Car Hire Touring Information
produces one-third of the nation’s sugar crop. Five
mills operate, and the bulk-sugar loading terminal is the
world’s largest. Sugar was first grown here in 1866.
Mackay became a major port in 1939 when a breakwater was built,
making it one of Australia’s largest artificial harbours.
The nearby Hay Point coal-loading terminals handle the output
from the central Qid coal-fields. Mackay’s economy also
depends on beef cattle, dairying, timber, grain, seafood and
tropical fruit. Tourism is a growth industry, with sea or
air access to Brampton Island, and sea access to Lindeman
Island and the Great Barrier Reef. In town: Self-guide heritage
walk of historic buildings md.: Commonwealth (1880) and
National (1939) banks, town hall (1912), courthouse (1838),
police station (1885), Ambassador Hotel (1937) and customs
house (1902). Queens Park and Orchid House, Goldsmith St.
Entertainment Centre, Gordon St. Replica of old Richmond sugar
mill, Nebo Rd, houses information centre. Just north of town,
lookouts at Mt Bassett Weather Station, Mt Pleasant Reservoir,
Eimeo and Lamberts Beach. Numerous beaches: Harbour, Town,
Blacks, Bucasia, Illawong, Lamberts and Shoal Point. Cruises,
fishing charters and scenic flights. Two Sat. markets: Harbour
Rd; Showgrounds, Milton St. City Heat Markets, Victoria St,
Sun. July: Festival of the Arts; Troy Dunn International Bull
Riding. Sept.: Sugartime Festival. In the area: Discovery
and eco-tours to national parks, coal mines and Whitsundays.
Farleigh Sugar Mill, 15 km N; tours during crushing season
(July—Oct.). That Sapphire Place, 20 km N, sapphire
display and gem-cutting demonstrations. Cape Hilisborough
National Park, 40 km N. Poistone Sugar Cane Farm, 15 km w;
tours July—Oct. Greenmount Historic Homestead, 20 km
w, near Walkerston. Kinchant Dam, 20 km w of Walkerston. Stoney
Creek Cottage, 32 km w, trail rides and accommodation.
At Mirani, 33 km w, museum in Victoria St. Eungella National
Park, 79 km w: platypuses, Ulysses butterflies, nocturnal
wildlife; rainforest discovery self-guide trail; limited camping
at Fern Flat. Nebo, 93 km Sw of Mackay on Peak Downs Hwy:
Nebo Museum; Camp Draft in July. Orchidways, orchid farm on
Homebush Rd, 25 km S (closed Thurs.). At Homebush, 25 km s:
art and craft gallery; self-drive tour through historic area,
brochure available. Visitor information: Mackay Tourism and
Development Bureau, The Mill, 320 Nebo Rd; (07) 4952 2677.