Our next stop was Mackay a short 47 kilometres south of our previous camp spot at Seaforth Campgrounds. Unfortunately there were no low cost camping options so a caravan park it was! We stayed at BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park for $40 a night. The kids made some great friends and enjoyed the water slide and mini putt-putt. What did we get up to? Mackay is a big city and has all the major shopping centres and industrial areas like any which makes it easy to get repairs done or hit up the Kmart to stock up on any supplies. But we didn’t only shop, we found plenty to do by venturing outside the city to explore.
This silo art is a gorgeous art piece and pairs well with the ocean as a backdrop. We enjoyed the walk along the beach and the magical sunset. The tide goes out early in the afternoon and goes out for up to 5 metres. You can walk right out to where the ocean was! We found lost crab-nets and an anchor. After the beach we hit up TheGrove BarandGrill for a cheeky drink! The kids loved the games room there!
Sarina Sugar Shed
The Sarina Sugar Shed is a 40 minute drive South of Mackay in the town of Sarina. Being surrounded by sugar cane fields for the last 3 months it felt right to learn and understand the history of sugar cane. Both Dan and I learnt so much and we really enjoyed the tasting of rum (yes rum) and the kids enjoyed the liquid that came from the sugar cane….. oh and the free fairy floss at the end…. the kids loved it. For our family it cost us $68. 2 adults and 2 children- Cayden was free being under 5.
Other points of interest in Sarina
– Grab a photo with the cane toad and eat lunch at the bakery.
- – Visit the beach- go for a swim and visit the Sarina Beach Lookout.
Eungella National Park
We took the 1.5 hour drive to the Eungella National Park west of Mackay. We hiked the two kilometre walking track at Finch Hatton Gorge and then cooled off in the Araluen Cascades. Keep an eye out for turtles and yabby’s in the bottom of the rock pools and don’t be scared to go swimming under the cascade. The water was very cold but well worth swim around under the cascade. If you are a keen hiker, there is another walk for a further two kilometres to the Wheel Of Fire. We didn’t go as our kids were having a day of ‘my legs hurt’.
Other points of interest in the area are
– Just shy of 20 kilometres further up the road is broken river. Here you can visit the platypus viewing platform. This river is famous for platypus spotting!!!
- – Finch Hatton Playground- a great playground to visit and conveniently it is situated next to the pub!!!
Morning, evening or night, the marina is a beautiful place for a stroll and a cup of coffee. We came down hear many times for different occasions while staying Mackay. We dropped a line from the boat ramp (caught nothing) and watched the 2020 AFL grand final at the tavern. It is set in a beautiful location and sets the vibe for a very relaxing evening.
As with many coastal cities and towns along the Queensland coast, Mackay too has a lagoon which is free to use. The lagoon offers lots of shade and plenty of swimming space to relax and not be jumped on by other swimmers. The lagoon has lifeguards, change rooms and a cafe nearby.
Mackay and it’s surrounding towns are wonderful to explore. One day you could be driving through a rainforest and the next you could be driving through thick sugar cane farms. The city is under-rated and we will be making a return visit on our next lap around.
From Kylie and Dan
Fearlessly Living and Exploring