28 of the Best Things to do in Mackay with Kids | WITH PHOTOS

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Are you looking for things to do in Mackay with kids? Or maybe some things to see and do in Mackay?

Recently we took a flight up the coast of Queensland, Australia and visited Mackay. Because we were travelling with kids, we’ve compiled a list of literally all the best things to do in Mackay with your children, and trust us, there are SO many top attractions in Mackay and top attractions near Mackay, you will be spoiled for choice.

But wait, before travelling to Mackay, make sure to check the weather!!

A brief history of Mackay

The Aboriginal history of Mackay, Queensland is deeply rooted in the rich cultural heritage of the Yuibera and Darumbal peoples, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years. These Indigenous communities have a profound connection to the land, rivers, and coastal areas surrounding Mackay. Prior to European settlement, the Yuibera and Darumbal peoples practiced traditional hunting, gathering, and fishing techniques, and their cultural practices were intertwined with the natural environment.

Their knowledge of the local flora, fauna, and seasonal patterns enabled sustainable resource management and ensured their survival for generations. Today, the Aboriginal communities of Mackay continue to preserve their cultural traditions and are actively engaged in promoting cultural awareness, land management, and reconciliation initiatives in the region.

Best beaches and pools in Mackay

One of our favourite kids activities in Mackay is swimming, so here are our favourite beaches and pools in Mackay.

1. Lamberts Beach

Lamberts Beach is a great Mackay kids activity, as it is seasonally patrolled and the nearby Lambert’s Lookout offers fabulous sea views out to the Cumberland Islands. It’s also a popular spot for surfers when the swell is right, and a great whale watching platform during the winter months. The recently renovated lookout features a whale watching pavilion.

Address: Lamberts Beach

2. Bluewater Lagoon

With three age-appropriate lagoons of varying depths, an interactive children’s water playground with water drop-bucket, and a water slide, the lagoon is a perfect retreat for all ages. A feature waterfall connects the two main lagoon pools, while a shallow wading pool is perfect for toddlers.

Address: River St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

Best playgrounds in Mackay

Playgrounds are the highlight of anyone’s childhood, so we made sure to find the best ones to include in our list of top things to do in Mackay.

3. Queens Park Mackay

Queens Park Mackay is probably the best park in Mackay, (in our opinion). Queens Park boasts a choice of beautiful gardens and manicured lawns available for both public and private hire. The playground is phenomenal with many different pieces of play equipment, offering something for everyone.

Address: Goldsmith St, East Mackay QLD 4740\

Website: Click here

4. J.M Mulherin Memorial Park

The J.M. Mulherin Memorial Park is a wonderful park for a picnic or just to look around. We recommend you drive down the breakwater and check that out before stopping here, as it’s a nice spot to relax and have some lunch.

Address: Mulherin Dr, Mackay QLD 4740

Parks and gardens in Mackay

There are heaps of parks and gardens in and around Mackay. Here are some of our favourites.

5. Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

The Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens are a wonderful place next time you’re in Mackay. There’s even a little cafe you could get some lunch or afternoon tea from when you visit. We loved walking through the gardens, and the kids loved the scavenger hunt guides at the main entrance.

Address: 9 Lagoon St, West Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

6. Jubilee Park

Jubilee Park is a small park located not far from the Artspace museum, with a nice open area for kids to run around in. 

Address: 9 Lagoon St, West Mackay QLD 4740

7. Queens Park

Things to do in Mackay with kids
Sign detailing the awesome facilities at Queens Park in Mackay

Queens Park Mackay is probably the best park in Mackay, (in our opinion). Queens Park boasts a choice of beautiful gardens and manicured lawns available for both public and private hire. The playground is phenomenal with many different pieces of play equipment, offering something for everyone.

Address: Goldsmith St, East Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

Nature Related Activities

8. Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos

If you’re ok with waking up at 5 am, this is a wonderful activity. Kids will love watching the wild kangaroos and wallabies eating on the beach, and if you’re lucky you might even get to see a kangaroo boxing match!

