In the last 10 years Mackay and the surrounding region has seen a massive boom in the coal mining industry with many of it's workers and supporting industries setting up shop there. As a result the cost of living has climbed somewhat and is a source of tension between the very well paid mine workers and those working in other industies in the town.
Mackay Airport (MKY) is 5km south of the city centre. It has services from QANTAS, Virgin Blue and Jetstar have frequent flights from Brisbane. Qantaslink have services to Cairns, Townsville, and Rockhampton. Tiger airways now offers direct flights from Melbourne (ends 31 July 2011)
Queensland Rail  has twice weekly services running from Mackay to Brisbane on the "Tilt Train"
Limited bus services run in the Mackay region. Cars can be hired from the airport.
Taxis are available from major shopping centres and individuals can call the service to be picked up from a specified destination.
Bicycles (push bikes) are a good fit for city transportation. Projects are ongoing to expand current bicycle routes, one long route exists from West of the city to the Canelands shopping area.
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 the Bowen Basin of central Queensland.
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 undergoing expansion, it 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.