Beaches in Mackay Region: 10 Best Ones To Visit in 2024 (UPDATED)

The best coastal areas to enjoy the sun, sand and sea on the Coral Coast in Queensland


10 Best Beaches in the Mackay Region


Hello and welcome to my post about the 10 best beaches in Mackay Region. Here is how it is structured.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Best Beaches in Mackay Region
2.1 Harbour Beach
2.2 Cape Hillsborough Beach
2.3 Bucasia Beach
2.4 Eimeo Beach
2.5 Town Beach
2.6 Blacks Beach
2.7 Sarina Beach
2.8 Lamberts Beach
2.9 Dolphin Heads
2.10 Shoal Point
3. Other Beaches in Mackay Region
4. FAQs

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Read Time: 10 Minutes



Sitting roughly halfway between Brisbane and Cairns, the Mackay region of Queensland is a coastal paradise that boasts a collection of stunning beaches, each of which has its own unique charm and appeal.

From secluded coves with pristine sands to expansive stretches of shoreline surrounded by photo-worthy landscapes, the best beaches in Mackay Region offer plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, walking and a range of other beachside activities.

If you are planning a visit to this part of north Queensland or happen to live in the Mackay Region here are the best places to head to for a day of fun in the sun.


Distance from other destinations in Queensland to Mackay Region

  • Brisbane 811km
  • Townsville 372km
  • Carins 614km
  • Gold Coast 881km
  • Sunshine Coast 729km
  • Yeppoon 280km
  • Rockhampton 301km
  • Gladstone 453km
  • Hervey Bay 581km
  • Longreach 668km
  • Bundaberg 520km
  • Mount Isa 1095km
  • Best Beaches in Mackay Region

    Fancy visiting the best beaches in Mackay Region? Here is where you should head to when you next find yourself on the Coral Sea Coast.


    Harbour Beach

    Situated just a five minute drive from the Mackay CBD – in the shadows of its impressive Reef Marina development – you’ll find Harbour Beach. Popular with both locals and Queensland tourists, this comely stretch of sand is seasonally patrolled by the Mackay Surf Lifesaver Club, making it a lovely spot for swimming.

    As it is situated near the Mackay Harbour Breakwater, it is also the destination of choice for many anglers who come here to catch bream, mackerel, tuna, jew and trevally, within its shimmering waters.

    For those with dogs, the beach is pet-friendly, so you’ll be able to bring Fido along with you, although he will have to be leashed at all times. Nearby there are two parks with playgrounds for children to run around in and a footpath that provides splendid coastal views whilst walking on it.

    Families can also enjoy an al fresco meal thanks to the bbq facilities and shaded tables in the area. However, if they don’t feel like cooking, they can head to the marina precinct to get a takeaway or dine in at any of the eateries that line it.

    Well maintained public toilets, outdoor showers and decent parking, make this destination one of the best beaches in Mackay Region to spend a day overall.


    Palm Trees at Cape Hillsborough in the Mackay Region of Queensland in Australia
    Palm Trees at Cape Hillsborough in the Mackay Region of Queensland in Australia


    Cape Hillsborough Beach

    Situated about 50km to the north of Mackay is what I think is the best of all the beaches in the Mackay Region you can visit – Cape Hillsborough National Park.

    This stunning natural paradise is a place where the ocean and rainforest meet in perfect harmony. It is defined by its rugged landscape, scenic walking tracks, mesmeric sunrises and enchanting wildlife encounters. The latter two of which combine spectacularly.

    Every morning, at first light, a host of kangaroos and wallabies frequent the shoreline, looking for food around the edge of the water. The incredible Insta-worthy photos you’ll get of the maruspials against the backdrop of the national park and vivid sky colours are well worth getting out of bed early for.

    This isn’t a beach to go swimming at, as the tides can be a bit rough. However, its a lovely stretch of sand to lay down a towel or put up the cabana and enjoy a stint of rest and relaxation. You can also get a decent walk in if you stroll from one end of it to the other.

    Away from the water, there are walking tracks which will showcase plenty of vividly coloured butterflies, including the Ulysses, and birds. You can also explore the Diversity boardwalk, which takes you through eucalypt open forest, a mangrove community and vine thickets. Alternatively, those interested in local indigenous history should check out the Juipera Plants Trail, which provides a fascinating insight into their existance across a 1.6km trek.

    For those who want to stay overnight, there is a nature resort at the park which offers everything from camping and caravaning to motel units and beachfront huts. They are a great option for those who want to get up in time for sunrise but don’t want to drive from Mackay.


    Bucasia Beach

    Nestled within Mackay’s northern beaches area, Bucasia Beach is one of the longest and best beaches in the Mackay Region for walking. The feeling of the soft sand on your bare feet is utterly divine!

