Mackay & The WhiTsundays
Bag a Bargain at Mackay Region Markets page 10
OUR â€™S N O I G RE HOT SPOTS
Best spots to camp page 16
explore Beauty of national Parks page 20
hike, Bike or Walk in the Region
cOasTaL BLiss aT The nORTheRn Beaches
WHAT’S INSIDE P3............Welcome from Mackay Tourism P4 ...............History and heritage of region P5 ......................................................Markets P6-7................................................Shopping P8-9....................................Food and drinks P10-11..............Caravanning and camping P12-13 ..................................Event calendar P15 ..................................Northern beaches P16-17 ...................................National parks P18-19.................................................Fishing P20-21 ........Hiking, tracks and trails, bike rides P22 ...Isaac region and wetland weekend P23 ..................................Great Barrier Reef
Discover what the amazing Mackay region has to offer NESLTED in the heart of vast cane plantations, Mackay has always been the perfect place for visitors and locals to enjoy all that Central Queensland has to offer. With the wet tropics to the north, and the metropolitan hub of Brisbane to the south, Mackay is a prosperous regional hub with connections to major tourism hot spots in the region. Mackay and the surrounding regions are a nature lover’s paradise and guests can explore Australia’s longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest, with more than 800 plant species, 230 bird species and plenty of walking tracks at Eungella National Park. Keen beach goers can frolic in clear turquoise water at one of the 31 uncrowded beaches in the region or take a trip to one of the famous Whitsunday islands and resorts.
If nature isn’t really your thing, head to the Mackay CBD where you can see impressive architecture from the 1920s and 30s restored in the art deco style, while you browse a range of fashion and home boutiques or enjoy a meal with a local chef. Visitors can also follow the Bluewater trail to see the delights of the Pioneer River, one of Queensland’s few blue rivers that flows 120km through the Mackay CBD. Inside this guide you will find the best food experiences on offer, shopping and markets, camping, hiking and biking guides, information on the Great Barrier Reef, an insight into the region’s historic CBD buildings, an events guide, the beauty of the Northern Beaches, the best spots to reel in a fish. One thing is for sure, there is plenty to discover in Mackay.
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Get back to nature in our beautiful region WELCOME TO MACKAY WELCOME to the Mackay region – a thriving region rich in untouched nature and wildlife experiences and a piece of paradise reserved just for you. Marvel at wallabies on the beach, watch platypus play in pristine streams, hook the fish of a lifetime or take advantage of our tropical climate and proximity to the Whitsundays. Journey north to Cape Hillsborough, a spectacular rainforest and home to Sunrise Wallaby Tours, the only guaranteed wallaby and kangaroo beach experience in the world. Follow the fertile soils of the Pioneer Valley, through canefields, to Eungella National Park. As Australia’s largest sub-tropical rainforest, explore kilometres of walking tracks, cool off in the waterfalls of Finch Hatton Gorge, or spot the curious platypus at Broken River. Continue west for a taste of Australia’s colonial past, and prosperous future at the Isaac Region. Or travel south for sweet
surprises in Sarina, and the untouched, rugged beauty of the Isaac Coast. Our region is also blessed with 31 pristine beaches, dozens of tropical islands, and a relatively unexplored, yet breathtakingly spectacular part of the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re really looking to get hooked on Mackay – take advantage of our world-class fishing. Within 45 minutes of Mackay, anglers have access to multiple barramundi stocked impoundments, exciting offshore fishing, and one of Queensland’s only net free zones. Mackay is a modern city, home to art-deco architecture, outstanding shopping and accommodation, and delicious local flavours rivalling that of the capital cities. So choose the Mackay region for your next holiday. Nature is calling you and it’s time to reconnect. — Tas Webber, Mackay Tourism general manager
JUMP ON IN: Mackay Tourism general manager Tas Webber speaks about group tours to view the kangaroos and wallabies at Cape Hillsborough. PHOTO: STUART QUINN
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Discover the history of Mackay’s beautiful city heart buildings CBD WALKING TOURS IN 1860, John McCrossin, an enterprising Irishman, selected John Mackay, a 20-year-old Scotsman, to lead an expedition to seek pastoral opportunities. He came across lush coastal ranges and fertile plains, now known as the Pioneer Valley. In later years, Governor Bowen ordered the surveyor general to rename the township Mackay, in honour of John Mackay.