Website: Click here

Indoor activities in Mackay

If you had bad luck with the weather and you can’t go to any outdoor activities in Mackay, why not check out these amazing indoor activities in Mackay instead.

9. Artspace Mackay

Artspace Mackay is the regional art gallery owned and operated by Mackay Regional Council and it aims to provide visitors to the region with a taste of the unique environment. The gallery includes three impressive exhibition spaces, Foodspace, the cafe, and an artists book reading room which houses a collection of artists books and prints of national significance.

Address: Civic Centre Precinct, 61 Gordon St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

10. Timezone Caneland

This regional venue is part of the heartbeat of Caneland country and is powered by an upbeat team who love getting involved with the local community. Keep an eye out for frequent, fun events!

Address: Shop 2446 Caneland Central Shopping Centre Mangrove Rd &, Victoria St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Find out more here

11. Mackay Leisure Centre

Things to do in Mackay with kids
Family bowling at the Mackay Leisure Centre

With an impressive 18 Ten Bowling Lanes, Licensed Bar, great Café and whether you are looking for a fun night out or to celebrate a birthday or even a social corporate event with a difference then Mackay Leisure Centre can cater to your needs.

Address: 95 Broadsound Rd, Paget QLD 4740

Website: Mackay Leisure Centre

12. Mackay Indoor Sports Areana

Stay active, fit and socialise with a range of your favourite indoor sports with a friendly, healthy and social environment at Mackay Indoor Sports Arena. Kids will love the Mackay Indoor Sports Arena.

Address: 225 Harbour Rd, Mackay Harbour QLD 4740

Webste: Click here

13. Escape Rooms Mackay

If your kids like a challenge, an escape room might not be your first thought, but I think you’re going to love it. The whole family will have to work together to solve mysteries and puzzles to escape the room.

Address: 344 Alfred St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

14. Kidzlife Play Centre

The Kidz Life Play Centre is part of the children’s program run by the New Life Church Mackay. Kids will love playing in the play center, and they even offer birthday parties!

Adddress: 75 Evans Ave, North Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

Bike/scooter and walking paths in Mackay

Mackay is full of bike/scooter/walking paths, so we made sure to include them in our list of attractions near in Mackay.

15. Gooseponds Walking Trail

Gooseponds Walk is a 10. kilometer loop trail located near Mackay that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips. If you’re walking with kids you don’t have to do the whole thing, you can turn around at any point.

Website: Click here

16. Bluewater Trail

We loved walking along the Bluewater Trail in Mackay, the kids rode their scooters and we walked along behind them. The walk is right next to the river offering some amazing views. 


There are some wonderful kids activities in Mackay, including these museums, which is why we made sure to include them in our list of top things to do in Mackay.

17. Melba House

Things to do in Mackay with kids
Visit the Melba House in Mackay

Learn about the famous opera singer Dame Nellie Melba at the house where she once lived, right here in Mackay.

Address: Melba House, Marian QLD 4753

Website: Learn more here

18. Sugar Shed Mackay

The sugar shed teaches so much about the process from farm to shop, and you might even get to taste the raw sugar cane juice freshly extracted! We found it very interesting, fun, and engaging. We finished our time there with a cheese platter that was amazing! Highly recommend this to anyone of all ages!

Address: Field of Dreams Parkland, Railway Square, Sarina QLD 4737

Day trips from Mackay

If you’re spending a while in Mackay, we recommend one of these day trips. 

19. 60 Minute Whitsunday Flight and Southern Lights Rafting Package

Enjoy an action packed day in the Whitsundays with a 60 minute scenic flight and exhilarating ocean rafting tour to Whitehaven Beach and secluded coral reefs. Departing from Airlie Beach, fly high above sun drenched islands and get lost in the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. From the air passengers can experience a bird’s eye view soaring over the Whitsunday Islands including the world famous Whitehaven Beach and the enchanting Heart Reef in the Great Barrier Reef.

