Next stop Mackay

After my day on GKI, I drove north the following morning from Rockhampton to Mackay, where I was booked into another motel.There is 300km of nothing much between Rocky and Sarina, which sits on the edge of Mackay canefield belt. At Sarina I detoured inland through the canefields then up in the ranges to Eungella Chalet. I stopped here the last time I did this run but it was raining. Though the clouds threatened again today, it cleared by the time I got to the top of the range and enjoyed a great view down to the valley below as I had lunch in the Chalet.

mackay1

After a short walk in the local National Park, I drove the 70km down below and into Mackay. After checking in, I drove across the Pioneer River and up through Mackay’s northern beach suburbs until I hit Slade Point. It was yet another spot named by  Captain James Cook in 1770 after Sir Thomas Slade, Surveyor to the Navy 1755-71. This is the view north to Dolphin’s Head.mackay2

I expected to see some heavy industry around here as the home of two coal ports at Hay Point (seen in the left of the image below) and Dalrymple Bay, but I was more surprised to find a 73 hectare reserve, Slade Point Reserve. I went for a long walk in the Reserve, first hugging the shore with good views from Lamberts Lookout and then inland through the dunes.mackay3

As afternoon turned to evening I drove south back to town, detouring through Mackay Marina which glistened in the late sunshine.mackay4

The following day I had to get to Airlie Beach which was less than two hours away. So there was time for a detour back to Cape Hillsborough National Park. Again, this was another spot I visited last time but its beauty demands repeat visits. The beach was empty on a cloudy morning and I came too late to see the kangaroos feeding at dawn.mackay5

Unlike last time the tide was out so I was able to the full walk circuit of the Cape by walking along the rocks before finding the path up the hill. At low tide Wedge Island is linked to the mainland via a causeway but signs recommend you only head out there on a falling tide and I didn’t want to take the risk of being stranded out there for six hours. I was content to admire the view of the island from one of the lookouts on the Andrews Point 5.2km walk.mackay6

This is the view from the south of the Cape at Turtle Point looking south across Shoal Point to Belmunda.mackay7

The walk affords many gorgeous views of the beaches below at Cape Hillsborough. I’m back in the vicinity at New Year’s Eve and looking forward to checking out the other walks at this beautiful place.mackay8

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