Despite being settled in 1862, many of Mackay’s earliest buildings were destroyed by a cyclone in 1918. Many of the re-built structures were from the 1920 to 1940 era, making the style of Mackay’s Central Business District unique for a Queensland city. The prosperity and pioneering heritage of Mackay is reflected within the CBD, a collection of beautifully preserved buildings and art, which give an insight into the region’s turbulent past. Public art installations can be found along the Bluewater Trail, tributes to Mackay’s historical and ecological diversity. Page 4
Unlocking the key to Mackay’s past can be achieved by visiting any number of historical establishments, from browsing the informative Mackay Museum to walking past old gravestones at the Mackay Cemetery.
CLAIM TO FAME
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE HISTORY OF MACKAY THROUGH STORYTELLING AND HUMOUR.
The acclaimed opera singer Dame Nellie Melba spent the first year of her married life in a small house in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, in Marian. Join the Mackay Tourism volunteer ambassadors on this guided walking tour of Mackay city centre’s heritage and art deco buildings. Immerse yourself in the history of Mackay through storytelling and humour. This event takes place every Wednesday and starts at Paxton’s warehouse, corner of River and Carlyle Streets. The walk takes approximately 90 minutes and finishes with complementary tea and coffee. Bookings are not required, just turn up at 8.45am for a 9am start.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Old Town Hall, Mackay; Old Pioneer Shire Council building, Mackay; Masonic Lodge, Mackay; Australian Hotel, Mackay; Ambassador Hotel, Mackay PHOTOS: MACKAY TOURISM
Discover homegrown, handmade products SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE THERE are many markets in the Mackay region offering a variety of products and experiences.
GREATER WHITSUNDAY FARMERS’ MARKET
WHEN: Wednesdays, 7-11am WHERE: Bluewater Quay, River St. This is a local farmers’ market, with fresh produce grown in the region and other foods either caught locally or made with local ingredients, along with live music. Free admission. Everyone is welcome.
MACKAY SHOWGROUNDS MARKETS
WHEN: Saturdays, 6-10am WHERE: Showgrounds, Milton St, South Mackay. This is one of the bigger weekly markets with
stalls offering craft, potted plants, seedlings and herbs, local produce such as fruit and vegetables, and seafood. Most of the stallholders are local to the region. Admission to the market is free.
WHEN: Every month on the second Sunday of the month, from 7.30am WHERE: Mount Pleasant Shopping Centre carpark, Mackay. A variety of stalls, food and drink vendors, entertainment for children such as electric go-carts and jumping castles, and other entertainment.
PAXTON’S NIGHT MARKETS
WHEN: The second Friday of every month, 5-8pm
Sue and Simon Mattsson selling sunflowers at the markets on Bluewater Quay. PHOTO: STUART QUINN WHERE: Paxton’s Warehouse, River St, Mackay. The night markets feature about 40 stalls run by local stallholders involving artists, designers, crafters, food specialists, makers, bakers, vintage sellers, tea-makers and much more. Entry to the markets is free. Hot food is available along with great entertainment. Paxton’s Night Markets have a strong local following as they have been operating for about 30 years. Many visitors even plan trips into Mackay from outlying areas to come along and grab a bargain. Anywhere from 500-1200 people go to the markets each time.
SARINA SHOWGROUND MARKETS
WHEN: Last Sunday of every month, 7.30am-noon WHERE: Sarina Showgrounds, Bruce Highway. This is one of the biggest regular markets in Mackay featuring up to 200 stalls including craft, plants, clothing, toys, shoes and more, along with a sugar canteen and other food and drink stalls. A jumping castle and train rides are available for children as well as live music for entertainment. Admission is free. It is a great opportunity for community buyers and sellers to come together.
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Discover boutiques and shop the centres SHOP UNTIL YOU DROP FROM the city heart to major complexes, there are plenty of places to shop until you drop in the Mackay region. For those who prefer strolling through city streets discovering unique wares over the hustle and bustle of a shopping centre, there are an abundance of local boutiques in the Mackay CBD. In Wood, Gregory, Sydney, Brisbane and Victoria Streets and beyond you will find everything from fashion to homewares.
IN STYLE: Lucinda Lamprecht at ID Dezine fashion boutique, Mackay.
PHOTO: STUART QUINN
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Saige & Sohl Kaytown Shoes Jeremiah Bullfrogs Dames & Dandies M’Lady’s Shoes Ragafair Big on Shoes Urban Wave I.D. dezine
■ Man About Menswear ■ I.D. dezine ■ Urban Wave
JEWELLERY, HOMEWARES AND CHILDREN
■ House of Caicos ■ Gypsy and the Bowerbird ■ Woodchook Gallery ■ Fleabags & Co ■ Deja-Vu Homewares ■ Tick Tock Two ■ Let the Children Play ■ The Lilac House ■ Inner Labyrinth ■ Philip’s Jewellery ■ The Crystal Kingdom Mackay’s two major shopping centres are Caneland Central and Mt Pleasant Centre.
