Culture and Heritage
In 1860, John McCrossin, an enterprising Irishman, selected John Mackay, a 20-year-old Scotsman, to lead an expedition to seek pastoral opportunities. He came across lush coastal ranges and fertile plains, now known as the Pioneer Valley. In later years, Governor Bowen ordered the Surveyor General to rename the township Mackay, in honour of John Mackay.
DID YOU KNOW? Despite being settled in 1862, many of Mackay's earliest buildings were destroyed by a cyclone in 1918. Many of the re-built structures were from the 1920 to 1940 era, making the style of Mackay's Central Business District unique for a Queensland city.
The prosperity and pioneering heritage of Mackay is reflected within the CBD, a collection of beautifully preserved buildings and art, which give an insight into the region’s turbulent past. Public art installations can be found along the Bluewater Trail, tributes to Mackay’s historical and ecological diversity. Unlocking the key to Mackay’s past can be achieved by visiting any number of historical establishments, from browsing the informative Mackay Museum to walking past old gravestones at the Mackay Cemetery.
DID YOU KNOW? The acclaimed opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, spent the first year of her married life in a small house in the heart of the Pioneer Valley, in Marian.
Immerse yourself in a self-guided walking tour of Mackay City Centre's Heritage and Art Deco Buildings. Take in the history of Mackay through storytelling and humour.