Local Guide in Mackay, Queensland: Moving & Living in Mackay (what to expect)


Living in Mackay, Queensland

Living in Mackay, QLD is a unique experience characterised by modern amenities and natural beauty.

Mackay is a city located in the Central Queensland region of Australia and is known for its beautiful beaches, schools, great job prospects, lush rainforests, and the Great Barrier Reef. The city has a population over 130,000 people and is a major centre for mining and agriculture. The climate in Mackay, QLD is tropical, with hot summers and mild winters. The cost of living is generally considered affordable, with a median house price of around $300,000. The area has many schools, hospitals, and parks, making it a great place to raise a family. Overall, Mackay is a great place to live, with a strong sense of community and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

Mackay’s surroundings are another significant draw for residents. This place is well-known for its history of being a big sugarcane farming area in Australia. But nowadays, the mining industry has become the main thing that supports the local economy.

Furthermore, Mackay offers various shopping opportunities to cater to multiple preferences. The central shopping complex Caneland provides a wide selection of retail outlets. The Mount Pleasant shopping complex offers convenient shopping options for those in the northern suburbs. In addition, every Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, residents can explore the local growers market, where they can find fresh and locally sourced products, adding to the region’s community and sustainability. Overall, the combination of housing options, natural beauty, and shopping convenience makes Mackay an attractive and well-rounded place to live.

Living Choices in Mackay

The Mackay Marina presents a captivating view of the Coral Sea, offering a picturesque backdrop for residents and visitors alike. This marina is a visual delight and a hub of diverse dining options, featuring fine dining restaurants, a local fish and chip shop, and a pub for casual outings. It also hosts a world-class public boat ramp, providing convenient access for launching your vessel.

The marina’s long breakwater is a remarkable feature, accessible by both walking and driving, and it offers breathtaking vistas of the sea. It’s a favoured spot for blue water fishing enthusiasts, especially during the seasons when tuna and mackerel are abundant.

For those who want to explore beyond Mackay, the Mackay Airport is conveniently located, a mere 5-minute drive from the city centre. It offers a range of flights, including routes to Brisbane and other regional destinations, ensuring easy and efficient travel connections.

Should you ever seek a change of scenery, a mere 90-minute drive north will lead you to the stunning Whitsundays. You can venture to Airlie Beach for a delightful coastal experience, or hop on a ferry for a weekend getaway to the captivating Hamilton Island. The Mackay region, with its proximity to these beautiful destinations, ensures that adventure and relaxation are always within easy reach.

Is Mackay, Queensland a good place to live?

If you’re considering the idea of residing in Mackay, consider a more serene lifestyle. Mackay is known for its tranquillity and family-friendly environment, and offers a distinctive alternative to the bustle of more densely populated areas. This region is an ideal place to raise a family and a sought-after destination for retirees seeking a more peaceful way of life.

One striking feature that sets Mackay apart from crowded urban centres is the availability of spacious land parcels. While larger cities typically offer land plots seldom exceeding 300m2, Mackay boasts prime land options starting at 500m2 and even larger in newer subdivisions, averaging around 700m2. This generous space allows for the construction of comfortable homes while maintaining a sense of openness and breathing room.

Living in Mackay offers compelling benefits. The region stands out for its excellent schools, promising job opportunities, wholesome lifestyle, and proximity to the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef. These factors make living in Mackay an enticing and well-rounded choice.

The lifestyle in Mackay is nothing short of exceptional. Its proximity to the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef, lush rainforests, and crystal-clear blue waters provides many outdoor adventures and exploration opportunities. Whether you prefer a day at the beach, riverside camping, 4WD adventures, island fishing, or a simple barbecue with friends, Mackay accommodates a diverse range of activities to satisfy various interests.

Furthermore, commuting within Mackay is efficient, with the ability to traverse the city from its southern side to the north in approximately 10 minutes. This convenience ensures you can make the most of your time at work and leisure.

What is Mackay best known for?