CANELAND RETAIL STORES
Adairs, Ally Fashion, Angus and Coote, Australia Post, Australian Geographic, Autograph, Bargain Point, Be Me, Bed Bath
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Katie Frederickson, from Big on Shoes, and Ally Blines, owner of Let the Children Play toyshop in the Mackay CBD.
N Table, Best and Less, Big W, Bras ‘N Things, City Beach, City Chic, Colette, Case King, Connor, Cosmetics Plus, Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Dezire Intimates, Dotti, Dusk, EB Games, Factorie, Famous Footwear, Forever New, Fuse Silver, Garrick’s Camera House, Goldmark, Greg Neil and Son’s, Harris Scarfe, Imperial Clothing, Jacqui E, Jay Jays, JB Hi Fi, Jeanswest, Johnny Bigg, Just Jeans, Kathmandu, Katies, Kikki K, King of Knives, Lorna Jane, Lovisa, Lowes, Mathers, Michael Hill, Millers, Myer, Noni B, Novo, Pandora, Peter Alexander, Pillowtalk, Portmans, Priceline, Prouds, QBD Bookstore, RM Williams, Riot Art and Craft, Rivers, Robin’s Kitchen, Rockmans, Rockwear, Sanity, Secrets Shhh, Shaver Shop, Silver Shop, Smiggle, Smokemart and Giftbox, Spendless Shoes, Sportsgirl, Strandbags, Suna Shoes, Sunglass Hut, Supre, Surf Dive N Ski,
Sussan, Suzanne Grae, Taking Shape, Target, Tarocash, Temt, The Body Shop, The Athlete’s Foot, The Reject Shop, Tree of Life, Typo, Universal Store, Valley Girl, Wallace Bishop, Williams, Wittner, YD and Zing Pop Culture.
MT PLEASANT RETAIL STORES
Australia Post, Case Indulgence, EB Games, Best and Less, Goldmark, House, Kmart, Lowes, Millers, Miss Lynnie’s Decor and Gifts, Noni B, Prouds, PTC Mobile Phone Accessories, Rockmans, Sanity, Spend-Less Shoes, Surf Dive N Ski, Thrifties Value Variety, TSG, W.Lane and Zelows.
HAPPINESS IS NOT IN MONEY, BUT IN SHOPPING Greg Neill runs his jewellery shop at Caneland Central with his son Simon. PHOTO: EMMA MURRAY
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WE ARE HERE
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Cole les / Liquor / Butcher B / Newsagent / Brumby’s / Hairdresser / Medical Centre / Chemist / Florist / Tobacconist / Sushi & Noodles / Café / Pizza / Dentist / Nail Salon / Ice Cream / Coffee Shop
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FOOD AND DRINK
Let your senses indulge in a feast CHOICE ISN’T AN ISSUE FOR DINERS WITH a broad multicultural menu to choose from, Mackay diners are spoilt for choice. Everything from authentic Indian and Italian to the classic Aussie meat pie is available across the region’s restaurants and pubs.
SARINA SUGAR SHED
This award-winning experience is a feast for the senses. You can taste, touch, hear and see a miniature sugar mill and distillery in production. Learn how sugarcane is grown, harvested and eventually made into delicious liqueurs, rums, sauces and fairy floss – all of which you can sample.
THE OLD STATION TEAHOUSE
TOP TASTES: A cooking demonstration at the Sarina Sugar Shed.
PHOTO: STUART QUINN
Rich with history and set within the lush rainforest of Cape Hillsborough, the Old Station Teahouse, a 115-year-old former railway station, serves Devonshire Tea, homemade cakes, high tea and light lunch. At night, the teahouse is transformed into a gustation experience under the stars.
LUNCH WITH MILLION
The Mackay region is home to two of the most picturesque pubs in Australia. Whether it’s coastal vibes and views of the Coral Sea at Eimeo Pacific Hotel, or high up in the rainforest looking across the Pioneer Valley at the Eungella Chalet – there’s no better places to enjoy a meal.
CHURCH CAFÉ PINNACLE
This 1915 church-come-restaurant is home to Belissimo Italian cuisine. Handmade with the finest locally sourced produce, Church Cafe Pinnacle is a little taste of Italy, nestled within the beautiful Pioneer Valley.
