7 Incredible Mackay and Whitsundays Experiences To Have On Your Big Lap

by Jess Scionti

1. Wallabies at Sunrise

This is the ultimate sunrise experience. This amazing opportunity is a favourite for both locals and visitors, as you can share a beautiful sunrise with wallabies and kangaroos feeding on the shoreline. If you’re lucky you might even score a selfie with the friendly eastern grey kangaroos. Best to time it with a low tide, so you can wander over to wedge island afterwards.

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2. Spot a wild Platypus

Head to Broken River to enjoy tranquil river views within Australia’s longest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest. Platypus call this luscious forest home, and it is exciting to spot them playing in the crystal clear waters. There are a few viewing decks to choose from, including the Broken River bridge which provides a great vantage point to spot these shy creatures. Dawn & dusk are suggested as the most reliable times to spot a platypus, and to increase your chances be sure to remain as quiet as possible.

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3. Enjoy Spectacular Views

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to epic lookouts in this region. If you prefer to drive, you can head to Crediton State Forest’s Sky Window Lookout, Eungella’s Chalet, Cathu State Forest or Flagstaff Hill. If you enjoy breaking a sweat along some hiking trails there are some great views seen from The Leap, McBrides Lookout (Ball bay), Turtle Lookout (Cape Palmerston), or the Honeyeater Lookout (Airlie Beach).

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4. Swim in Refreshing Rock Pools

Life in the tropics can get quite hot and humid, so locals usually cool off in one of the many creeks, rock pools or waterfalls in the region. Some favourites include Finch Hatton Gorge, Boulder Creek, Cedar Creek falls, Platypus Beach and Cameron’s Pocket.

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5. Explore The Islands

You might be surprised to know that you don’t need a boat to explore all the islands in the region. Plan ahead for a low tide, head to Seaforth and walk across to Red Cliff Islands. If you enjoy fishing, be sure to take some rods with you and fish off North Red Cliff Island’s rocky shores. Wedge Island is another island you can venture to on foot. If you’re lucky, you might even find a gemstone along the pebble beach or amongst the volcanic rocks and outcrops.

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6. Go Fishing

Some of Australia’s best fishing locations can be found in the Mackay and Whitsunday region. You can choose to head offshore or inland to fish one of the locally stocked dams, such as Kinchant Dam, Lake Proserpine or Eungella Dam. Land-based fishing locations include Pioneer River, Mackay’s Marina or Sarina. Mackay is also known to be one of the best locations on the east coast to catch Spanish Mackerel between July and November.

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7. Snorkel Local Reefs

You can snorkel the underwater artwork off Horseshoe Bay, or take a boat out to some of the local islands. Keswick Island’s coral reef is a local favourite with swim-through caves, deep canyons and wide shallows buzzing with turtles and other marine life. Other favourites include St Bees, Scawfell Island and Brampton Island.

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