Be warned that Mackay has the very worst drivers in all of Australia, so be careful with your combie. The roads are equally as bad as the local drivers so a suspension check after a weeks vacation would be advised. Although the locals seem friendly and laid back that still think it is two decades earlier and can be very sceptical of strangers. But smile, offer a beer and you should find a place to sleep (perhaps even a warm bed!).
Sporting a decent domestic airport, Mackay boasts QANTAS, Virgin Blue and Jetstar have frequent flights from capital cities, as well as major cities such as Cairns and Townsville. Via Brisbane is perhaps the best route, as the prices are generally cheaper. Tiger airways now offers direct flights from Melbourne.
Queensland Rail has twice weekly services running from Mackay to Brisbane on the "Tilt Train"
Highway #1 The 'Bruce Highway passes directly through Mackay.
Limited bus services run in the Mackay region. Cars can be hired from the airport.
Taxies are available from major shopping centres and individuals can call the service to be picked up from a specified destination.
Drink, with over 2 dozen pubs within the heart of the city and more surrounding it. You can always find a place to roll out of.
The main industries of Mackay are coal mining and Sugar Cane, Mackay being the "Sugar Capital of Australia". Many use Mackay as a stopping point for lucrative mining work in Moranbah.
Mackay has two major shopping centres
Mount Pleasant (affectionately known by locals as "Mount P") contains major retailers such as
Greenfields is a shopping precinct located across the road from Mount Pleasant. Occupants include:
Caneland Central is located on Mangrove Road and includes major retailers such as
Try the eateries at the Marina overlooking the boats - loverly cool breezies. Mid range prices.
Mackay has some very fine establishments to tip a quiet ale or two. On the outskirts of town to the north-east along the Bruce Highway are two quaint little pubs; The Leap Hotel and the Farview Tavern. Both are excellent locations for grabbing a counter meal whilst overlooking the agricultural views of the Pioneer Valley. If it is the beach atmosphere that you seek then head to the Eimeo Pub, located to the North of Mackay perched picturesquely on top of a sea cliff. Slightly closer to town is the Seabreeze Tavern, located at Lamberts Beach, 10 seconds walk from the ocean. For some topless talent and a very fun long lunch you will need to head into town and visit either; Maguires Tavern or Taylors Hotel. A nipple and a smile always kicks the evening off well. For the remainder of the night there are several other standard pubs and clubs in town, including; Austral Hotel, Imperial Hotel, Kate O'Reillys (Irish Bar), Blue Heelers, Ryans Tavern, Andergrove Tavern, Mount Pleasant Tavern, Boomerang Hotel and the Spotted Dick. Remember Mackay has dial a driver, so drive in, drink up and get driven home safely.