PINNACLE FAMILY HOTEL
Experience a world-famous Pinnacle Pie, along with stellar views of the sugarcane fields, at the Pinnacle Family Hotel. It’s hard to go past their massive pies, topped with mashed peas, chips and gravy.
PLATYPUS LODGE RESTAURANT & CAFÉ
Miss India offers delicious mild mouth-watering ﬂavours or to give you a kick, spicy! Dine-in or Takeaway
Coastal Homewares, Gifts and Clothing
www.houseofcaicos.com.au 114 Victoria St, Mackay
Phone ahead & we will have a COFFEE waiting for you.
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Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm Sat 9am - 2pm
Open Mon to Sun 10:30am - 9pm Shop 8, The Gas Works Complex 137 Shakespeare Street, Mackay
• Home Decor, Furniture and Gifts • Barista Style Coffee • Custom Hampers & Gift Vouchers • In-House Interior Styling • Coastal Clothing, Accessories and Baby Gifts
FOOD AND DRINK
Steak, bacon, cheese pie with mushy peas, chips and gravy at the Pinnacle Hotel, and The Sarina Sugar Shed produced a once-off batch of their rum liqueur as part of their 10 year celebration.
Set alongside the picturesque Broken River, it is the ultimate rainforest alfresco dining experience. Enjoy a mouth-watering Yodel Burger with authentic Austrian yodelling, as well as the opportunity to spot local platypus.
9TH LANE GRIND
One of Mackay’s best kept secrets, set in a trendy, art-deco atmosphere, this cosy hub offers delicious coffee, breakfasts, lunches and an la carte menu.
On Mackay’s iconic Wood Street strip, The Dispensary is known not only for its wine cellar in excess of 5000 bottles, and cocktail menu, but ingenious gustation menu that would rival any large city dining experience
MACKAY MARINA DINING
Local favourites Latitude 21 at the Clarion Hotel, and Breakwater Bar & Restaurant offer delicious modern dining, including some of the finest local seafood. For something out of
the ordinary, try some Kakogori bubble tea from Kool Temptations.
Mackay’s own local drop, Goanna Brewery produces craft beer, cider, ale or ginger beer to suit any occasion. Experience what the locals rave about.
Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion, nothing says “I love you” more than a romantic meal at the Romeo and Juliet’s Restaurant at the Shakespeare Motel, or the Galleons Restaurant at the Ocean International.
EXPERIENCE WHAT THE LOCALS RAVE ABOUT Jason Bird, owner of The Paddock and Brew Company in Mackay’s CBD. PHOTO: LUKE MORTIMER
Pacific Sands is exclusively and ideally located right by the beach, river and parklands, yet being just 3 minutes from CBD cafés, dining and entertainment district. Amenities • Studios with kitchenette and fully self contained 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments
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Discover the natural beauty of our region BEST CAMPING SPOTS TO VISIT EUNGELLA NATIONAL PARK
HIGH above the surrounding plains, Eungella National Park is one of Queensland’s most ecologically diverse parks with 860 plant species and 20km of walking tracks to explore. With a wonderful variety of wildlife and the opportunity to see platypus in the wild, it’s worth staying a few days. Whether you are a first-time camper or completely self-sufficient, there are plenty of camping options including Fern Flat camping area and the Broken River Bush Camp.
Wallaby/Kangaroo Tour at Cape Hillsborough.
PHOTO: STUART QUINN
WHILE YOU’RE AWAY YOUR pEts cAn HOLIdAY At
HOW TO GET THERE: From Mackay, drive 80km west along the Mackay-Eungella Road to the Eungella township. Turn left at the Eungella-Dam Road for Eungella National Park.
CAPE HILLSBOROUGH NATIONAL PARK
WITH its rugged coastline surrounded by rocky pine-covered cliffs, and the resident kangaroos and wallabies that come to feed at sunrise, Cape Hillsborough is simply stunning. You can camp just metres from the beach at Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort. If you have your own kayak or paddleboard, try exploring some of the offshore islands. HOW TO GET THERE: From Mackay, travel north on the Bruce Highway for 20km and turn right at Seaforth Road. Travel a further 20km and turn right on Cape Hillsborough Road. Continue on that road to Cape Hillsborough National Park.
