Mackay, known for its beaches and laid back lifestyle, was first inhabited by the Yuibera people — the indigenous people of Australia. The first white settlers to pass through Mackay was none other than Captain James Cook, and there are many landmarks that have maintained the names that he gave — including Cape Palmerston, Slade Point & Cape Hillsborough.
The city of Mackay was named after Mr. John Mackay, who fronted up an expedition to the Pioneer Valley. To this day you can also find correspondence from his descendants in the Mackay City Library.
Today, Mackay is widely known as a mining town, mainly because of its access to the Bowen Basin — the Australian reserve of coal. Bowen Basin is the single largest coal supply in Australia and Mackay experienced a huge upturn in the economy when the mining boom hit. Historically Mackay was known as Australia’s largest producer of sugar, however this experienced a decline in the 2000’s.
Compared to other cities surrounding Mackay, it is not recognised as being a tourism hotspot — however, several hotels have risen in the area giving the impression that tourism is on the rise.
With it’s close proximity to Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef, if you are looking to go on a family holiday to a beachfront location, please take the time to browse through some of the accommodation and attractions to do in Mackay.
You will be pleasantly surprised.