6 things to do these school holidays in Mackay
School’s out for the winter holidays, yo. But there’s no need to hole up inside and stay glued to the screens – get out and about with this list of family-friendly activities in Mackay.
1. It’s show time!
Why wait ‘til the end of the week to get the fun rolling?
The Mackay Show kicks off on 20 June for three days of action with a sideshow alley, show bags, and adrenaline-pumping rides for the kids, along with the classic highlights of whip cracking and show jumping in the ring, local produce and craft stalls, Art on Show and nightly fireworks.
2. Forest Flyer
Write your own Jungle Book in the ancient rainforest of Finch Hatton Gorge whilst suspended 25 metres above the ground.
At Forest Flying you’ll go on a bushwalk first up, then get strapped in for adventure. You control how fast you glide along the cables, but remember to take in the scenery and see if you can spot any fruit bats or eagles along the way! Each tour takes around two hours and riders need to be a minimum of 18kg.
Afterwards, pop into the Ulysses Garden Cafe for a spot of natural, organic goodness to fill those hungry bellies. (FYI, all food is made in-house with locally sourced, seasonal and chemical-free produce!)
3. Sweet dreams
Got a sweet tooth? Visit the Sarina Sugar Shed and see their mini sugar distillery to school up on how sugar goes from the canefields to you.
Learn how the sugar is grown, processed, milled and distilled (then try not to get too hyped up in the fairy floss section afterwards) on one of four daily tours at 9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm or 2pm. You’ll even get to taste-test the freshly extracted cane juice!
4. Work up a sweat
It might be winter, but lucky for us Mackay is blessed with warm, sunny days during this time of year, so make the most of the perfect weather conditions with a hike through Eungella National Park.
Little legs can tackle the short and sweet Sky Window Circuit or opt for a spot of platypus viewing at the Broken River picnic area before crossing trickling creeks along the Rainforest Discovery Circuit. Slighter older broods can extend their journey along the 1.6km Granite Bend track, passing through tall groves of Livistona palms.
If the kids are still bouncing balls of energy, try these scenic drives and hikes to keep them on their toes.
5. Camp out
Speaking of the chilly season, while the days still feel like summertime, when the sun goes down, winter well and truly kicks in. You know what that means… it’s camping time! Pack the blankies and beanies and get cosy under a sky full of stars with these 5 secret camping spots.
(Don’t just take our word for it, we got the scoop from Mackay locals, The Hungry Travellers, who shared their favourite camping spots in this handy local’s guide to Mackay’s great outdoors.)
6. Make new friends on the farm
Three words: Baby freakin’ animals.
It’s not only the kids who’ll find themselves in a delirious state of happiness at the Jarravale Alpacas and Miniature Animal Farm. Set in the picturesque Pioneer Valley, it’s a scenic half hour drive to the property where you can take part in a guided farm tour cuddling and feeding all the insanely cute animals (including baby goats, piglets, and of course, alpacas) while learning all about life on the farm.
Don’t leave without grabbing some farm-fresh eggs and alpaca-themed souvenirs from the shop.