STAY CEnTRAL TOURIST PARK AT
HOmEbUsH bOARdIng KEnnELs EnnELs & cAttERY cAttER
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A C C O M M O D AT I O n
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“Your Home Away From Home”
Frosty morning in the Mackay region. Craig Martin of Torquay, Victoria, camped overnight at Crediton Hall. The temperature got down to -3 degrees overnight. ABOVE RIGHT: Keswick Island. PHOTOS: STUART QUINN/EVA BROWNE-PATERSON
CAPE PALMERSTON NATIONAL PARK
CAPE Palmerston National Park on the Isaac Coast covers 7200 hectares and features sandy dunes, unspoilt beaches and rocky headlands. Nature lovers can enjoy breathtaking views towards the Northumberland Islands or try fishing or crabbing. Self-sufficient campers can set up at Windmill Bay, Cape Creek or sleep under the stars right on the beach. Camping fees apply. HOW TO GET THERE: You need a 4WD vehicle to visit Cape Palmerston National Park. It is 115km south-east of Mackay. Turn off the Bruce Highway at Ilbilbie and drive east towards Greenhill. Before Greenhill, turn left onto Cape Palmerston Road.
IT’S a little slice of island paradise that you won’t have to share with anyone else. Pitch a tent or indulge with the convenience of “glamping” where you can enjoy the outdoors with all the creature comforts. Hire a golf cart and explore the island, see the bees and butterflies, enjoy magnificent views of nearby islands, go snorkelling, kayaking, diving, fishing or just relax at Basil Bay. HOW TO GET THERE: Take a short but spectacular flight with Regional Air from Mackay. You can even visit Keswick Island in your own boat, if weather permits.
IT’S A LITTLE SLICE OF ISLAND PARADISE THAT YOU WON’T HAVE TO SHARE WITH ANYONE ELSE. Mackay Instagrammers captured the beauty of Keswick Island during their latest Instameet. PHOTO: CHERYL EAGERS
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TO PEAK DOWNS HWY
Discover what’s on offer in the north RELAX BY THE BEACH
DID YOU KNOW?
Black’s Beach is the longest beach in the Mackay region, its golden sand stretching 6km in length. Eimeo Beach, (pronounced I-me-o), is a popular retreat for locals. Nestled in Sunset Bay, the beach is seasonally patrolled by volunteer lifesavers. A must-see is 80-year old Mango Avenue. This heritage-listed attraction stretches between Whittles Lane and Heidke Street, forming a shaded canopy above the
streetscape. Bucasia Beach is an ideal spot for a picnic, or game of beach cricket. Seaview Park on the Bucasia Esplanade provides public facilities for a memorable day at the beach, including a barbecue, shower, toilets, picnic tables and children’s playground. View incredible scenery toward Cape Hillsborough from the sparkling water of Shoal Point. The shallow water and nearby islands make it the perfect place to launch a small boat and enjoy a stellar day on the water. There are a number of shopping centres in the Northern Beaches or visit one of the many pubs, restaurants or cafes in this area. With a host of beachside accommodation available, the beach is only a few steps away. Most offer spacious, self-contained accommodation perched near the ocean, with barbecue areas, pools and private sun lounges for guests to enjoy.
To escape the afternoon heat, grab a drink and sit under the shade overlooking the beach at the Eimeo Pacific Hotel. PHOTO: JARRED SFERRUZZI
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IF SUN, sand and sensational ocean views are what you crave in a holiday, Mackay’s Northern Beaches offer the ambience of a tropical retreat while only being 20 minutes from Mackay’s CBD. The area is a luxurious haven for that special summer adventure, tropical winter retreat, or private romantic celebration.
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Explore region’s national parks FROM COAST TO RAINFOREST EUNGELLA NATIONAL PARK
THIS mist-shrouded national park is made up of lush, green vegetation, unique and rare wildlife, and picturesque winding roads with magnificent views of the Pioneer Valley below. Eungella National Park has more than 20 kilometres of walking tracks varying from easy, 30-minute walks to the longer multi-day treks like the Mackay Highlands Great Walk. Amazing freshwater gorges can also be found in the area, like the popular Finch Hatton Gorge. FUN FACT: Eungella National Park is touted as the best and most reliable place in the world to spot platypus in the wild.
Finch Hatton Gorge.
PHOTO: MACKAY TOURISM
HOMEVALE NATIONAL PARK
EXPLORE Homevale National Park by vehicle where you can link up with the Eungella and
Mackay Highlands drive which extends from Pine Grove (Eungella National Park) to Mount Britton (Homevale National Park). These gravel tracks will give you a different view of the rainforest and is home to more than 100 bird species. There are a series of short walks you can do in this area. TIP: Step back in time at Mt Britton. Isaac Regional Council maintains markers on the original streets and displays historical photographs to give visitors a glimpse of the town in the 1880s.