Mackay, Queensland has a rich history as one of Australia’s primary sugarcane farming regions, known for its extensive crop cultivation. Nevertheless, in recent years, a significant transformation has occurred, with the mining industry emerging as the backbone of the local economy. This shift reflects the region’s adaptability and its ability to embrace new opportunities in addition to its agricultural heritage.

Schools in Mackay - Public & Private

Mackay is home to an impressive selection of over 40 schools, making it a location with a plethora of educational opportunities. These options encompass various institutions, from preschools to primary schools, high schools, and even universities. As Mackay continues to evolve and develop, so does its educational landscape.

It’s essential to note that each neighbourhood in Mackay falls under the jurisdiction of a specific school zone. Therefore, before making housing decisions, whether renting or buying, it’s advisable to thoroughly research and understand the school catchment areas associated with the suburbs you’re considering. This approach ensures that your children will have access to schools that align with your educational preferences.

In addition to the public school system, Mackay features several well-regarded private schools that offer quality education at reasonable prices. The public schools in Mackay are known for their well-maintained facilities and commitment to providing a high standard of education. The region’s high schools are also recognised for their academic excellence.

To simplify your search for the ideal school, you can utilise a map to identify educational institutions close to your residence. This diverse educational landscape in Mackay provides a wealth of choices, ensuring you can select a school that best suits your family’s educational needs and aspirations.

Diverse School Options Abound in Mackay

The region of Mackay offers a variety of both public and private schools, allowing you to select from a spectrum of educational institutions, including options like Catholic and Anglican schools for your child. Mackay is home to an extensive and diverse array of educational institutions, with more than 40 schools. As the region grows and evolves, it offers a comprehensive range of educational options, from preschools to primary schools, high schools, and even universities.

In line with many other regions, each suburb in Mackay is associated with a specific school catchment area. Therefore, it’s advisable to research these catchment areas before committing to rental or home purchase decisions. This step ensures your children can access schools aligned with your educational preferences.

Mackay boasts a mix of state-run and private schools, providing parents with various choices. Queensland’s schools are known for their academic excellence, offering a broad spectrum of subjects and extracurricular activities. They emphasise individualised learning experiences, internationally recognised qualifications, and flexible pathways for further education.

Many private schools in Mackay also offer scholarships and bursaries for talented and gifted students, making quality education accessible to a broader range of students.

The region has a proud sporting heritage, and has produced notable athletes like Cathy Freeman. Schools in Mackay often encourage a wide range of extracurricular lifestyle activities, including dancing, music, arts, excursions, overseas missionary trips, and more, enriching the overall educational experience.

Mackay, Queensland Primary Schools

In primary schools, Mackay provides state-run and private options, with many receiving positive reviews. For instance, in 2020, the following five Mackay primary schools achieved high Year 5 results according to a Better Education audit:

  • Whitsunday Anglican School – 99% (State overall score)
  • Coningsby State School – 98% (State overall score)
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School – 91% (State overall score)
  • Glenella State School – 87% (State overall score)
  • St. Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School – 87% (State overall score)

These results can serve as a benchmark, but it’s important to note that they may vary from year to year based on the student intake.

Mackay High Schools

In the realm of high schools, Mackay offers a variety of state-run and private options. According to a recent audit from Better Education, in 2020, the following three high schools achieved notable Year 9 results:

  • Whitsunday Anglican School – 98% (State overall score)
  • Holy Spirit College – 90% (State overall score)
  • Mercy College – 88% (State overall score)

As with primary schools, these results are indicative and may fluctuate from year to year, depending on the student cohort. Additionally, Mackay is home to other esteemed high schools, including Mackay State High School, Mackay Northern Beaches High School, and Pioneer State School. This diversity of educational options ensures that families in Mackay can access various schools to suit their preferences and needs.

Moving to Mackay - Tips and Advice

Moving to Mackay, while exciting, can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the region. However, we are here to provide you with valuable information to ease the process of planning your move to Mackay. With our first-hand knowledge of the area, you can gain insights into the diverse suburbs, get a grasp of rental and property prices, access school information, and explore the abundant lifestyle opportunities awaiting you in this vibrant region.

