• 9 Pacific Drive, Blacks Beach, Queensland, Australia, 4740
  • +61 7 4954 9444
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Free Things to Do

Not sure what to do in Mackay? There are plenty of free things to do at The Shores Holiday Apartments and around the Mackay Region.

First of all at The Shores guests can have a game of tennis, play volleyball and enjoy hopscotch with the kids. But theres even more. How about bocce or cricket on the beach? The kids have plenty of choices of both indoor and outdoor activities that are free for our guests.

Likewise around the region there’s also plenty to see and do for free. Visitors can enjoy spectacular rainforests and national parks. Secluded islands and beaches, pristine coral reefs, plentiful fishing spots. Historical townships, genuine country hospitality and scenic drives.


The Shores Holiday Apartments


Mackay - What to do in Mackay

BBQ with friends

Borrow a book, DVD or magazine from the library in reception. Take off your shoes, pop on a hat and sunscreen, then spend the day on the beach or lazing beside the pools. Keep the kids entertained with a game of tennis. Rackets and balls are available on loan from reception. Enjoy a board game or puzzle. Have a game of volleyball. Play Hopscotch with the kids (instructions are available at reception). Have a BBQ with your mates. Toast some Marshmallows on the Wood Burning BBQ. Keep an eye out for “Wiggy” and family our resident goannas’ around the grounds. Book Now. For more information on things to do at The Shores have a look at our Facilities.


Blacks Beach


Mackay - What to do in Mackay

Blacks Beach Fishing

Take off on a 6 km stroll along Mackay’s longest sandy beach, beautiful Blacks Beach. You might find hidden treasures. Marine turtles nesting and/or eggs hatching, migratory shorebirds and blue soldier crabs. Sometimes you can see whales up close and dolphins frolicking off the beach. Even locals and visitors kite surfing, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding. Fishing enthusiasts will love fishing off Blacks Beach. Target species are barramundi, flat head, bream, blue salmon, king/thread-fin salmon, mangrove jack, trevally, whiting, fingermark, queen-fish, black jew, barracuda, and cod.





What to do in Mackay - Artspace

Artspace Mackay

Artspace Mackay

Be inspired by the highest standard of contemporary art at Artspace Mackay. Housing three impressive gallery spaces and an ever-changing exhibitions program. Travelling exhibitions come from national and regional gallery collections. The gallery also curates shows from its own Artists Book Collection.       



Mackay Botanic Gardens - What to do in Mackay

Botanic Gardens

Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens

Enjoy a few hours relaxing at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. See lush themed gardens, wetland species and wildlife habitats. Besides that the palm walk and fernery are a must-see. Lagoons Cafe is a great place to catch up with friends. The Botanic Gardens links to the Bluewater Trail, so it’s a great stop over for lunch when out cycling.  



Kommo Toera Trail - What to do in Mackay

Kommo Toera Trail

Kommo Toera Trail

Take a 1 km stroll along the Kommo Toera Trail; a unique wetland ecosystem walking track. The trail meanders through a canopy of towering Melaleuca (Paper Bark) trees. Situated off Keeleys Road, Andergrove, it’s roughly a 15 minute drive from The Shores.




Art Mural - What to do in Mackay

Bluewater Trail

Bluewater Trail

Take a stroll along the Bluewater Trail, a shared pedestrian and bicycle path around the city. It boasts pathways, raised boardwalks, Mackay’s Levee Bank Mural and environmental areas. Consequently, it’s great way to see the region’s natural beauty.




Lighthouse at Mackay Marina - What to do in Mackay

Mackay Marina

Mackay Marina

Head down to Mackay’s popular Marina Village. It boasts an array of restaurants, bars and shops and the Mackay Yacht Club. Check out the breakwater and see the islands in the distance. Marvel at the variety of boats moored in the Marina. See larger vessels getting towed in and out through the harbour neck. Don’t forget to check out the Lighthouse too.



Art Deco Building- Free things to do around Mackay

Art Deco Building

City Centre Self Guided Heritage Walk

Put on your walking shoes and take a self-guided Heritage Walk around the city of Mackay. Pass twenty restored heritage-listed buildings. It’s one of Queensland’s best collections of Art Deco architecture you can see.




Mural on Slade Point Water Tower - What to do in Mackay

Water Tower Mural

Slade Point & Lamberts Beach Lookout

Drive through Slade Point stopping off to admire the Water Tower Mural then onto the lookout at Lambert’s Beach. The lookout is a great spot for whale watching from the mainland. Whales may be around between June to September every year. Besides that it has awesome views to the southern Whitsunday Islands all year round.



Blue Water Lagoon - What to do in Mackay

Bluewater Lagoon

Mackay Bluewater Lagoon

Please the kids with a day at Mackay’s Bluewater Lagoon situated at Canelands Park. They are sure to enjoy the three huge swimming pools as well as the water slide, waterfall or children’s splash pad. Even Mum and Dad will enjoy Pancake Bliss, the cafe/snack bar. A must-do, fun-filled day for kids, it also links to the Bluewater Trail.



Mackay Region



Swimming in Platypus Beach - Free things to do in Mackay

Platypus Beach

Platypus Beach

Drive to Platypus Beach, a sandy beach in the Pioneer River. A short drive from Mirani, and a favourite swimming hole for locals and visitors to our region. Besides that, Platypus beach has picnic facilities, informative signs and shelter. It’s a beautiful location to enjoy swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and picnics. You may even see the elusive platypus in its natural environment.



Cape Hillsborough - What to do in Mackay

Cape Hillsborough

Cape Hillsborough National Park

A short 50 minute drive from Mackay is Cape Hillsborough National Park. An awesome spot for fishing, bush walking and spectacular coastal scenery. A special treat is to see the wallabies feeding on the beach at sunrise. It really is a nature lovers and photographer’s paradise.



Historic Eimeo Hotel - What to do in Mackay

Heritage Pub Crawl

Heritage Pub Crawl

Try a pub crawl with a difference. View the Heritage Hotels and Pubs around the district. There are thirteen in Mackay itself and another sixteen in the region. Start at the Iconic Eimeo Hotel, 5 minutes drive from The Shores. The Eimeo has excellent views to the southern Whitsunday islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Also a great location for sighting whales during the winter months.



Finch Hatton Gorge - Free things to do around Mackay

Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton Gorge

Hop in the car and travel to Finch Hatton Gorge. Follow the walking track through lush tropical rain forest to the picturesque cascading waterfalls. A photographer’s paradise. Grab a homemade pie at the Pinnacle Pub on the way because they taste amazing.



Mining Trail - What to do in Mackay

Mining Trail

Mining Trail

Enjoy a full days drive west of Mackay along the Peak Downs Highway to Clermont. Pass through the mining communities of Nebo, Coppabella and Moranbah. A tourist route less travelled, you will see beautiful landscapes, historic towns and mining communities. Besides that, you will enjoy meeting the friendly folk of our hinterland.



Hay Point Lookout - What to do in Mackay

Hay Point Coal Port

Hay Point & Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminals

Go for a drive to the Hay Point & Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal lookouts. At the lookout you can spot the ships lined up out at sea waiting their turn for coal stock. Listen to the video and see the map pinpointing the coal mines in the region; a huge industry. If you have lots of time, consider driving the Mining Trail.



Tree ferns Eungella NP - What to do in Mackay

Eungella NP

Eungella National Park

Spend a day exploring Eungella National Park in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. See turtles and platypus in the Broken River, pristine rain forest and breath-taking scenery. Perfect.