Friday, February 16, 2007

Mackay, The Town Where My Daughter Lives

In my last post I mentioned that "I will do a shorter post later,
on the "history" of Mackay along with a few photos I took of the city."

...................Mackay Town Hall built 1912.

Mackay has a population of 82,300, and is often called the sugar capital of
Australia. It is approx. 990km (615 miles) from Brisbane.
There are five sugar mills processing sugar cane from the plantations and
supplies a third of the country's total output of sugar. The first sugar-cane
plantation was established in 1866, and soon afterwards the first sugar mill
was built and Mackay was declared a town.

..............Wood Street, Mackay.

As a port, Mackay ships, not only huge quantities of sugar but also coal from
the open cut mines in central Queensland. Its large harbor was created by the
construction of a breakwater in 1939. Alongside sugar, coal, beef, dairy
farming,timber working and the growing of tropical fruits the town's economy
is now being made by tourism.

...........Part of the Port and Harbour of Mackay.

One of the first Europeans to travel through the Mackay region was,
Captain James Cook who reached the Mackay coast on June 1st, 1770.
Two young men, John McCrossinand Scottish-born John Mackay assembled
a party of eight, including an Aborigine named Duke, and left in January 1860.
Yhe party reached the top of the range overlooking the Mackay district's
Pioneer Valley in May. After descending into the valley and exploring almost
to the mouth of the river, which they named the Mackay, the members of the
party selected land and began the trip back to civilisation. On the return
journey, they all suffered from a fever that claimed the life of Duke.
Mackay returned to the area with 1200 head of cattle in January 1862 and
founded Greenmount station.

........One of the many fine hotels in Mackay.

Mackay's City Heart has recently undergone a magical transformation and
you can feel close to the history of Mackay by following the Heritage Walk.
Here you will find a hotel built in 1889 that quenched the thirst of thousands of
rough and ready cane cutters for over a century; you'll see the Police Station,
the Court House and the Commonwealth Bank, all over a century old, and all
listed with the National Trust.

One of the Banks in Mackay listed with the National Trust.

..........Victoria Street, Mackay.

84km west of Mackay is Eungella National Park. The road to the National
Park runs besides the Pioneer River (this is the main river that runs through
the centre of Mackay) up the valley past Finch Hatton and through the
township of Eungella at the top of the range. Along the way we pass by three
sugar mills. From the top of the range the view of the Pioneer Valley is spectacular.

Overlooking the Pioneer Valley at the top of the Eungella National Park.

If you are lucky, and I mean real lucky you could be treated to see the
platypus which can be seen in the water courses in the National Park.
Unfortunately we were not lucky. Best viewing times is early in the morning
or late in the evening.

The platypus lays eggs and is a mammal. Living on the banks of of water,
the platypus burrows 50 foot long tunnels and uses its webbed feet to doggy
paddle around. The bill is a stream-lined nose and mouth for sniffing and
snuffling up pond-bottom delicacies like shrimp! Perfectly designed for
underwater life, the platypus has two layers of fur -- the first is short and dense
and never lets water through to the skin! The second is longer and is the layer
of fur that gets wet. The flat furry tail stores fat for the long cold winter in freezing

Peter and Wazza at Eungella National Park.

In 2003 Peter from Holtieshouse and I, went through Mackay (where I
visited my daughter) and during our stay there we drove up to the Eungella
National Park and enjoyed a cup of coffee while overlooking the magnificent
views of the Pioneer Valley. If you are ever in this part of the world a drive
up here is well worth the visit.
Mackay is one of the the dropping points to the Great Barrier Reef and is in
the sub tropics surrounded by lush rain forests.


Peter said...

Hi Wazza, some nice pics of Mackay, that view from Eungella is one of my favourites a great spot for a coffee as I recall.

Margaret said...

Hi Warren, great post, Mackay is a great place. Loved the family photos, the little boys are so cute. Thanks for emails
Cheers Margaret

Lee said...

I used to love sneaking up to Eungella for a few hours on a Sunday, when I could...when I was managing the motel in Mackay early in 1998. It's a great trip up and back...and wonderfully peaceful when up there. I used to always frequent one little cafe which was part of a German lady's home. I'd sit there with a book, a notebook and pen...peace!

Jim said...

Hi Warren. Your Mackay write-up is most interesting, I really enjoyed reading about it.
I'm glad of your sugar exports, they don't use water resourses like all that wine you send out. We might be getting a couple or three barrels of Australian water a year that way. It all adds up.

I might use the platypus in an upcoming June Bug blog. Did you see this one to get the picture?

Raggedy said...

Thank you for the wonderful tour of Mackay. I enjoyed your post very much. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Meow said...

Hi Wazza, thanks for the wonderful photos and story from around Mackay. I've only been there twice, on the way up and back from Cape York, and was struck with how beautiful a city it is.
Hope you are well.
Take care, Meow