    It is also a popular spot for swimming, (there is a tidal pool that allows for bathing in the summer), and fishing, with many people choosing to cast a line for flathead at high tide off the shoreline. Additionally, some in-the-know locals head to the beach’s southern end near the mangroves and sandy spits of Eimeo Creek, while there is also a boat ramp that can take you into deeper waters.

    For dog mums and dads, this beach has a specially designated off-leash area which runs between Symons Avenue and Williams Avenue. Whilst taking your four-legged friend for a walk you will be able to enjoy superb views of the Cumberland Islands and Dolphin Heads.

    Running along the front of the beach is the Bucasia Esplanade, which accommodates public toilets, bbq facilities, picnic tables and a children’s playground at Seaview Park. There is also a cafe on the esplanade that serves up a terrific latte and a lovely range of meals, when you fancy some time in the shade.


    Bucasia Beach is one of the Best Beaches in Mackay Region in Queensland, Australia
    Bucasia Beach is one of the Best Beaches in Mackay Region in Queensland, Australia


    Eimeo Beach

    Eimeo Beach is a beautiful and sheltered beach about 16km from the Mackay CBD. It is a particularly popular spot for swimming during the summer months when lifeguards patrol the soft sandy beach.

    To get to the picturesque shoreline you will need pass under a canopy of old Mango trees. These were planted by Jeremiah Armitage, an early Mackay pioneer from the 1880s and resides on the wonderfully named Mango Avenue, which has now been designated as a heritage-listed attraction. The walkway will take you to a popular hotel, affectonately known by locals as the pub with the ‘million dollar view’.

    The location of the hotel is spectacular, making it a fabulous place to enjoy a meal or coffee while taking in the superb coastal scenery of one of the best beaches in Mackay Region. Additionally, Eimeo Beach also has an esplanade park that has a children’s playground, public amenities, picnic tables and barbecue equipment, to perfectly set you up for the day.


    Town Beach

    As it is just a five-minute drive from Mackay’s CBD, Town Beach is one of the most visited of all beaches in Mackay region, particularly during the warmer months of summer.

    Showcasing tremendous views of Dalrymple Bay, as well as both Round and Flat Top Islands, this area is known for its massive tides and magnificent sunrises. If you come here, you’ll be able to enjoy sunbathing, fishing and walking, while photographers will have a field day snapping the scenic views.

    Fringing the beach is the beautiful Iluka Park, which has plenty of facilities, as well as shaded seating areas, public toilets and picnic tables. Additionally, running from it, The Bluewater Trail, is a popular cycling and walking path that shows off stunning views of mangroves and grasslands.


    Tours and Attractions in Mackay Region
    When you are not exploring the beaches in Mackay Region, here are some great tours you should go on.

    You can (Check them out here)

  • Eungella Platypus Tour
  • Full Day Island Boat Tour on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Wildcat Mackay
  • Finch Hatton Gorge Hike, Swim & Platypus Adventure
  • Taste of the Tropics Tour
  • Wallabies on the Beach Sunrise Trip from Mackay
  • Rum Distillery Tour
  • Blacks Beach

    Situated within the northern beaches area, Black’s Beach is notable for being one of the longest continual beaches in Mackay Region.

    Running for 6km, it sits just a 15 minute drive from Mackay’s CBD and is lined with several beachfront accommodations, which include everything from resorts and motels to camping and caravans sites and Air bnb style rentals. Tourists who stay here get to wake each every morning to the soothing sound and sight of the waves gently breaking onto the sandy shoreline, which makes for a fantastic way to start your day.

    The beach is popular with those who like to walk and is also designated as pet-friendly beach, though it is not a place where dogs can run off leash. If you like fishing, whiting and bream can be caught directly off the sand, you can also head to the mouth of McCready’s Creek, which resides at the southern end of the beach.

    Just off the beach, you will also find picnic facilities, bbqs, public toilets and a playground.


    Sarina Beach

    Considering it has gentle waves, a long sweep of golden sand and an area where turtles regularly come to nest, its not hard to see why many people view Sarina Beach as one of the best beaches in Mackay Region.

    While it is a little bit removed from the Sarina township (approximately 10 km east of it) the beach is a terrific place to escape the rat race and come for a walk, have a dip in the Coral Sea and cast a line, either directly on the beach or at the rocks over by its northern point.

    The beach is relatively uncrowded throughout the day and is known for being a good spot to take in the magical Queensland sunrise. It also has a picturesque esplanade park complete with picnic and barbecue facilities for those who want to make a day of it.

    Along the esplanade, you’ll find several cafes where you can enjoy a nice meal, sweet treat or a coffee. There are also some nice holiday accommodations you can choose to stay at.


