This is Australia: Mackay QLD

The call of the open road has been a strong one for a lot of us during this covid year and we’re certainly doing our best to answer it. There’s loads of fabulous places to visit in QLD, a state that spans 1.7 million square kms and on this trip we’ve see just a snippet.

To date, we’ve clocked up 5000 kms towing our trusty Austrack camper trailer. 

I have to say the Austrack’s done us proud and not missed a beat. We can set up pretty quick smart now, make adjustments along the way, laugh when we park alongside a thick slab and the pullout kitchen requires me to morph into a midget.

Our next destination is Mackay, population 80,000 and dubbed the sugar capital of Australia. Besides being surrounded by canefields, there’s an abundance of beaches, a pleasant downtown dotted with some beautiful buildings and cafes, all within easy reach of Eungella National Park and Sarina.

Called in for a quick drink here before arriving in Mackay
Inside the friendly Kuttabul Hotel
Enjoying the scenic views along the way
Blacks Beach Mackay was our pick to set up camp. That’s us right hand side.
Downtown Mackay – columns grace the Masonic Temple built in 1925.
We enjoyed a coffee in the cafe across from this art deco building and got talking to a lady who’s recently returned to her hometown after years living, working and skiing overseas. Mackay has grown up a lot in her absence, so much so, that she sees a future for herself here. So good to hear stories like this where people return to the place they were born and bred because it offers solid infrastructure, secure employment, hope.
The Queensland National Bank built in 1923
A friend asked if we were doing a ‘Pub Crawl Trip’. We are!
The rather nondescript Eimeo Hotel – front view
Nothing nondescript about this stunning view from the Eimeo Hotel balcony over a long lunch
Eimeo Beach report
Mackay Harbour

Eungella National Park, 70 kms from Mackay makes for a good day trip.

Built in 1933 as a guest house for people requiring clear mountain air’, the views from the garden are worth a drinks stop.
Fabulous views over valley floor from Eungella Chalet
It’s a winding road to the top

Thirty minutes south of Mackay is the smaller town of Sarina.

Sarina Beach
Grasstree Beach just outside Sarina
Touristy it is, but you won’t find a better place to gain an understanding of the cane industry and the way sugar is milled.
Relegated to the past is this massive Massey Ferguson cane harvester
Sarina Mill – the season is in full swing. It started end of June and goes for 6 months. The mill operates 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. Lots of seasonal workers are in town; mill workers as well as truck drivers who transport cane from farms to rail. People we spoke to said there is plenty of work available.
Hay Point, the world’s largest coal export port is also within easy reach of Mackay. It’s impressive. Handling capacity is 130 million tonnes and 900 ships use the port each year. We counted 14 huge ships waiting their turn.
Will leave you with this serene canefields pic

Next stop: Yeppoon

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