The Best Hotels and Places to Stay in Mackay, Queensland

Enjoy a refreshing swimming pool and riverside views at the Mid-City Motor Inn in Mackay
Enjoy a refreshing swimming pool and riverside views at the Mid-City Motor Inn in Mackay | Courtesy of Mid-City Motor Inn / Expedia
Richard Bradbury

The north coast of Queensland has loads of great local beaches and is a gateway to the incredible Great Barrier Reef. Nearby Eungella National Park – previously Broken River National Park – boasts koalas and platypuses in pristine rivers. Mackay itself offers cuisines from around the world and heaps of great hotels to suit any budget. How about the local pub that lets you stay, dance and dine? Or luxurious apartments on the river with designer interiors? Families will love the Bluewater Lagoon pool and waterpark on the city fringe. It’s all here to enjoy. And these are the hotels in Mackay that you need to know about.

1. Riviera Mackay, for a blue lagoon holiday


Bright living-diving area with sliding doors to balcony with river views at Riviera Mackay
Courtesy of Riviera Mackay / Expedia

Check mate! Get your game-face on playing giant chess on the rooftop terrace at these modern one- and two-bedroom apartments. While you’re up here, enjoy a panoramic view of local beaches and the nearby winding Pioneer River. On your way back to your room, pick some fresh herbs from the garden for seasoning your BBQ dinner. This is far-north Queensland, so, to cool off, head one block over to the family-friendly Bluewater Lagoon, with three cascading pools and play equipment that the kids will love.

2. Oaks Mackay Carlyle Suites, for the perfect match


Bedroom area with grey carpeting and sliding door to balcony at Oaks Mackay Carlyle Suites
Courtesy of Oaks Mackay Carlyle Suites / Expedia

At Oaks, you are close to some great cafes, including the Dispensary, which is open as a café during the day and bar at night. Not that you need to leave the building, as all apartments have modern kitchens, laundries and spacious living and dining areas. Outside, make the most of the lap pool or a workout at the gym. Cleverly, you can mix and match adjoining rooms. So, for larger groups, a two-bedroom apartment combined with a hotel room makes a three-bedroom apartment. Check in, check it out.

3. McGuire’s Hotel and Electric Garden, for pub grub and good times


Outdoor bar area with shade sails, picnic tables and barrel tables at McGuire’s Hotel and Electric Garden in Mackay
Courtesy of McGuire’s Hotel and Electric Garden / Expedia

If you like to party, the Electric Garden has your name written all over it. Opportunities to throw shapes include the regular live music gigs – alternatively, just imbibe the atmosphere as you lounge under the enormous shade sails, or at the barrel tables, perching on high stools. The hotel rents simple dorms with just a ceiling fan, or air-conditioned singles, twins and family rooms, all at unbeatable budget rates. Fill up with the all-day breakfast dished up at the on-site Moostache Coffee Lounge. For an evening feed, the hotel cooks up filling Aussie pub meals.

4. Lanai Riverside Apartments, for design and luxury


Outdoor pool lit in electric blue at night at the Lanai Riverside Apartments in Mackay
Courtesy of Lanai Riverside Apartments / Expedia

You’ll love the inviting pool out the front of these modern apartments, which are located riverside and right in the heart of Mackay. Start your day under polished brass pendant lighting over the extended breakfast bar, put your feet up on the soft leather loungers or the plushily cushioned cane chairs, and idle around on the cool rattan rugs feet up on the Balinese timber coffee table. There’s a large outdoor barbecue area with a shared table – spread out and get to know new friends. And there’s a well-equipped gym, sauna and sun loungers so that you can relax by that enormous pool.

5. Coral Sands Motel, for value and location


Outdoor pool area with sunloungers at Coral Sands Motel in Mackay
Courtesy of Coral Sands Motel / Expedia

This is one of the best-value-for-money motels in central Mackay. You get to choose from a range of rooms, unless you’d rather a three-bedroom apartment. On site is the Hot Wok Chinese and Thai restaurant, with more than 70 menu items to choose from. Nearby is the sheltered Harbour Beach for a cool, refreshing swim, and the Bluewater Trail featuring art installations dotted along the riverside. Explore all the way to Artspace Mackay – well worth a visit for the regular touring exhibitions it lays on, and the work of local Indigenous artists.

6. Mid-City Motor Inn, for riverside quiet


Refreshing outdoor pool and large lawn area with river view at Mid-City Motor Inn in Mackay
Courtesy of Mid-City Motor Inn / Expedia

Right on the Pioneer River, with fine watery views, these quiet and conveniently located motel rooms have the cool benefit of air conditioning and a refreshing swimming pool. What’s more, they are well placed – just a block from the centre of town. You might stay in and sprawl on the open lawn area, throwing juicy steaks onto the excellent shared BBQ. Or there is a handy boardwalk you can follow along the river to catch the evening breeze. It’ll ultimately lead you to the Caneland Central shopping centre, where you might catch a movie at the cinema and sample great local restaurants.

7. Aligned Corporate Apartments, for a touch of Greece


Small outdoor swimming pool with shade sail at Aligned Corporate Apartments in Mackay
Courtesy of Aligned Corporate Apartments / Expedia

OK, you’re right in the centre of Mackay, but tonight, you’re dining in the Greek Islands. Downstairs from these corporate serviced apartments is Let’s Do Greek, a popular restaurant offering your favourite Aegean-informed dishes. Fresh seafood is a feature, with octopus pasta and ouzo-flamed prawns as two standout main course options. Each studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment has its own private balcony and air conditioning, as well as handy tea- and coffee-making facilities and top-to-toe sleek design, based on earthy neutral tones.

8. Rydges Mackay Suites, for central fun times


Living space with black couches and chairs, wood furniture and sliding doors to balcony at Rydges Mackay Suites
Courtesy of Rydges Mackay Suites / Expedia

At Rydges, choose between studio, one- and two-bedroom suites or, if you feel like a shameless upgrade, a deluxe spa suite with a deep spa bath – pure indulgence. When you’re scrubbed, glam up and pop down to Moss on Wood, the on-site modern restaurant and bar, and get settled in the snuggly groovy booths, grab a cocktail from the moss-green tiled bar and swig it under festive lights. The menu caters for vegans, with their super bowl topped with pomegranate, tahini and sauerkraut. Or, for meatier fare, try the fantastic selection of authentic Italian pizzas and pasta dishes.

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