As in nature, the coming of winter signals an annual migration north for thousands of travellers seeking the warm, tropical climate of The Mackay Region. For our visitors escaping the dreary cold down south, and any curious locals seeking a couple of nights away from the stresses of modern life, we share some of the top spots to camp in the Mackay Region. Sharmin Messer from popular travel blog ‘The Hungry Travellers’ also gives some tips for those looking to make the most of their camping experience. Be sure to check out their social media channels.
Eungella National Park
High above the surrounding plains, Eungella National Park is one of Queensland’s most ecologically diverse parks with 860 plant species and 20km of walking tracks to explore. With a wonderful variety of wildlife and the opportunity to see platypus in the wild, it’s worth staying a few days.
Whether you are a first time camper or completely self-sufficient, there are plenty of camping options including Fern Flat camping area and the Broken River Bush Camp.
The Hungry Travellers Tip: Although famous for the Platypus itself, the Platypus Lodge Cafe is our top recommendation. After a long hike there’s no better place to sit and enjoy Oskar’s just as famous waffles!
Broken River Bush Camp at Eungella National Park (Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland/Brooke Miles)
Cape Hillsborough National Park
With its rugged coastline surrounded by rocky pine-covered cliffs, and the resident kangaroos and wallabies that come to feed at sunrise, Cape Hillsborough is simply stunning.
You can camp just metres from the beach at Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort. If you have your own kayak or paddleboard, try exploring some of the offshore islands.
The Hungry Travellers Tip: If you time it right and follow the outgoing tide, you can walk a causeway from the end of the St Andrews track to Wedge Island.
Kangaroos enjoying the sunrise at Cape Hillsborough (Photo credit Tourism and Events Queensland)
Cape Palmerston National Park
Cape Palmerston National Park on the Isaac Coast covers 7,200 hectares and boasts sandy dunes, unspoilt beaches and rocky headlands. Nature lovers can enjoy breathtaking views towards the Northumberland Islands or try fishing or crabbing.
Self-sufficient campers can set up at Windmill Bay, Cape Creek or sleep under the stars right on the beach. Camping fees apply.
The Hungry Travellers Tip: True camping heaven with many great spots to set up with family or friends, fishing rods are a must.
Cape Palmerston (Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland/Brooke Miles)
It’s a little slice of island paradise that you won’t have to share with anyone else. Pitch a tent or indulge with the convenience of ‘glamping’ where you can enjoy the outdoors with all the creature comforts.
Hire a golf cart and explore the island, see the bees and butterflies, enjoy magnificent views of nearby islands, go snorkeling, kayaking, diving, fishing or just relax at Basil Bay. Megaforce Charters offer day trips to the island as well as transfers, or take a short but spectacular flight with Island Air from Casey Avenue in Mackay. You can even visit Keswick Island in your own boat, if weather permits.
The Hungry Travellers Tip: Take a bottle of red and stock up on marshmallows for the ultimate Glamping experience.
Keswick Island from the Air (Tourism and Events Queensland/Jewels Lynch)