CAPE PALMERSTON NATIONAL PARK
BOASTING windswept headlands, rainforest, swamps and sand dunes that meet stunning blue water. The three camp sites can only be reached by 4WD and permits are required. Visitors can camp up to 22 nights at a time at Windmill
• Worlds Best location to see Platypus in the wild
• Restaurant • Desserts & Snacks All Day • Cold Beer • Public & Lounge Bars • Accommodation • Wedding & Function Facilities • 5km from Platypus Viewing
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Telena Lambert looks over the edge at Seven Mile Falls during a bushwalk. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
Bay, Cape Creek and Clark Bay. Fishing and crabbing are popular activities at Cape Palmerston.
FAMOUS for its beautiful sunrises and the wallabies and kangaroos that greet visitors on the beach each morning. The national park is a 45-minute drive north of Mackay, with accommodation available at the Cape Hillsborough National Tourist Park. Easily accessible bushwalks feature spectacular views and scenery, where you can see marine life, including turtles, from the look-out. TIP: The Old Station Tea House located nearby offers high tea and delicious homemade food for hungry travellers.
EASILY ACCESSIBLE BUSHWALKS FEATURE SPECTACULAR VIEWS AND SCENERY
Visitors enjoy the view.
PHOTO: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND
Experience a restful change in natural, lowland, riverine rainforest. Finch Hatton Gorge Cabins is in a secluded valley off Pioneer Valley, located just 70km west of Mackay. • Self-contained holiday cabins • Fully air conditioned • Cooking facilities • Covered BBQ area • River Rock Café for delicious meals, coffees and sweet treats
The perfect place to get away from it all.
Finch Hatton Gorge Cabins Ph. 07 4958 3281
Gorge Road, Finch Hatton, Qld www.ﬁnchhattongorgecabins.com.au
CAPE HILLSBOROUGH NATIONAL PARK
Throw in a line along the Mackay coast TOP SPOTS TO REEL IN A BEAUTY
AFC angler Dean Silvester with a barramundi at Kinchant Dam.
PHOTO: MACKAY TOURISM
NESTLED beautifully behind the protected waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday islands, the Mackay region has one of the most unique fisheries in Australia. The saltwater fishing is a harmonious blend of the northern tropical reef species and the southern demersal species. Within 45 minutes you can fish from a tropical reef and then be in a rainforest stream, a bluewater river, a sandy estuary or an inland dam. Did you know: ■ The Mackay Region has the best whiting available in Queensland. Try prawns or yabbies as bait along Pioneer River at night. ■ Mackay is the best location on the east coast to catch Spanish mackerel, best between July and November. ■ There are four dams to fish. . ■ There are myriad land-based fishing locations in and around Mackay.
Mackay has several fishing clubs and organisations that all run competitions throughout the year. Including: ■ May: World Sooty Grunter Championships ■ May: Mackay Expo ■ July: Mackay Spanish Mackeral Shootout ■ October: Kids Fishing Day ■ October: Calen Fishing Classic ■ October: Australian Fishing Championship starts in Mackay
WHERE TO FISH
MACKAY AND NORTHERN BEACHES ■ Best spots: Mackay city’s Pioneer River, Mackay Marina and breakwater, Northern Beaches, Gooseponds in North Mackay or the Lagoons near the Botanical Gardens ■ Boat ramps: River Street, Mackay Marina, McCready’s Creek, Eimeo, Eimeo Creek at
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Address: Phone: Email: Office Hours:
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Mackay Recreational Fishers Alliance secretary Alison Jones casts a line at McCready’s Creek boat ramp, Andergrove. ABOVE RIGHT: Heath Jensen, 5, caught this fish at Cape Palmerston. PHOTO: ZIZI AVERILL/CONTRIBUTED
Bucasia, Dunnrock ■ Target species: Barramundi, flathead, bream, blue salmon, king/threadfin salmon, mangrove jack, trevally, whiting, fingermark, queenfish, black jew, barracuda, cod CAPE HILLSBOROUGH AND HIBISCUS COAST ■ Best spots: Seaforth, Cape Hillsborough, Newry Island, Midge Point ■ Boat ramps: Constant Creek, Cape Hillsborough Beach Access, Victor Creek at Seaforth, Murray Creek, St Helens Beach, Laguna Quays ■ Target species: Barramundi, flathead, bream, blue salmon, king/threadfin salmon, mangrove jack, trevally, whiting, mackerel, coral trout, fingermark, sweet lip, tuna, nannygai, red emperor, red throat, cobia, queenfish SARINA AND ISAAC COAST ■ Best spots: Offshore islands and reefs,
THE MACKAY REGION HAS ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE FISHERIES IN AUSTRALIA
Sarina, Cape Palmerston, Clairview and Carmila Beaches ■ Boat ramps: Hay Point, Grasstree Beach, Campwin Beach, Perpetua Point, Sunset Drive, Freshwater Point, Rocky Dam Creek, Carmila Beach, Clairview Beach, Waverley Creek ■ Target species: Barramundi, flathead, bream, blue salmon, king/threadfin salmon, mangrove jack, trevally, whiting, mackerel, coral trout, fingermark, sweet lip, tuna, snapper, nannygai, red emperor, red throat, cobia, queenfish FRESHWATER DAMS AND RIVERS ■ Best spots: Kinchant, Eungella, Teemburra, Theresa Creek Dam, Bundoora Dam and Lake Elphinstone. ■ Boat ramps: All the above locations have boat ramps ■ Target species: Barramundi, sooty grunter, saratoga, yellowbelly, jungle perch
Fish and explore the Mackay region’s picturesque waterways and dams whilst on board a 460 Renegade. Fish the waters for all varieties of species, guided by a skipper with over 30 years experience.
