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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 02, 2020
Headline for Top Nature Explorations in Mackay – A Nature Lover’s Guide
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Nature Explorations in Mackay – A Nature Lover’s Guide

Mackay is Australia's sugar capital. It is considered one of the more popular destinations for people in and around Brisbane to head to when they want a weekend break from it all and it's not hard to see why. Here are some nature-centred things you can do, especially with children, in Mackay.


The Platypus

Head to Eungella National Park that is about 90-minutes' drive from any hotel in Mackay, to meet the cheeky platypus. The best time to see them is during dawn and dusk as they come to play around in the water and to feed. Eungella National Park is a subtropical rainforest that is home to over 225 different species of birds as well, so if you can, spend a day at one of the eco-lodges nearby and enjoy a day of spectacular wildlife, especially if you are travelling with children.


Sunrise on the Beach

Leave your local hotel the likes of Oaks Mackay Rivermarque Hotel while it is still dark to make it to Cape Hillsborough National Park before dawn. Watching the sunrise on the beach is something Instagram-worthy so don't forget to bring your camera. You won't be alone as wallabies tend to wander around the beach at sunrise and will not be afraid of you. Make sure your children don't frighten or harm them and you will find the whole experience to be utterly delightful.


A Forest Flight

Forest flying is one of the most eco-friendly ways of exploring the forest. You will be able to glide 25 metres above the forest floor so you will not be causing any damage or disturbance to the local wildlife in Finch Hatton Gorge. The ziplines are very safe, but make sure you call ahead and get the specifics and whether it is safe for children. The entire experience will take you through the lush forest canopies and since the process is relatively silent, you won't even be disturbing the bats as you fly by.


A Happiness Hike

Finch Hatton Gorge is also a great place to visit on foot with maybe a picnic, especially if you are travelling with children. There are plenty of waterfalls, volcanic boulder formations and lush vegetation that the children would love to explore. You will find secret swimming holes and breath-taking views and the whole walk is just 4.2km. You will get the chance to witness the Araluen and Wheel of Fire waterfalls on this hike.


Sugarcane Explorations

There's no point in going to the sugar capital of the country and not visiting a sugarcane field. Pioneer Valley has many beautifully planted sugar cane plantations and that together with the rolling, gentle hills make for some spectacular photography. The harvest seasons ranges from May to November so visiting anytime during these months means you can get in on some of the harvestings which are done by machine. The local people are very friendly and will be more than willing to explain to you the intricacies of sugarcane if you are interested.