Greater Whitsunday snapshot

90,000 km²
Key city/town
Local government
3 areas


Mackay is located 1,100km north of Brisbane and is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. The region is known for its beaches, lifestyle and recreational attractions.

  • Key towns and cities – Mackay, Airlie Beach, Bowen, Proserpine, and Moranbah
  • Mackay – Subtropical city of around 80,000 people
  • Mining strengths – 
    • Proximity to Australia’s largest coal reserves in Bowen and Galilee basins
    • Expert mining and engineering services, including southern hemisphere’s largest mining services support centre
    • Major coal ports at Hay Point and Abbott Point (export capacity 50 million tonnes per year)
  • Agricultural strengths – 
    • Around 30% of Australia’s sugarcane production
    • 20% of Queensland’s aquaculture production
    • One of Australia’s largest winter growing regions
  • Tourism gateway – Subtropical city of around 80,000 people
  • Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area – 172ha (425 acres) of riverfront land and infrastructure earmarked for revitalisation

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