Here are some important distances to key destinations from Mackay:

  • Mackay to Brisbane: Approximately, 954 kilometres
  • CBD Mackay to Townsville: About 387 kilometres
  • Mackay to Cairns: Around 733 kilometres
  • South Mackay to Rockhampton: Approximately 336 kilometres
  • CBD Mackay to Airlie Beach: About 150 kilometres

Understanding these distances can help you gauge the regional connectivity and geographical layout as you plan your move to Mackay. Whether you’re in search of housing schools or simply looking to explore the region’s unique lifestyle, our insights aim to make your transition to Mackay as smooth and informed as possible.

Climate In Mackay

Mackay’s climate is a major attraction for residents and visitors alike, offering a distinctive blend of hot summers and mild, sunny winters. This unique climate is often regarded as one of the finest globally. Here’s what you can expect in terms of temperatures:

Winter Months (June to August)

During the winter season, daily temperatures hover just over 22°C. These months offer a pleasantly mild and comfortable environment, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities.

Summer Months (December to February)

In contrast, summer brings higher temperatures, with daily averages reaching around 30°C. These months are perfect for enjoying the region’s beaches and outdoor attractions.

In addition to the comfortable temperature range, Mackay enjoys abundant sunshine, with an average of 261 sunny days per year. This consistent sunshine contributes to the region’s reputation as a haven for those who appreciate sunny and pleasant weather, and it provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures and exploration.

Essential Considerations Before you Move to Mackay

Mackay is a fantastic region, particularly well-suited for young families and retirees looking to move. If you’re considering relocating to Mackay, the Mackay City Property team, who are based in the area and have an in-depth knowledge of the region, are here to assist you in your planning.

When it comes to moving costs, it’s important to note that they can vary significantly from one provider to another. To help you secure an affordable and stress-free move to Mackay, here are some valuable tips:

Explore Local Classifieds and Marketplace

Check local classified advertisements or online marketplaces, where you might find cost-effective removalists advertising their services. Some removalists may offer discounted backload rates on their return trips to Mackay.

Prepare for Humidity

Mackay experiences high humidity, especially during summer. To protect your belongings, it’s advisable to unpack your boxes promptly. Consider purchasing moisture absorbers to mitigate moisture-related issues like mould.

Storage Options

In case your new property isn’t ready for occupancy, you might need temporary storage solutions. Mackay offers various storage facilities that are reasonably priced and can provide a convenient solution during your transition.

By keeping these considerations in mind and seeking out cost-effective options, you can make your move to Mackay a seamless and enjoyable experience, allowing you to embrace all that this beautiful region has to offer fully.

Mackay Region Highlights

Here are some of the highlights that make Mackay an attractive destination:

Rapid Growth

Mackay is one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions, offering “big city standard” services and housing at an affordable cost. This growth has resulted in a dynamic and vibrant community.

Central Location

Situated in central coast Queensland, Mackay enjoys a prime location with easy access by air, road, and rail. This accessibility makes it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding areas.

Busy Airport

Mackay boasts the distinction of being the fifth busiest airport in Queensland. It is well-connected, with over 110 weekly flights, including more than 70 flights covering the 1.5-hour route between Brisbane and Mackay.

Accommodation and Event Facilities

The region offers a diverse range of affordable, high-quality accommodation options. It features a purpose-built convention centre and hotel conference and meeting facilities, making it an ideal destination for business and events. Unique off-site dining venues add to the culinary experience.

Best Beaches in Mackay

With 31 beautiful beaches, pristine rainforests, and easy access to nearby islands, Mackay provides an idyllic work/life balance. The stunning natural surroundings make it perfect for outdoor activities, relaxation, and adventure.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intend for general informational purposes only. While we strive to present information in good faith, we do not consider specific situations, facts, or circumstances. Therefore, we make no representation or warranty, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, reliability, validity, availability, or completeness of the information presented.

This blog may include links to external sites or content from third parties. We do not investigate or monitor such external links for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness. Consequently, we cannot be held liable or responsible for any information contained therein.

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