    Wallabies at Cape Hillsborough Beach Queensland, Australia
    You can see wallabies and kangaroos at sunrise at Cape Hillsborough


    Lamberts Beach

    There is no doubt that the best beaches in the Mackay Region throw up some excellent coastal views. But for its sheer ability to break you out into goosebumps, it is hard to beat the view you get of the Cumberland Islands from the lookout at Lamberts Beach. Make sure you have your camera ready!

    The beach itself is patrolled seasonally and is popular among surfer’s when conditions are favourable. It is also a fabulous place for whale watching during the colder months of winter and there is a recently renovated pavilion which gives you a brilliant view of these gorgeous marine mammals. Anglers also like to come here to catch reef fish and mackerel on the shoreline or around McReady’s Creek.

    For those who like a bit of adventure, the beach has a rock pool not far from the lookout, which has been labelled ‘wishing well’. It is another terrific spot for photos, as well as beachcombing.

    Right next to the beach, Ram Chandra Park has everything you need to spend the entire day here including direct beach access and off-street parking for your car.


    Dolphin Heads

    The sandy and rocky headland known as Dolphin Heads is another cherished spot among amateur and professional photographers.

    Named after its shape, which resembles two dolphin heads, this beautiful Northern Beaches area of Mackay is just a 15 minute drive from the CBD. On a good day, you can take in spectacular coastal views that include Brampton Island, some other southern Whitsunday islands and a couple of other beaches in Mackay Region.

    There is a resort on the beachfront that provides a nice place to eat and stay. Moreover, at low tide, you can even walk to the adjacent Eimeo Beach from Dolphin Heads via the tidal creek bed.


    Sunrise at Cape Hillsborough Beach in Queensland is a magical sight
    Sunrise at Cape Hillsborough Beach in Queensland is a magical sight


    Shoal Point

    Last, but in no way least, on this list of the best beaches in Mackay Region is Shoal Point.

    The northern most of all the Northern Beaches, this beach is so pristine that at low tide, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a desert.

    Stretching for hundreds of metres, it provides the opportunity to take in an up-close view of Green Reef Island. You can also watch, in a mesmerised state, as thousands of small blue Soldier Crabs scurry across the mudflats to find a place to submerge themselves in the sand. (Don’t worry, they won’t bite!)

    If you would like to catch some crabs to eat or for that matter whiting, you can launch boats directly off the beach to take you to close by estuaries. Should that sound like too much effort, you can sit in the esplanade park, enjoy a barbecue and take in stunning views of the beach and an incredible sunset.


    Where to stay near beaches in Mackay Region

    (Click here for more information)

  • Tandara Hotel Motel (Sarina)
  • The Marco Polo (Mackay)
  • Seaforth Holiday Units (Seaforth)
  • Broken River Mountain Resort (Eungella)
  • Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park (Cape Hillsborough)
  • Hay Point Hotel(Hay Point)
  • Apartment in Dolphin Heads (Eimeo)
  • BIG4 Mackay Blacks Beach Holiday Park (Blacks Beach)
  • Sea View Villa (Victoria Park)
  • Marina Beach Holiday Home (Cremone)
  • Other Beaches in Mackay Region

    Some other beaches in Mackay Region you might want to check out include Armstrong Beach, Camila Beach, Clairview Beach, Platypus Beach and Smalley’s Beach.

    All of them offer unique settings and delightful experiences for beach lovers to enjoy.



    Here are some common answers to frequently asked questions about the beaches in Mackay Region.

    How many beaches in Mackay Region are there?

    Overall there are more than 30 beaches in the Mackay Region of Queensland. They include Town Beach in the centre of Mackay, Sarina Beach, Blacks Beach and Cape Hillsborough Beach. Each of them has unique characteristics that make them a pleasure to visit.


    Are the beaches in Mackay Region tropical or sub-tropical?

    The beaches of Mackay are considered tropical because they reside within the geographical region of Tropical Queensland. As you would imagine, this region includes Tropical North Queensland. However, it also incorporates Far North Queensland and North Queensland, as well as the Mackay region. Additionally, parts of Central Queensland and the Gulf Country make up the rest of it.


    Can you swim in the beaches in Mackay Region?

    Depending on what time of the year it is and which one you are at, it is possible to swim in the beaches in Mackay Region. However, due to the likely presence of stingers between October and May and possible presence of crocodiles all year round, you are recommended to only do this only in places where stinger nets are in operation. That said, if you want to swim at areas with no stinger nets, you should make sure you wear a stinger suit for protection.


    What are some popular beaches in Mackay Region to visit?

    Town Beach, Sarina Beach, Blacks Beach and Dolphins Heads are some of the most popular beaches in Mackay Region you can visit.


    What is the best time to visit the beaches in Mackay Region?

    For the warmest weather, you should visit the beaches in Mackay Region in the summer months of December to February. However, if you want to visit the beaches without the crowds, you might prefer the shoulder months of October and November and March and April.


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