Secure your car rental in Mackay for a stunning coastal adventure
On the edges of the Great Barrier Reef, near the islands of St Bees, lies the beautiful city of Mackay on Australia’s east coast. Pristine waters, a magical harbour and surrounded by national parks, Mackay is one holiday destination you’ll remember forever. Situated between the major centres of Cairns in the north, and Brisbane in the south, this coastal city is a prime location to hire a car and begin your beachside adventure.
Navigating Mackay in your Rental Car
Mackay Airport is located to the south of the city and is a short 10-minute drive down Milton Street to the town centre.
Traffic in Mackay is as light as you might expect in a small town but it can get busy at times. Be mindful of pedestrians around coastal areas, and be extra alert when driving at peak hours.
Tips for driving in Mackay
● Motorists drive on the left
● Watch out for animals wandering out onto the road, particularly during dawn and dusk.
● The speed limit is 50km/h in urban areas, and up to 100km/h on highways and in the countryside.
Mackay Airport offers short and long term parking and ranges from $5 to $30, depending on length of stay. The carparks are located behind the Ibis Hotel, just a short walk away from the terminal.
In the city, there are plenty of places to park your rental car that range from $0.70 to $5 for the whole day. Be sure to double check designated parking signs and be mindful of any time restrictions.
Pre-book your rental car in Mackay with Airport Rentals
Hiring a car in Mackay is easy when you book with Airport Rentals. Find and compare cars from a wide range of companies, including Hertz, Budget, Avis, Europcar and Redspot. Narrow down your options by car type, transmission and brand with our handy filters to find the perfect vehicle for your journey.
Planning a trip along the coast? Pick up or drop off your vehicle at another city on your route, such as Townsville to the north or Rockhampton in the south.
In the suburb of South Mackay lies Mackay Airport, a bustling hive of activity every day. When you arrive, grab a bite to eat at one of the cafes, plug in your phone at a recharge station, or check up on social media with the free WiFi. Pick up your rental car keys from the conveniently located rental kiosks in the arrivals lounge or hop on a bus that runs between the airport and the city.
The Ibis Mackay is located right outside the airport for convenient accommodation, or try the Ocean International hotel on the waterfront for spectacular views. For low cost lodgings, check in to the BeachSide Bed and Breakfast, or visit the CBD Holiday Home for something away from the coast.
Events in Mackay
When you visit Mackay, take advantage of the freedom of a rental car and join in to experience local events.
● Happy Daze Musical Festival is a 3-day music and arts festival held in June each year.
● The iconic Mackay Airport Beach Horse Races is an annual event held in August.
● With free entry and an annual gathering of people from all over the state, the Mackay Festival of Arts is one not to be missed in July.
Places to Eat in Mackay
Full of restaurants, beachside stalls and cafes, no matter where you are in Mackay you’ll find something delicious to match your cravings. Try Fusion 128, a fantastic restaurant serving modern Australian meals; or Kevin’s Place for excellent Singaporean dishes in an art-deco setting. For a cafe feel, head to Woodman’s Axe Coffee for the best coffee in town, or Foodspace inside Artspace Mackay for light on-the-go meals.
The Place and the People
Mackay’s varied and sun-kissed landscape offers a down to earth vibe that delights and welcomes visitors. Mining, sugarcane and shipping are all industries which have thrived in different stages over the years, bringing prosperity to the region and pushing the local population up to around 85,000.
Attractions in Mackay
See the local sites in your hired car.
● The Mackay Marina is the perfect spot to wine and dine, or relax with a picnic on the waterfront.
● Put your hiking boots on and walk through the breathtaking Eungella National Park.
● Bluewater Lagoon is a stunning spot near the Caneland Shopping Centre, with picnic areas, cafes, and free WiFi.
● Visit the island of St Bees and experience remarkable reefs and rainforests.
● Stretched across 33 hectares of forest, bush and mangroves lies the Mackay Botanic Gardens, which has an abundance of interesting flora and fauna to admire.
The best way to get around Mackay is with a rental car, but should you find yourself in need of public transport, the Translink public bus company services the city and the airport.
With a subtropical climate, Mackay is warm all year round. In the summer months between December and February the average high is 30 degrees Celsius, and only lowers to 23 degrees Celsius in winter (June to August). Summer can see humidity and rain, while the winter months are mostly dry and sunny.