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Mackay

Trip Planner South Pacific  /  Australia  /  Queensland  /  Mackay
(4.4/5 based on 650+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: theme parks, parks, trails
Mackay is a city on the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. It is located about 970km north of Brisbane, on the Pioneer River. Mackay is nicknamed the sugar capital of Australia because its region produces more than a third of Australia's cane sugar.There is controversy about the location of the region for administrative purposes, with most people referring to it as a part of either Central Queensland or North Queensland. Indeed, much confusion lies within the Queensland Government, with government services being provided through both Townsville (North Queensland) and Rockhampton (Central Queensland). Generally, the area is known as the Mackay–Whitsunday Region.NameThe city was named after John Mackay. In 1860, he was the leader of an expedition into the Pioneer Valley. Initially the township was to be called Alexandra and river was named after Mackay, but later the river was changed to be the Pioneer River and the township name was changed to be Mackay. There has always been much contention over the pronunciation of the name Mackay. Correspondence received by Mackay City Library in 2007, from descendants of John Mackay, confirms that the correct pronunciation is, from the Gaelic name "MacAoidh" which is pronounced "ɑɪ" not "eɪ".HistoryOne of the first Europeans to travel through the Mackay region was Captain James Cook, who reached the Mackay coast on 1 June 1770 and named several local landmarks, including Cape Palmerston, Slade Point and Cape Hillsborough. It was during this trip that the Endeavour's botanist, Sir Joseph Banks, briefly recorded seeing Aborigines.
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