Book here: Whitsunday Flight and Southern Lights Ocean Rafting Package

20. Whitehaven Beach Southern Lights and Northern Exposure Combo

Combine two separate Whitsundays ocean rafting tours into one great value package with this combined tour that features both the Southern and Northern tours, making for an epic Whitsundays extravaganza including a range of snorkelling experiences, island exploration, high-speed cruise thrills and spectacular Whitehaven Beach all in one! Head out from Airlie Beach and visit two different snorkel destinations around wonderful Hook Island, getting an up-close encounter with all the reef’s incredible array of colourful fish and soft / hard corals, then land on the shores of stunning Whitehaven Beach for some exploration of what is largely considered to be Australia’s best stretch of sand.

Book here: Whitehaven Beach and Whitsunday Islands 2 Day Ocean Rafting Tour

Mackay festivals and shows

The city of Mackay has loads of festivals and shows, and here are out top picks!

21. Show

The Mackay Show

Running annually from Tuesday 15th June – Thursday 17th June, the Mackay show offers 3 days of non-stop entertainment. This year they’re offering heaps of events such as showjumping, cattle display, woodchopping and so many more! Don’t miss it!

Address: 24 Milton St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Find out more here

22. Mackay Drag Racing

Situated in Mackay, in central Queensland, Palmyra Dragway is the oldest club run and operated drag racing venue in Australia.

Address: 2 Bells Rd, Palmyra QLD 4740

Website: Find out more here

Kid-friendly places to eat Mackay

Is a holiday really a holiday without food? We don’t think so.

23. Austral Hotel

Located on the corner of Victoria & Peel Streets in Mackay’s CBD, the Austral Hotel has had a reputation for years as the best Steakhouse in town. The menu offers a variety of meals, offering something for kids, adults and they even have a seniors menu.

Address: 189 Victoria St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

24. Grazing Goat Cafe

The Grazing Goat is a food haven designed for everyone’s taste and eating preferences! The food there is amazing, and the meal portions are perfect sized. 

Address: 58 Wood St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

25. South Leagues Club

The South Leagues Club, Mackay is a wonderful place for families to eat when they visit Mackay. The club offers a cafe and a bistro, so there really will be something for everyone.

Address: 181 Milton St, Mackay QLD 4740

Website: Click here

Mackay accommodation for families

You can’t really go on holiday if you don’t have anywhere to stay, so let us help you with the best family-friendly accommodation in Mackay.

26. Lanai Riverside Apartments – Writer’s Pick

Just 3 minutes walk from the popular Bluewater Lagoon, Lanai Riverside Apartments features a 20 m lap pool, a sauna, and a fitness centre. Each apartment offers a private balcony and a fully equipped kitchen. Up to 1GB of free WiFi is provided daily (additional data available at an extra charge).

Book here: Click here

27. BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park

Offering a saltwater outdoor pool, a BBQ area, and a jumping pillow, BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park is located just a 5-minute drive from Mackay’s Harbour Beach.

The self-catering accommodation comes air conditioning and a private kitchen or kitchenette. It also includes a sofa with a satellite TV and a dining area. Fitted with a shower, the private bathrooms also come with towels.

Book here: Click here

28. Coral Cay Resort

Just a 5-minute drive from the heart of Mackay, guests enjoy an outdoor pool and a sauna at Coral Cay Resort. You can share a meal using the BBQ facilities or dine at the onsite bar and restaurant.

Coral Cay is a 7-minute drive from both the Pioneer River and Caneland Central Shopping Mall. Mackay Airport is a 10-minute drive away.

Book here: Click here

Things to do in Mackay with kids

There you have it, there’s our list of places to visit in Mackay and the fun things to do in Mackay.

If you think we missed anything let us know and we’ll add it to our detailed guide of Mackay family attractions.

Looking for more things to do in Queensland with kids?

We’ve been everywhere man! ?

You can find all our Queensland content here.

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Alex Mergler

Alex has been writing for his mum's website since he was 10 years old and now he runs his own website, Get Out with Kids. He attends high school and works part time at McDonald's. Born in the UK but growing up in Australia he has a passion for travel, and has visited more than 25 countries. He has a Cert III in Hospitality and holds the Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate. With this background he is well qualified to write the website's restaurant reviews and travel articles. When he grows up he aims to be a pilot and is currently studying for his Recreational Pilot License.

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