The new Hospital Bridge fishing pier is open to the public. Mackay Regional Council is encouraging anglers to maintain safe social distances while using the pier to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The new Hospital Bridge fishing pier is open to the public. Mackay Regional Council is encouraging anglers to maintain safe social distances while using the pier to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What you CAN still do under COVID-19 restrictions

EVERY day we are faced with new COVID-19 restrictions telling us what is closed, banned or not recommended.

Despite the new rules, Queenslanders are still allowed out of their house to exercise, buy essentials and grab a takeaway meal.

If you are going a little stir-crazy, here are some ideas for what you CAN do when you leave the house in Mackay:

(NOTE: The government has advised residents to stay home as much as possible. If you leave the house you must abide by the two-person rule and social distancing of 1.5 metres between each person)

1. Blacks Beach Stairs

If sit-ups at home aren’t cutting it, why not use your allocated time outside to exercise with a challenging set of stair runs. The staircase at Blacks Beach is right next to the waterfront and when you reach the top you are greeted with a breathtaking view of the ocean.

Blacks Beach is a great place for a walk, but if you want a challenge try the stairs at the north end.
Blacks Beach is a great place for a walk, but if you want a challenge try the stairs at the north end.

2. Botanic Gardens

If you prefer a gentle walk or run, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens has a footpath that is perfect for walking your dog or for morning exercise. For a longer walk, follow the footpath towards the Pioneer River where it continues all the way to the Bluewater Quay.

3. Mackay Gooseponds

Another picturesque place for outdoor exercise is The Gooseponds. Follow the footpath and watch how quickly you rack up 5km of walking. Note, use of the outdoor exercise equipment next to the footpath is no longer permitted due to coronavirus restrictions.

4. Mackay Southern Breakwater

A popular place for an afternoon stroll. Watch the boats in the marina and the ocean waves crash as you walk to the end of the breakwater and back. This is a 3km circuit.

5. Coffee at the Beach

Restaurants and cafes are still open for takeaways so why not support your local and buy a coffee before heading to the beach for a walk. All Mackay beaches are still open and are a perfect place to go to clear your mind. Make sure to only walk with one other person or your family/housemates.

Adam Saron, at work at Woodman's Axe Espresso Mackay.
Adam Saron, at work at Woodman's Axe Espresso Mackay.

6. Fishing for Food

Despite some confusion around whether we can still fish recreationally, the answer is yes, if you are fishing for food.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey tossed a life preserver to boaties on Tuesday when he clarified rules around recreational and commercial fishing.

“If you own a boat and want to head out in the water in your local community to fish for food this weekend, you can,” Mr Bailey said.

Boaties and those fishing on land must abide by the two-person rule and social distancing at all times. Try places like Seaforth or even the new Hospital Bridge fishing pier.

Keep in mind Kinchant Dam, Teemburra Dam and Eungella Dam are closed.

7. Walking Trails

A number of high-use walking trails were to be closed to the public from April 3. However, some trails in the Mackay region were not included on the list of high-use areas.

If you are looking for a way to change up your exercise, head to one of the national parks in the area for a relaxing hike. Conway National Park, Cape Hillsborough and Eungella are just a few suggestions.

The Government has advised Queenslanders to only visit national parks and forests which are close to their own home and to observe all social distancing guidelines.

While some walking trails are still open, all campgrounds have closed. With more closures possible in the future, keep up to date at https://www.des.qld.gov.au

A hiker under the Strangler Fig Arch in Eungella National Park.
A hiker under the Strangler Fig Arch in Eungella National Park.

8. Takeaway Dinner

We are still allowed out of the house to order and pick up takeaway food, but if you want to stay home then consider delivery options. Buying a takeaway meal from a local restaurant or cafe is a great way to support local businesses during this tough time. Why not try a different restaurant each week and treat your tastebuds to the best food Mackay has to offer. Check out our list of cafes and restaurants offering takeaway to get you started.

9. Easter Craft

Easter is approaching quickly and it is never too soon to get the craft kit out to make some bunny ears. Most retail shops are still open at this stage, including places like Silly Sollys and Kmart. If you need to stock up, buy enough to last you a couple of weeks so the kids are entertained throughout the school holidays. Making Easter baskets for a special chocolate egg delivery is a perfect project to start with.

10. Driveway Project

Desperate for an activity that will keep the kids entertained while staying home? A Mackay photographer is boosting community spirit as families self-isolate. So far, Deanne Woods has offered her time and talent to photograph more than 140 Mackay families on their driveways for free as part of the global #thedrivewayproject. Try these suggestions to make the most of your driveway:

Chalk – challenge the kids to draw their best chalk creation on the pavement. From hopscotch to an artistic masterpiece, chalk will keep kids entertained for hours.

Shoot hoops – If you’ve got a ball then you’ve got a game. Driveways are the perfect place to bounce a ball around and if you’ve got a hoop then challenge the fam to a game of driveway basketball.

Handball – All you need to do is draw a line and a game of handball will keep the kids entertained all afternoon.

The family of Archie Drewett, Fallon Drewett and Daisy Drewett captured as part of the global movement #thedrivewayproject. Picture: Deanne Woods Photography
The family of Archie Drewett, Fallon Drewett and Daisy Drewett captured as part of the global movement #thedrivewayproject. Picture: Deanne Woods Photography

11. Home Projects

Self isolating at home is the perfect time to cross some home projects off your to-do list. Paint a wall, build a veggie patch in the backyard, transplant plants, decorate pots, clean out the gutters or pressure clean the pavement. Homeware stores like Porters and Bunnings are still open at this stage if you need supplies.



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