Sun, fun and little ones: Mackay with kids

With its beaches, pools and wildlife, Mackay is kid-fun central.

Young girl and wallaby on the beach at sunrise, Cape Hillsborough. Image credit: Nathan McNeil/Tourism and Events Queensland
  • Jetstar
  • July 2022

Laidback, tropical Mackay is a perfectly family-friendly destination with mellow, sunny weather. It’s home to urban lagoons for kids of all ages, and miles of bike trails for the whole family to cycle. There are easy beaches and bushwalks, and some super special wildlife encounters to be had. Here are a few things to get the kids packing their bags, stat.

Splash around at Bluewater Lagoon

Make a beeline for Bluewater Lagoon. Located right in the heart of the city, it’s a whole lot of beachy fun. There are three tiered lagoons of different depths to suit all ages, including a wading pool for toddlers. Plus, an interactive water playground with a water drop-bucket and waterslide. The kids will have a ball. Best of all, it’s free. Making a day of it? Pack a picnic and park yourself at a table or on a perfect patch of lawn.

Aerial view of Bluewater Lagoon with high-rise buildings in the background, Mackay. Image credit: Aaron Spence/Tourism and Events Queensland
Bluewater Lagoon is a great place for the whole family to cool off. Image credit: Aaron Spence/Tourism and Events Queensland

Swim at Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach is a popular, family-friendly beach just 20 minutes out of Mackay. Fringed by a heritage-listed mango-tree canopy, the water is bright and clear, and the beach is patrolled during school holidays. Pack the swimmers, pack a picnic and take the kids for a beachy day out. Bucasia Beach is also a lovely, sheltered beach for picnics.

Aerial view of palm trees surrounding sand and water at Eimeo Beach. Image credit: Aaron Spence/Tourism and Events Queensland
Dreamy beach conditions for kids and grown-ups alike. Image credit: Aaron Spence/Tourism and Events Queensland

See the wallabies at Cape Hillsborough

Okay, you might have to rouse the little ones a bit earlier than they’re used to, but it’ll be worth it when they see wallabies hanging out on the beach. At Cape Hillsborough National Park, wallabies and kangaroos head to the beach to forage for breakfast. Pack a blanket and a breakfast picnic and take the kids for a morning adventure they’ll never forget.

Two wallabies on Cape Hillsborough beach at sunrise. Image credit: Jack Harlem/Tourism and Events Queensland
Beach buddies at Cape Hillsborough. Image credit: Jack Harlem/Tourism and Events Queensland

Go wakeboarding at Wakehouse

The kids will get a real adrenaline kick out of wakeboarding at Wakehouse Australia, where they can get in the water and zoom around. Passes include rental life vests, helmets, kneeboards or wakeboards. ‘Grom Squad’ passes, tailored to younger kids, include slower cable speeds and extra coaches on the docks. Wakehouse is also home to Mackay Aqua Park, which has loads of floating inflatable fun.

Get sweet at Sarina Sugar Shed

Sarina Sugar Shed is a cracking tourist attraction for the whole family, but those with a sweet tooth will be in heaven. There are daily tours, so kids can check out where sugar comes from, starting with the sugar cane patch and miniature sugar mill. In the factory, kids can sample raw sugar cane and freshly squeezed cane juice. There’s also a cafe on site and a buffet of sweet treats to take home.