Mackay is a tropical town with few pretensions; a slice of suburbia with a slice of pineapple. The Pioneer River runs alongside the compact, palm-lined business district that becomes a boisterous bar scene after dark. At the redeveloped marina, restaurants, themed pubs and residential apartments overlook a giant stone spit and long stretches of open beach that run all the way to glorious Cape Hillsborough National Park.Despite its fabulous location, a night or two here en route to elsewhere is all you need. One such detour is a short trip west through the cane fields to Eungella National Park with its famous platypuses and the lush, hidden highlights of Finch Hatton Gorge.
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Our top picks for Mackay
Pacino's on the Waterfront: Mediterranean fare overlooking the harbour
Artspace Mackay: Contemporary art with work by local and visiting artists
Wilkie's Tavern: Try the fresh fish dishes offered at this upmarket renovated restaurant and lounge
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