Mackay Parks | Your ultimate parks and playground guide

New park Seaforth Esplande

As a mum it’s important for me to have my kids be active, they are boys and boys have a lot of energy that needs to be exhausted from their little bodies. Before I started to write this post, I thought there were just a few of Mackay parks and playgrounds that we had been too, however as I got into writing I remembered a lot of other parks and playgrounds we have been to in Mackay. 

Where we go to changes as the kids get older and their abilities change, different parks suit us better. I have my favourite parks for my own personal personal reasons. The kids have their picks for their own reason. I have a five year age gap between the kids, so I’ll point out where I find parks are better for toddlers, babies and older kids. My older son is happy to explore on his own and clim and make friends, where as my little fella needs a little bit more support and help on the equipment. Knowing that the parks and playgrounds are safe and I can keep my eyes on them is always important to me. I’m safety conscious of cars moving and people coming in an out of the playgrounds.

Grab your coffee settle in and hopefully you can add one of these parks to your playdate rotation. 

**Disclaimer: I apologise in advance if I have named the parks and playgrounds incorrectly. The kids and I often refer to them by size and colour – it’s a wonderful guessing game**

Our top 4 Mackay Parks and Playgrounds

Northview park

My son’s first pick of the parks and I must agree it’s pretty good. There is the new super tall climbing frames with big twirly slides for the big kids, there are small play equipment areas for the little ones. There merry-go-rounds and swings. It’s completely fenced! There is minimal parking on the road but knowing that the playground is fenced is a minor concern. There are toilets and barbecue facilities on the outside of the playground. There are walking paths and the duckpond. The duck pond is always fascinating to see the ducks and turtles. There’s a new basketball court that has been built. We have even used this playground during the wet season, as it has a tin roof over some of the play equipment and provides a little bit of dryness whilst being outside. Yes it’s kind of muddy but it gets the kids out of the house and stops climbing the walls. It’s a great little park quite close to home.

Queens Park

Massive play area with levels for all ages. Possibly Mackay’s largest playground.  It has a hamster wheel, swings and tall canopy play fort. How the kids aren’t afraid with the heights has me stumped. Toilets are available and plenty of parking on the road. It’s quite busy with birthday parties of a weekend so getting in early to snag a spot is ideal.  Although it keeps the kids active, it’s not a fenced playground, so I’m keeping a vigil eye on both of them – even at two ends of the playground.  Venturing further into Queen’s park, are walkways that take you through the beautiful grassy areas, around to the Orchid House.

Woodlands Park

Woodlands Park is our personal neighbourhood park. It’s currently getting a makeover which is very exciting for us and my son is looking forward to the new play equipment that they’re going to put in. The council are putting in larger walking tracks and barbecue areas. Currently there is a walk-through Woodlands forest, we nickname the Magic Forest. Watch this space as development happen over 2023.

Richmond estate 

My personal favourite park it’s small and it’s pretty – can I say that?. I just love how the sun sprinkles through the trees.  It’s small play area with the right equipment perfect for my 7 & 2yo.  I can happily sit on the rock blocks and watch them be busy. It has a climbing web, a merry-go-round and play fort, perfect for most ages. There is no toilet but there is a picnic area and walking path close by.  This is a little hidden gem.

Northern Beaches Parks and Playgrounds

Here are some the playgrounds we have played at over the years, in no particular order.

Bucasia park. 

Bucasia Park is for the older kids, the playground is very interactive but the gaps between the stairs and the climbing apparatus I feel too big for toddlers. The toilets a fair distance away too. There’s a lot of parking but it’s not fenced lots of pathways for riding bikes and walking and the beaches are always beautiful.

Blacks Beach Park

Hidden away in Blacks Beach and nestled under palm trees is a beautiful little playground on the beach. There are toilets, parking, playground, barbecue facilities and for the fit and active there is The Stairs.

Shoal Point park

Semi fenced, large shaded trees, bbq and picnic area. Positioned on the beach but mostly sheltered from the winds. The tide laps in on the rocks at high tide, when the tide goes out it leaves a little rock pools where kids can explore and find sea creatures that have been left behind.

Royal Sands

Tucked away in the Northern Beaches is Royal Sands estate. As you enter the estate there is a small playground but if you keep going deeper into the estate, there is a large fully fenced playground. No toilets are available but the tin roof also offers offers opportunities to play while the weather is wet.

