationin in Aus back in the day and is still pretty cool now. Looking forward to your foodie post on Mackay’s restaurants. I’m loving your Aussie posts. “I still call Australia home!” BTW, the 50c piece is huge, but what about it’s shape. LOL! 😀
    Shona @ paraphernalia.co recently posted…Fine Dining For Less #4 – Dubai!My Profile

  7. September 19, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    I can’t believe all the dead kangaroos, that really surprised me! I am still envious of your platypus sighting, and hope to meet one eventually. Good luck with the job, I think it’s going to be a beautiful stay. 🙂
    Scarlett Begonias recently posted…Day trip: Cape Cove BeachMy Profile

  8. Sian Mansey
    September 20, 2017 / 9:18 pm

    It all looks absolutely fab, I don’t mind snakes but not keen on the sand flies! Can’t wait to have a trip out there someday. Keeps the posts coming they are a great read and very informative. The pictures are awesome ?

    • September 24, 2017 / 7:06 am

      Thanks Sian – you do have tp be careful with the snakes as there are a lot of highly venemous ones!

  9. September 22, 2017 / 7:24 am

    Haha, yes you are certainly settling into Aussie life – and if you think it’s hot now in QLD, wait until summer! Strewth, you will be melting like an ice-cream, it’s easy to see why people in North Queensland don’t own a coat or sometimes even a jumper! Looking forward to reading more about your tales from Down Under #feetdotravel

    • September 24, 2017 / 7:04 am

      I know – its going to be hot hot hot – I am already finding cropped trousers even too warm!!

  10. Jenny Guest
    September 23, 2017 / 8:16 am

    FI love reading your blog! Things in feet though?? I was interested to hear about the ten week terms in school – that would be a massive adjustment! So Woolies still going strong? Is it the same? Netflix is good!
    The place looks amazing – such beautiful beaches and the weather looks good. I’d like to see what the towns and houses are like? Keep up the posts – they make even me want to travel and I’m a real homebody! Thank you ?

    • September 24, 2017 / 7:03 am

      No Woolworths abroad is not the same as the one that used to be in the UK – it only sells food! More coming next month about the houses – particularly the traditional Queenslander houses! They are lovely!

  11. September 24, 2017 / 1:34 am

    You have summed it up excellent! I remember my first 15 kangaroos I saw when first coming to Australia were all dead on the side of the road.. I love the Mackay area and this makes me coming up for a visit! Watch out for the hurricane season coming in though ha!

  12. October 2, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Mackay is indeed a revelation. I too had not heard of the place, but it looks so pristine and untouched. A great getaway in the lap of nature.

    • Tracy
      Author
      October 7, 2017 / 2:29 am

      Thanks Sandy!

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HI THIS IS ME – TRACY

Hello from Australia

Traveller, teacher, train lover, and milkshake connoisseur.Now living and working in my 7th country and experiencing life in Queensland, Australia.

I write to inspire others whatever their age to explore the world - near and far!

I have travelled for over 30 years including solo in my 20's , as a single parent in my 30's and now in my 40's and beyond with my husband. House sitter and aspiring grey nomad a life of location independence is my goal.

Over 40 years ago I dreamt of a life well travelled and that is the life I live!

Dream it, plan it, do it!!

Carpe Diem

Tracy

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“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
-- Michael Palin