This is the home straight on the long trek north to Cairns and there’s still an awful lot to pack in. The town of Mackay is the base from which to explore the reef island groups of Brampton, Newry and Carlisle. Inland, the lush slopes of Eungella National Park are home to wonderful waterfalls and unusual wildlife. Back on the coast the rush is on to reach the fast developing resort of Airlie Beach, gateway to the sublime Whitsunday Islands. Further north, Magnetic Island lives up to its name, attracting tourists with its beautiful beaches, while inland the historic gold-mining town of Charters Towers offers many their first taste of Queensland ‘outback’. North again, is Mission Beach, like a mainland version of Magnetic Island, while, offshore, as always, are the tropical reef islands.
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