The Mackay Region in social media spotlight

An image of a wallaby in front of a beautiful sunrise at Cape Hillsborough Beach has taken the social media world by storm, being shared far and wide across the nation.

Belinda McMahon, a Mackay-based photographer, captured the image, which received over 45,000  ‘likes’ within the first few hours on the official Tourism Australia’s Instagram account.

Belinda said the image was captured at Cape Hillsborough Beach during a recent Instameet event which was attended by Mackay Instagrammers – a group of people who are passionate about capturing and sharing some of the region’s most beautiful scenery.

“I think any promotion we can do to showcase this area is a good thing,” Ms McMahon said.

“There’s so much to do in this region and we are keen to collaborate with businesses around town to create awareness through social media.”

Belinda said there will be a number of upcoming Instameets, including one organized by herself and Cherrie Hughes in conjunction with Megaforce Charters, where photographers can capture a scenic route to Keswick Island.

In October, Mackay Tourism Ltd will also sponsor an Instameet at the Big 4 Mackay Marine Tourist Park on Harbour Road for sunset photo opportunities.

Meanwhile Gold Coast photographer Jules Ingall has also generated more tourism attention after cataloging her weekend in The Mackay Region to over 15,600 followers.

The mother-of-two was one of 20 finalists in the Choice Hotels Travel Grammer Competition and stayed at the Comfort Resort Blue Pacific at Blacks Beach. She visited the Pioneer Valley and Cape Hillsborough Beach, as well as tried local restaurants.

“If I am honest, I had never thought of Mackay as a destination to travel to. Yet now, having experienced the region, the amazing beaches, rainforests, the food, I am now already planning a trip back with my family,” Ms Ingall said.

“Mackay is such a hidden gem and one of the things I loved best was that it wasn’t over commercialised or too busy.”

The big winner of the Choice Hotels Travel Grammer Competition will be announced on Friday, with the winner to spend a three-day weekend at Hervey Bay with travel influencer and social media expert Lauren Bath.

Mackay Tourism Ltd General Manager Tas Webber said word of mouth is one of the most valuable ways to promote tourism in Mackay.

“If we can get people to share their photos and their great experiences here, it will make a huge difference to visitor numbers and have a flow-on effect to the rest of the region,” Mr Webber said.

“Social media is proving to be a very powerful tool and a great way to capture and share the beauty of The Mackay Region to people who may not have thought about visiting previously.”

For those interested in sharing their favourite Mackay images or activities to promote to the rest of the world, join the Mackay Instagrammers Facebook page, and register for an Instameet event.

Check out Belinda McMahon’s images on Instagram by following @stormybeachbelle or visit Tourism Australia’s handle @australia. 

You can also see Jules Ingall’s weekend in Mackay by visiting her Instagram page @julesingall

Check out Mackay Tourism’s social media pages on Instagram @visitmackay or Visit Mackay on Facebook. 



Melissa Woods - Communications Officer

0448 994 180

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Published: 2 August 2016


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