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City Spotlight: Mackay, Queensland

City Spotlight: Mackay, Queensland

Mackay is located on the central Queensland coast 950 km north of Brisbane and 335 km south of Rockhampton. It is a port city with access to the Great Barrier Reef and has a growing tourism industry. However, the city is best known for its cane sugar production. If you are moving to Mackay, it is likely for one of those two industries. the region has a rich history. European explorers first reached the Mackay region in 1770. The city was named after the leader of an 1860 expedition into the Pioneer Valley, John Mackay.  


Mackay CBD Panorama View Photo Credit: By Kriscmay – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


Mackay Skyline Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Mackay Harbour Photo Credit:


Mackay Marina Photo Credit:


The Pioneer River and Mackay Aerial View Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Mackay Industry


A Panorama of Hay Point Coal Terminal Photo Credit: By Kriscmay – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, $3


The Bulk Sugar Terminal Photo Credit: By C.mcintyre01 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, $3

Mackay is known as the sugar capital of Australia because it produces more than ⅓ of all the sugar cane in Australia. Mining has also become an important part of the local economy as well. The main resource mined here is coal. For a long time, Mackay has been a hidden tourism secret, but as more people learn about Mackay, the tourism industry is growing. Since it is close to the Whitsunday Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and more than 25 national parks, the region’s tourism economy is growing.

Mackay Climate


Mackay Climate Information Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Mackay has a humid subtropical climate that borders on being a tropical climate. December to April is the wet season which means it rains almost every day and destructive tropical cyclones can occasionally come through. Mackay averages 132 rainy days per year. In the summer, average high temperatures range between 28°C and 30°C. In the winter average low temperatures reach between 11°C and 12°C.


Hiring a Moving Truck in Mackay


Mackay Map Photo Credit: Google Maps


Mackay Earth Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Budget Blog - Mackay Car Rental

Mackay Truck Hire Map Photo Credit:

There are two truck hire locations in Mackay; you can hire a moving van in the Mackay city location  or at the Mackay Airport Budget Truck rental location. Try to make your truck rental reservations as early in advance as possible. Then you can take advantage of the great deals and special offers. Some of the best deals include weekday truck rentals, one way rates, and overnight truck rental specials.

12 Things to Do in Mackay and Surrounds


Photo Credit:


Araluen Falls in Eungella National Park Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Cape Hillsborough National Park Photo Credit:


Kangaroos on the beach at Cape Hillsborough National Park Photo Credit:

Mackay is filled with endless holiday possibilities and there is so much to do in Mackay and the region including 26 national parks between the Mackay Region and Proserpine. For locals, that means weekends and local “staycations” are always at their best. Here are 12 things to do in Mackay:

  1. Eungella National Park in the Pioneer Valley; it is the best place in the world to see platypus in their natural environment.
  2. Play with Kangaroos on the beach and enjoy the amazing landscape in Cape Hillsborough National Park.
  3. Relax and Indulge in the Whitsunday Islands.
  4. Explore the Great Barrier Reef.
  5. Take a scenic drive through the Pioneer Valley.
  6. Getaway on Mackay’s secluded Northern Beaches.
  7. Choose one of the Great Barrier Reef Islands close to Mackay: Brampton Island, Newry Island, or Keswick Island.
  8. Go hiking in the mountains to the northwest of Mackay.
  9. Take a road trip to northern Queensland and see the rainforests.
  10. Step back in time and learn about the city’s history and its many heritage listed sites.
  11. Sail from the Mackay Marina.
  12. Learn about the region’s rich aboriginal history and culture.


To learn more about holiday ideas in Mackay, read about it on our Budget Travel Tips Blog: Mackay Endless Holiday Possibilities. We also featured Mackay in our blog about the Legendary Pacific Coast Road Trip from Sydney to Brisbane  and Quirky Places to Stay in Queensland. Since Mackay is on the Great Barrier Reef, you can also learn more about the region from these blogs:

Great Barrier Reef 5 Top Port Cities and Things to Do on the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Excursions

Great Barrier Reef Island Getaways

Great Barrier Reef with Kids and Great Barrier Reef with Kids Part Two

The Whitsunday Islands

Rockin’ Holiday in Rockhampton

Tips for Moving to any City in Australia

These are some general moving tips and advice if you are moving to any city in Australia. The important thing is to plan ahead, get organised, and don’t wait for the last minute when you are moving.

  • Make sure your passport is valid and up-to-date. Obtain a visa if you are going to need one.
  • Get an international free email address so that you will be able to keep in touch. Checkout Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail.
  • Connect with a relocation agent to help you find a job and a place to live.
  • Start going through your clothing and other belongings to see what you can sell or giveaway before it’s time to pack.
  • If you are moving from another country, check the compatibility of your appliances. Australia uses voltage 220-240 volts.
  • Start to inventory the items you are taking and see if you have receipts for those items.
  • Start getting quotes for renting a moving truck or hiring a moving company and decide which one is best for you.
  • Ask about the cost marine insurance. This is based on the value of the things you are taking.
  • Take pictures of everything you are moving, especially the more expensive items to keep a record for insurance purposes.
  • Make a checklist and a calendar and stick to them.

Here are some other city spotlights we have covered for other cities in Australia:

City spotlights in Queensland: Brisbane, Toowoomba, Cairns, Townsville, Sunshine Coast, and Gold Coast.

City spotlights in New South Wales: Sydney, Wollongong, Maitland, Newcastle, Tweed Heads,  and the Twin Cities of Albury, New South Wales  and Wodonga, Victoria

City spotlights in Victoria: Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, and the Twin Cities of Albury, New South Wales and Wodonga, Victoria

City Spotlight: Canberra, ACT

City Spotlight: Perth, Western Australia

City Spotlight: Adelaide, South Australia

City Spotlight: Darwin, Northern Territory

City Spotlight Alice Spring, Northern Territory

City Spotlight: Hobart, Tasmania, City Spotlight Launceston, Tasmania

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Shari McConahay
Wife, mom & internet geek. E-Commerce & Internet Marketing old timer, lover of social media, kung fu movies, sci fi, reality tv & game shows.

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