Liana Eales fishing.
PHOTO: JAMIE NEWBORN
GREAT BARRIER REEF ADVENTURES
• All Tackle and Equipment Supplied • Bait, Ice and Water Supplied • Full or Half Day Trips • Seaforth, Mackay Coastal Waters, Pioneer River, Kinchant Dam plus more
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HIKES AND BIKES
NATURAL ESCAPE: The local beauty of Eungella Dam.
Family fun and fitness go hand-in-hand here WALKS AND BIKE RIDES IN THE MACKAY REGION IF GETTING active and exploring the great outdoors is important to your family, then Mackay is the region for you. With hundreds of kilometres of walking and bike tracks from bush to the beaches and everything in between, there’s much to discover.
and plant habitats. Fifteen minutes north of the CBD on Keelys Rd, the Kommo Toera Trail is an easy 1km walk suitable for most families. Just be sure to pack insect repellent and watch out for snakes. ■ Rating: Very easy ■ Discover: Storm debris embedded among the tree tops, as a result of past cyclones.
There’s no better way to explore Mackay than walking or biking the Bluewater Trail. Incorporating picturesque sites including the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, Cathy Freeman Walk, Bluewater Lagoon and Sandfly Creek Reserve – this is the perfect introduction to the city sights. Walk a section in an hour, or spend a day on the 20km loop – the choice is up to you. ■ Rating: Very easy ■ Discover: Between October and April, Sandfly Creek Reserve hosts 20,000 migratory shorebirds.
Four stunning bushwalks are available at Cape Hillsborough, sure to suit any family. Diversity Boardwalk (1.2km) and the Beachcomber Cove Track (2.2km) showcase spectacular plants and wildlife. Yuibera Plant Trail (1.2km) provides a glimpse into the Yuibera peoples traditional use of plants. Andrews Point Track (5.2km) rewards with breathtaking views. ■ Rating: Very easy to hard ■ Discover: On low tide walk over to Wedge Island and check out the stunning rock pools.
KOMMO TOERA TRAIL
FINCH HATTON GORGE
This magnificent walking track allows you to meander under the shade of towering melaleuca trees, to observe a distinctly unique wetland ecosystem diverse in wildlife
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. Many walking tracks weave through the
sub-tropical rainforest. Most popular is the journey to Araluen Falls (2.8km) and Wheel of Fire Cascades (4.2km). Two beautiful waterfalls with large rock pools that are ideal for swimming. ■ Rating: Moderate to hard ■ Discover: Unusual flora and fauna, such as the rare Eungella honeyeater.
PEAK RANGE NATIONAL PARK
Peak is also worth exploring. ■ Rating: Moderate to hard ■ Discover: Surrounded by flat landscapes, these peaks offer incredible panoramic views.
WOLFGANG PEAK OFFERS 360-DEGREE VIEWS
Head west and explore a remote landscape of flat, dry scrubland interrupted by four prominent ancient volcanic peaks. At 572m, Wolfgang Peak offers 360-degree views and features an amazing cave system to escape the heat. Lord’s Table Mountain is a remarkable flat-topped plateau, supporting open eucalypt woodlands. Gemini
Home of the Mackay and District Mountain Bike Club, Rowallan Park has a number of trails to test your mountain biking skills on. The club has built 10km of expertly designed
HIKES AND BIKES
Hike or ride through the Eungella region.
single track on land leased from the Mackay Scouts Group, off Glendaragh Rd north of Mackay. The tracks cater to everyone from the novice to the experienced rider. To ride at the park you must be a member of Mountain Bike Australia. There is a fee of $2 per person per day. You will find a sign-in station on the road into Rowallan Park.
