The Beaches and the Country Roads Around Mackay, Queensland

In Mondays post we looked at Mackay: The Town, the Shops, the River and the Lagoon. I wanted to check out the beaches though, so I jumped into my car to make the short journey east to the coast.

Within 10 minutes I’d made my way to the end of East Gordon Street, arriving at Iluka Park on Binnington Esplanade; an area most commonly known as Town Beach to the locals…

Town Beach Mackay

Town Beach Mackay

Town Beach Mackay

Town Beach Mackay

Town Beach MackayAs you can see, it’s a pretty rugged beach, completely uncommercialised, unspoiled and pretty much untouched. Similar story when I drove up the road a bit further to Harbour Beach…

Harbour Beach Mackay

Harbour Beach MackayI can’t even remember what beach this one is, sometimes it’s hard to know simply because there aren’t any signs or anything at all, but I think this was somewhere near Slade Point…

Slade point possibly

Slade point possiblyThen, another 10 minutes further north, Blacks Beach…

Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach

Blacks BeachAnd just a couple of kilometres further up from there, was Eimeo Beach…

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo Beach

Well, there were a few people around here and there, but mostly it’s endless stretches of rugged uncommercialised beaches where it is almost impossible to kick sand into somebody else’s face, even if you were the kind of person who wanted to. Beaches where you can throw your towel down where ever you want to without encroaching on somebody else’s space.

These beaches were definitely quiet, but all the more beautiful for that.

Yes, you could argue it was the middle of winter, but it was still 26°C, the kind of weather that gets labelled a heatwave in the UK. You could also argue that it was not a school holiday and it was a Thursday, I’m not sure that explains it either.

You might even want to argue that the beaches are quiet because of signs like these, after all, I would think that it is around this point going north in Queensland that the possibility of a croc showing up needs to be taken a little more seriously…

Sign

SignI’m not sure that would be the case though. People still swim in the sea in these parts quite regularly. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bondi Beach and Surfers Paradise with their uncompromising rips were more dangerous to swim in than here.

I’m only guessing, but I would suggest that these beaches are quiet because we are in a stretch of the Queensland coastline that just has way too much beach for the size of the population. More beach than they can possibly know what to do with.

Mackay Marina was a bit busier though…

Mackay Marina

Mackay Marina

Mackay Marina

Mackay MarinaBall Bay

There was one more beach I wanted to see though, it was an hour further north; Ball Bay.

Ball Bay MapAs you can see from the Google map above, there were three recommended routes to get you to Ball Bay, I set my satnav to take me directly there the shortest way possible. It was an interesting journey…

To Ball Bay

To Ball Bay

To Ball Bay

To Ball Bay

To Ball BayAnd when I got there, this was Ball Bay…

Ball Bay

Ball BayIt was at this point that the penny dropped, as we say. That means that during this moment, this visit to Ball Bay, I finally realised what was going on here.

I imagined arriving at this beach and finding a few shops, maybe a cafe, but at the very minimum I expected to see a few people around. I saw none of that.

Ball Bay is pretty remote, it’s a very small town, there’s hardly anything there. I did see a few houses, but not many. I’ve just checked, apparently the population of Ball Bay is about 600. Coming from a much smaller country as I do, England, it’s unthinkable to find a beach there that is so out of the way and quiet.

Here, in Australia, we appear to have shed loads and lots of them are along the Queensland coast.

The street behind this beach was so understated I didn’t even bother to take a photograph. It looks like any other street really. Except, of course, the houses have fantastic views overlooking the ocean. I just checked; I found a detached three-bedroom house, with a double garage, a swimming pool and a veranda that looks over the sea for just over $500,000.

Here’s a sneaky look…

Ball Bay viewGoogle ‘beachfront property in Ball Bay, Queensland’ to see what you can find.

Driving away from Ball Bay towards my next destination, Airlie Beach, was even more entertaining…

Leaving Ball Bay

Leaving Ball Bay

Leaving Ball BayAt one point I was on a dust track for 13 km until eventually, of course, I was back on the Bruce…

Back on the Bruce

Back on the Bruce

Back on the Bruce

Back on the Bruce

It was all a bit of an eye-opener for me, all so very remote. But I really liked remote.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Emma October 4, 2016, 6:26 pm | Link

    hey ya Bob, i am enjoying seeing my country through your eyes. Keep up the good work!

    • BobinOz October 4, 2016, 7:58 pm | Link

      Thanks Emma, I’m pleased to hear it. I will be returning to my road trip very soon so look out for more posts about me heading north in Queensland.

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