North Mackay Parks and Playgrounds

Slade point 

One of our favourite beach playgrounds is at Slade Point. Right on the beach, you’ll be blown away as you overlook the ever beautiful ocean. The playground is quite small but it is perfect for all ages with swings, monkey bars and slides. The playground is quite close to the road with a semi fenced barrier and toilets are close by too.

John Breen park

John Breen park is a large park in North Mackay. It has a large play area for all ages and a separate area with a flying fox and climbing pyramid for the bigger kids. The North Mackay park is fenced on one side however it’s semi fenced on the car park side just something to be aware of. There are toilets, barbecue areas and it’s shaded! Another win for John Green Park is that it’s close to the Gooseponds, which has a 2 km lap around it, perfect for the bikes and scooters.

Mulherin park

Possibly Mackay’s original park. Another close favourite. It’s beautiful and large setback from the beach. It has the big Snoopy, the boot, the croc iconic features of Mackay’s history. The pathway weave under the palm trees. Toilets and lots of parking at the playground are available.  The playground is unfenced and close to the toilet yet both of these are both close to the road.

Harbour park

The other park near the harbour is near the surf club. It’s a large park area with a fully fenced playground. The play equipment that looks like a pirate ship, there’s a swing and spinners and the floor is made of faux grass – a lot nicer than the black soft fall mats. We don’t frequent this park often as we have been caught out and have been caught out by swooping magpies – unfortunately the kids remember this vividly and it’s not one park they’re keen to go to.

South (of the river) Mackay Parks and Playgrounds.

Living in North Mackay, I often joke about needing pack lunch when having to head over the Pioneer River.  Therefore when we head south it has to be worthwhile.

Town Beach

This is a great little park it’s fully fenced and it’s for all children, of all ages and all abilities. There are swings, trains, phone tunnels, climbing forts, hammocks. mazes and the sensory gardens. It’s perfect. It’s completely fenced and shaded by natural trees. There’s an off street carpark and toilets close by.

Mackay Botanic gardens

The Botanic Gardens in itself is a huge and natural playground. There are many, many walkways for bikes, scooters and walkers. The lagoon is there full of wildlife: ducks and turtles, and on the western end of the Botanic Gardens are two fully fence play areas. One for the larger kids and one for the smaller kids. Both parks are very engaging for the kids and there is a toilet close by and off street car parking.

Bakers creek

This would be one of the best playgrounds! We don’t go to it as often as we’d like because of the distance we have to travel however it is worthwhile. Unfortunately there’s no toilet and limited car parking but the play equipment makes up for it. It’s for all ages, keeps the kids busy for hours, completely fenced for peace of mind. For the adults there is exercising equipment.

Canelands Park

On the Pioneer promenade, over looking Mackay’s blue river, is a playground for all ages. Although it’s not fence it is well away from the road. Resembles a pirate ship with bridges and rope clients and two slides to race down.  A great little park to quickly pop into. No toilets at this park.

Bluewater Lagoon 

Prefer to play at a water park? Head to the Bluewater Lagoon. Open all year round except for winter, it has multi levels of swimming for all ages: from the splash pad to toddler pool. Lifeguards are on duty entry is free.

Blue Water Trail

Not so much a playground or a park but the Bluewater Trail is a 16 km loop that goes through the best of Mackay. From Town Beach up the river, on the promenade through to the botanic Gardens. The paths are wide and used with runners and cyclists are like.  Many great spots to stop and take in the best of Mackay.

My sweet boy and I at Queen’s Park.


Seaforth Esplande

Newly opened playground and water park is on the Seaforth Esplande.  A perfect 25 minute drive north of Mackay.  Right next the campground and the swimming enclosure you’ll find the gorgeous and functional new play area where hours will disappear!  The waterpark is perfect for all ages, which suits us brilliantly and it’s surrounded by BBQ areas and big shady trees.  The toilet facility is huge with plenty room for families.  The playground is very tall, not so perfect for the the little kids under three.  There’s a spinner and a flying fox.  There is also no shade over this playground, whether that is still yet to be built I’m unsure, all no big shady tress like at the water park side.

Mackay Parks

Whether you are looking for parks to ride bikes and scooters for the kids or playgrounds to exhaust their energy, you’ll find that Mackay has so many areas to explore. There are so many more Mackay parks and playgrounds not mentioned here as we’ve kind of found our favourites and go to those parks.

Being a mum and wearing many hats, I’m proud to share all my Mackay Parks and Playground information with you.

For other Mackay kids related content, check out these posts.  I’m also a photographer and would love for you to check out my family portfolio and start the conversation to update your family portraits.

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