We recently took a surprise mini break to Mackay as part of Simon’s birthday celebrations. Mackay is somewhere he loved to visit growing up and where some of his extended family still reside so I thought it might be a fun long weekend holiday for the four of us!
It was only 3 weeks earlier we returned from our first couples trip to Mexico, so knowing this and the fact that I have another trip to the USA in July meant keeping our costs down so I looked for something budget friendly that the kids would enjoy and holiday parks are always perfect for family trips like this. The BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park seemed like a great option!
BIG4 MACKAY MARINE TOURIST PARK
We booked a budget family cabin for our stay, as we didn’t plan to spend a lot of time at the accommodation, so we just needed somewhere to sleep and rest, plus a place with a pool was a bonus. We got all of that at BIG4 Mackay plus more! The kids had a total blast and we were pretty central to everywhere.
The park is located in Northern Mackay, near the Mackay Marina and over the bridge from the city centre, so you absolutely do need a hire car or your own transport if you are planning to stay there… however in saying that, Mackay is a big city and if you want to see anything, you will want a car anyway! We made the mistake many years ago not to hire a car and we didn’t see a lot of the area! There are plenty of car hire places around if you are flying in, and you can pick your car up and drop it back at the airport for convenience!
It is set along a riverbank giving gorgeous views for the camp site area of the park and a perfect picnic spot too.
The BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park has multiple options for accommodation to suit different budget and traveller types. There are camp sites, caravan/campervan sites, budget cabins, plus a range of other cabins of varying upgrades to suit different traveller needs, including some with separate bedrooms, full kitchens, decks with BBQs and more. There is pretty much something to suit everyone, with the exception of the luxury traveller.
Most cabins have their own ensuite facilities and kitchenettes, and the campsite accommodation have shared toilet and shower blocks as well as a camp kitchen for use by anyone staying at the park. There are 2 BBQ sites within the park for public use.
There is free wifi offered up to a certain limit each day, however we are unsure if it is just where our cabin was located or if it was an issue across the park, however it was very unreliable and dropped out a lot. We ended up chewing through a lot of phone data instead as I was working on the go at times while we were away. A bit of a pain but not the end of the world. You don’t go on holiday to spend your time in front of your screen!
There is plenty to do at BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park. The kids will love it! There is a playground and a tyre maze, plus a mini golf course which is free to use. You just leave a deposit for golf club hire and it is returned when you bring them back.
And of course there is the pool area! This area has recently been upgraded and features a water play area with jets and tipping buckets to suit kids of any age, even the real littlies!
There are 2 pools, with a large water slide going into one of them. This was very popular with our 2… actually with Simon too! Such a big kid! I passed on the water slide. The pool was FREEZING! But it was almost winter! There is also another pool which is great during peak holiday season to have two areas to swim. The smaller pool with the slide has a shallow pool area too which is perfect for the kids and there is a step all around allowing them easy access and safe movement.
Then there’s the jumping pillow… the thing my kids could not get enough of! They would wake up each morning and instead of asking for breakfast, they asked to go jumping! They spent hours on it and we had a bit of fun joining in too. It could be very popular at times so that is something to be wary of with younger kids as the big kids can get a little boisterous! Heaps of fun though! Plenty to keep them occupied when you’re chilling at your accommodation.
It is around a 5 minute drive to the Mackay Marina which has some great restaurants to try. There is also a cool playground and park area just before the Marina in case you want to let the kids run wild elsewhere for a while.
The park is located around 3km from Mackay central, so a relatively quick drive into town where there are restaurants, shopping centres and plenty of entertainment. Check out more on what to do and where to eat in our Mackay travel guide. In town there is also the lagoon and other fun family activities.
The BIG4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park is a good option for a budget friendly family holiday to Mackay. It has plenty of facilities for the kids to have fun and keep the adults occupied too, plus the accommodation is fine if you are not looking for anything fancy. It is close enough to the centre of Mackay and other points of interest in the city, although your own transport would be ideal if you want to get out and about and see Mackay and the surrounding Whitsundays region. The wifi isn’t amazing, but that is a minor issue for most people who stay in the holiday park. Check out more or book your stay here.