Some travellers to Mackay may very well be miners bound for the coal mines of Central Queensland. This city, situated between Brisbane and Cairns, is a solid, industrial city. Not only is it the gateway to the Bowen Basin coalfields - Australia's single largest coal reserve - the region also produces more than one third of Australia's cane sugar.
Mackay itself has more than 30 beaches with Harbour Beach, beside the Mackay Marina, being the most popular. The streets boast some striking architecture, the Courthouse and Commonwealth Bank, both built in the latter years of the 19th century, are the standouts, but Mackay has an amazing collection of Art Deco buildings too. Harold V.M. Brown designed 13 buildings in the centre of the city between 1930 and 1940 and while walking the streets visitors will notice sunbursts and fountains and other decorative features. The Artspace Mackay is also a standout structure. It's the modern art gallery that hosts local, national and international exhibitions. The Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens is one of Australia's newest gardens and it’s a beautiful, natural, enormous garden.
Offshore there are several islands within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park including Brampton, Keswick and Scawfell. West of the town is the stunning Eungella National Park and Pioneer Valley.