Located about halfway between Brisbane and Cairns, Mackay is a coastal city of over 83,000 residents and considered the 23rd largest city in Australia.
It is nicknamed the “sugar capital of Australia” because its region produces more than a third of Australia’s sugar cane. Mackay is home to several sugar mills, one of Australia’s four sugar refineries and the largest bulk sugar terminal in the world.
The city is also a vital service centre for the mines of the nearby Bowen Basin, which produce 85 per cent of the state’s coal. Beef cattle and tourism are also important industries.
The city is founded on Yuibera traditional lands.
Mackay has relaxed, tropical lifestyle that combines the facilities of a modern regional city with an array of natural wonders. The Great Barrier Reef and fantastic fishing and scuba diving are on the doorstep. The magnificent Whitsunday Islands are just to the north
Spectacular mountain regions with crystal-clear streams, rainforests and unique flora and fauna are an easy drive away.
How do you pronounce Mackay?
The city is named after John Mackay, who was one of the first of the overland explorers to visit this area in 1860, and later return to pioneer the region and the port township of Mackay. Correspondence received from his descendants confirm the proper pronunciation comes from the Gaelic name ‘MacAoidh’, which is pronounced ‘i’, not ‘ay’.
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