Mackay part of Yuwi country, surrounded by sugar cane fields, is the commercial centre for this industry. One third of Australias sugar cane is produced by the Mackay fields, five mills operate in the area and the bulk-sugar loading terminal is the worlds largest.
Today Mackay also relies on a variety of other industries – beef, dairy, timber, grain, seafood and tropical fruit.
To witness the fierce roar of a cane-field fire is an awesome experience and a unique photo opportunity. Burning occurs around June annually. A tour of a working sugar cane farm is a fabulous experience. Taste sugar cane juice fresh from a juicing machine or chew on a piece of sugar cane to taste the sweet juices.
For beach-lovers Mackay has about thirty one in the area, most close by and unspoilt.
In the high altitudes near Mackay is Eungella National Park, where you are almost guaranteed to see a shy platypus as well as the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly and numerous other nocturnal wildlife.
Thirty minutes from the centre of Mackay on top of Mt Mandarana is a town known as The Leap. The name comes from an event in 1928. Police attempted to capture a group of Aboriginal people from the Yumi nation, but one woman refused to surrender, instead she leaped from the mountain with her baby in her arms – the rocks below killed the woman, Kowaha, but the baby lived. In the caves near the summit the remains of seafoods, mussels and oysters are still where the traditional owners used to live.