This mountain bike track winds through the Mia Mia State Forest. Turn off the Mackay-Eungella road at Pinnacle and head south-west through the forest via the 4WD route. There are a number of trails in this area from single tracks, rough double tracks and 4WD tracks. Mia Mia State Forest hosts an array of wildlife. Listen for skinks rustling in the undergrowth and the melody of bird calls.
Captains Crossing would suit intermediate to advanced riders.
THE DIGGINGS LOOP
To reach the Diggings mountain bike loop, head through the Pioneer Valley and up to Eungella via car. Turn off Eungella Dam Rd on to Diggings Rd where you can park your vehicle. Wind your way through the Crediton State Forest on the internal roads and fire breaks, unless otherwise signed. The Digging Loop would suit intermediate to advanced riders.
WIND YOUR WAY THROUGH THE CREDITON STATE FOREST ... There are tracks to suit all abilities.
PHOTO: STUART QUINN
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LANAI RIVERSIDE APARTMENTS
Wetlands event absolutely crab-ulous MATT’S BACK FOR SEA FOODIE FIESTA
READY TO COOK UP A STORM: Celebrity chef Matt Golinski.
A QUEENSLAND celebrity chef will serve up his so-fish-ticated passion for fresh seafood at St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend in June. Matt Golinski, who whisked his way around the Isaac’s premier nature adventure last year, is back with the Greater Whitsunday Food Network Farm to Plate celebrations. The 2019 GWFN Farm to Plate lunch and bus tour will showcase produce from St Lawrence and its surrounds, with a focus on fresh seafood from the Isaac coast including chilli mud crab, barramundi and prawns. Greater Whitsunday Food Network president Deb McLucas said Matt would be cooking up a storm at Isaac’s premier nature adventure at St Lawrence. “Foodies can join in a full-day food sensation experience starting in Mackay which will then make its way to the award-winning Sarina Sugar Shed,” Ms McLucas said. “Then our foodies can indulge in a seafood
St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend Join us as one of nature’s ﬁnest wetlands bursts into life!
www.isaac.qld.gov.au/wetlandsweekend Page 22
lunch cooked by our celebrity chef Matt as part of the St Lawrence Wetlands Weekend festival. “Visitors then can continue on to experience farm life in the Isaac, with local farm-gate stops and tastings.” The Greater Whitsunday Food Network Farm to Plate events are in their fifth year, with sponsorship and support from Reef Catchments through funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Program. The full-day food bus tour from Mackay to St Lawrence via the Sarina Sugar shed is $160. Attendees for the weekend festivities at the Wetlands Weekend can attend the lunch for $100. Camping and caravan facilities are available on-site or stay in style in a glamping tent. For more about the event, from June 7-9, visit www.isaac.qld.gov.au/wetlandsweekend.
Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef DISCOVER A NATURAL WONDER Situated at the southern entrance of the Whitsunday Passage is the beautiful Brampton Island which is designated national park. Embark on an island getaway to Brampton aboard your own boat. Just next door is Carlisle Island, a destination to discover magnificent melaleuca forests as well as a perfect place for wilderness seekers to pitch a tent, roll out the swag and camp under the stars. Head 60 kilometres north-east of Mackay to Scawfell Island to find pristine coral gardens. Further north in the Whitsundays, there are 74 islands, ranging between developed resort havens to untouched slices of natural paradise. If you’re venturing to the Whitsundays, walk along the world famous Whitehaven Beach or take a scenic flight over incredible natural wonder, the Heart Reef.
NATURAL WONDER: The Great Barrier Reef, off the Mackay coast.
PHOTO: MACKAY TOURISM
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STRETCHING from past the Torres Strait in the north to between Lady Elliot Island and Fraser Island in the south, the Great Barrier Reef is spectacular – and the Mackay region is at its heart. Beyond the rainforest and the cane paddocks of the Mackay region are the sparking blue waters of the Coral Sea and the natural wonders hidden below. The Great Barrier Reef, which comprises more than 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays, contains an abundance of marine life. Many of the picturesque tropical islands with their sun-soaked beaches of the GBR are at Mackay’s doorstep. One such tropical escape is Keswick Island, which offers more than 20 beautiful GBR dive sites. From Mackay, spend 15 minutes travelling by air or 45 minutes via boat to reach the island.
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