Family fun up the highway: Six must-do Mackay experiences
Looking for a short trip for your next holiday? There are easily 101 things to do up the road in Mackay - here's our pick of the top six:
1. Spot a wild platypus
Patience pays off at Broken River in Eungella National Park, the most likely place in the world to see platypuses in the wild.
Best times are dusk and dawn (they don't like direct sunlight). Take some time: Remember, a platypus can hold its breath for up to 10 minutes, and they might pop up for less than 30 seconds. Watch from a purpose-built viewing platform for trails of bubbles and concentric rings as they head to the surface. They're shy, so stay quiet.
2. Make a splash at Bluewater Lagoon
This council-run, three-tiered lagoon is the place for free family fun right in Mackay's city centre - without fear of stingers. It's the size of three 50m pools, and there's a waterfall connecting the two main lagoon areas.
Bluewater Lagoon: Caneland Park, River St, Mackay.
Ph 1300 622 529.
3. See sunrise with a roo
Cape Hillsborough National Park's beaches aren't crowded - except perhaps at dawn, when you can hop down to the sand to join a friendly mob of marsupials.
While you're there, take a hike on one of the park's many walking trails, including the 1.6km Juipera Plants Trail which illustrates how the Juipera Aboriginals used local plants for survival.
4. Fly through a forest
It's an eco-tourism experience you will never forget: View the rainforest of Finch Hatton Gorge from the safety of a 350m flying fox cable 25m above the forest floor. You control the speed.
There are no age restrictions and no special fitness requirements, but you must weigh between 18 and 120kg.
Ph: (07) 4958 3359. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Camp at Kinchant Dam
Get away from it all at this popular camping spot in the picturesque Pioneer Valley, by Kinchant Dam which is stocked with sooty grunter, sleepy cod and barramundi. There is a beautiful park area with barbecues, a kiosk and licensed restaurant. Wet a line, go bushwalking or ride a mountain bike. Need speed? Hit the water on skis or ride a jet ski.
Ph: (07) 4954 1453
6. Sarina Sugar Shed
This attraction hits the sweet spot for children and adults. Just 37km south of Mackay, the Sarina Sugar Shed offers a guided tour showing the sugar harvesting and distilling processes used to produce liqueurs, schnapps, vodka and rum.
A highlight of the one-hour tour is sugar tasting where guests can sample products including ginger beer and gourmet sauces.
Ph (07) 4943 2801. Email email@example.com
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