Located in the hinterland around 80km west of Mackay at the head of the Pioneer Valley, Eungella is Australia's longest, oldest stretch of sub-tropical rainforest and is just a leisurely hours drive from the city.
There are many different walking tracks to explore the rainforest that vary in difficulty from the short, wheelchair accessibly walk to the Sky Window, which offers a breathtaking view all the way down the Pioneer Valley, to longer treks for the more adventurous.
Eungella is also home to diverse range of wildlife, including more than 200 species of birds and is a great place for bird-watching enthusiasts. Broken River is also one of the few places where you can view platypuses in the wild, with sunrise and sunset the most likely times to see these shy, intriguing creatures.
Eungella Dam is nestled 800m above sea level and Daniel says it has some of the best sooty grunter fishing in Queensland. Sooties are a great option all year round due to their aggressive nature, where as barra can be quite fussy and moody.
Daniel says one of his best experiences fishing in the Mackay region came while fishing at Eungella Dam.
“At certain times of the year a small population of cormorant reside at the dam. At night after feeding on small fish all day the birds will sleep in the drowned timber and in the mornings sooties will be feeding on the droppings underneath,” says Daniel.
“This causes a small feeding frenzy which can be easily target by anglers. Sooties that feed on these droppings can be of all different sizes and if there is enough birds around as many as 20-30 fish can be caught underneath the birds.”
A handy hint: Daniel's preferred lure of choice for chasing sooties at Eungella are Rapala Skitter Pops.
There are camping facilities at Eungella and Kinchant dams, that are basic yet comfortable. Waterside camping also allows you to keep the boat in the water at all times.
Mackay Tackle Suppliers
318 Shakespeare St, Mackay - 07 4957 2145
Nashy's Compleat Angler
25 Harbour Road, North Mackay - 07 4957 2272
Boating Supplies and Dealers
Darren Brand of BBB Marine builds beautiful, custom made fishing boats to perfectly suit north Queensland's conditions. BBB Marine offer several hulls that are architecturally designed and can be completely customised to suit your needs. For more information on these great locally built vessels call 07 49521412.
For your water solutions, great boats from Savage, Nobel Boats, Allison Alloy Plate Boats and Brooker and outboards from Tohatsu and Evinrude E-Tec visit Ocean Marina at Paget across from the railway station. The team can service your outboard or jetski or help you out with any of your boating needs. Call them on 07 4952 2436.
For all your boating needs, Reef Marine is conveniently located in Prospect Street in the City Heart. One of central Queensland's largest boat dealers, Reef Marine stock a great range of boats from Seajay, Kelvacat, Haines, Bluefin, Stabi-craft and McLay and are a Yamaha and Minn Kota dealer. Pop in and see them to keep your boat in top shape while on holidays or call 07 4957 3521.
Shane Morrison Marine
A registered Stacer and Honda dealer, Shane Morrison Marine can service all models of boats and motors with a friendly and professional manner. The store also stocks a wide range of spearfishing gear and accessories in addition to their new and used boat packages. Visit them in Keller St, North Mackay or call on 07 4951 1991.
The Sarina area offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a relatively unspoilt region, which has retained much of its original charm.
The Sarina Sugar Shed, a miniature sugar mill and distillery, offers a unique insight into the local sugar industry and is the only mill of its kind in the country. Take a tour of the Sugar Shed to see the sugar processed and distilled for the production of rum and other locally made liqueurs, schnapps and ginger beer. A range of gourmet sauces and confectionary are also produced at the Sugar Shed and will be sure to tantalise your taste buds.
Sarina's surrounding beachside communities including Sarina Beach, Grasstree Beach, Salonika Beach and Freshwater Point are also popular spots for day trips with beautiful beaches that are perfect for a quiet picnic or a relaxing day of dangling a line in the water.
Sarina offers excellent estuary fishing in Sarina Inlet and the way south to Rocky Dam Creek. Sarina inlet features more open water that is well suited to catches of whiting, flathead, trevally and queenfish, where Rocky Dam Creek and its surrounds is a typical mangrove creek labyrinth renowned for excellent crabs, saltwater barramundi and mangrove jacks.
Further south, the Cape Palmerston area has numerous creek and estuary systems that produce all the regular creek species as well as barra, jacks and some of the region's best crabbing.
Offshore from the Palmerston area there is excellent reef fishing available around places like Temple Island. Further offshore, Elamang Island is a renowned location for huge Spanish mackerel. In winter these areas also produce good runs of snapper.
Yehah's Bright Idea!
The inspiration behind Yehah Boat and Camping Hire came from the usual frustrations suffered by boat owners: ongoing maintenance cost, rego, insurance and an ever shrinking window of opportunity of perfect boating conditions and circumstance.
So John Burns decided he could hire a quality boat when he wanted to get on the water for less than the ongoing costs of owning a boat. And when he discovered there was no where that offered quality boats for short and long term hire in Mackay he decided to fill the niche and Yehah was born.
Yehah is a one-stop shop for your fishing and camping needs in Mackay. You can fly in to the city and hire everything you need for your fishing holiday. Choose from a large range of boats and kayaks, hire camping gear or a camper trailer, as well as fishing rods and reels and best of all an off road, sturdy vehicle to see the most of Mackay you can.
For more information visit www.yehah.com.au or call Yehah on 07 4951 3474.
While Mackay is a little off the radar when it comes to holiday destinations, when you take the time to investigate the possibilities, you'll be surprised at what the area has to offer for anglers. From brawling metre plus barra in the impoundments, to cranky mangrove jack in the estuaries, with feisty sooties in the upper reaches of the river and surly Spaniards out in the deep blue, Mackay really is a magic place.
And for those whose pleasure is not fishing, Mackay's diverse natural beauty leaves little to be desired. There is something to occupy everyone with miles of tranquil beaches, tropical rainforest, dramatic mountain ranges, quaint cane-field chequered countryside and plenty of activities across the board.
Make time to visit Mackay or put it on your must visit list – it's a wonderful area to visit for anglers and their families. Even big city girls from Brisbane enjoy going home to Mackay for a few days and hitting the water with Dad in search of those angry sooties and boofing barra.
More about Mackay
For more information on the Mackay Region visit one of the five Tourist Information Centres that are conveniently located in the City, the Pioneer Valley and Sarina.
Before your trip you'll find a huge range of activities and great must-see spots at the Mackay region's website at www.mackayregion.com or phone the friendly, helpful team for the cost of a local call on 1300 130 001, or if you're in the region phone (07) 4944 5888.