Mackay Tourist Attractions
Mackay (pop. 40,000), situated on a monotonous stretch of the Bruce Highway, is often called the sugar capital of Australia. It has a good claim to the title, for the five sugar mills processing sugar cane from the plantations that characterize the landscape of this region supply a third of the country's total output of sugar. The first sugar-cane plantation was established in 1866, and soon afterwards the first sugar mill was built and Mackay was declared a town.As a port, Mackay ships not only huge quantities of sugar but also coal from the opencast mines in central Queensland (Hay Point). Its large harbor was created by the construction of a breakwater in 1939. Alongside sugar, coal, beef, dairy farming, timber working and the growing of tropical fruits an increasingly important contribution to the town's economy is now being made by tourism.A number of handsome buildings - the Town Hall, the Commonwealth and National Banks, the courthouse, the police station, the customs house - have been preserved from Mackay's early days. The town's streets are lined with palms. Queens Park has a beautiful array of flowers, tropical trees and shrubs and an orchid house.The tourist office in Mackay is housed in a replica of an old sugar mill in Nebo Road.
From Mackay, boats ply to the Great Barrier Reef and to the Whitsunday Islands and other islands. To the north of the town are a string of beautiful beaches. For nature lovers there is Cape Hillsborough National Park. The best approach to Eungella National Park is from Mackay via Marian, Mirani and Finch Hatton: a beautiful road (80km) which runs through tropical rain forest with numerous waterfalls and walking trails.
Cape Hillsborough National Park
800ha.The promontory on which Cape Hillsborough National Park lies is dominated by steeply scarped hills rising to around 300m. The park, with dunes, expanses of coastal scrub, rainforest and grassland and eight viewpoints, also takes in the Andrews Point peninsula and little Wedge Island, which can be reached on foot at low tide. A nature trail runs up the Hidden Valley. There is an excellent network of walking trails, and there are also beautiful beaches.
Address: MS 895, Seaforth, QLD 4741, Australia
Useful tips: Best time to visit: autumn and spring. Access from Bruce Highway on side roads at Mount Ossa and Yakapari. Warning:, because of the danger of the box jellyfish, swimming is not recommended during the summer, it is better to bathe inland in Cascade Creek.