Cape Palmerston National Park, Darren Jew / Auscape International

Population 3284

Sarina is in the hinterland of what has been dubbed the Serenity Coast, at the base of the Connor Range. It is central to the Queensland sugar belt. To the east and south are fine beaches, many of which are renowned fishing spots.

Visitor Information

Sarina Tourist Art and Craft Visitor Information Centre, 1 Railway Square; (07) 4956 2251.

Nearby national parks

  • Cape Hillsborough National Park

    Cape Hillsborough National Park is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches nestled between rocky headlands. Rhyolite boulders are scattered...more

  • Eungella National Park

    Situated in the rugged Clarke Range, high above the surrounding plains, this mountainous national park is rent by deep gorges and contains...more

Nearby towns

  • Mackay

    The city of Mackay is an intriguing blend of 1900s and Art Deco heritage buildings mixed with modern-day architecture. It was first settled...more

  • Proserpine

    Proserpine is the inland sugar town and service centre of the Whitsunday Shire. It was named after the Roman goddess of fertility,...more

  • Airlie Beach

    Airlie Beach is at the centre of the thriving Whitsunday coast. This tropical holiday town offers a cosmopolitan blend of bars, restaurants...more

In Town

Sarina Sugar Shed: Australia's only fully operational miniature sugar mill and distillery. Take a tour and watch the complex process of turning sugarcanes into granules. There are also multimedia presentations and a novelty shop on-site; closed Sun; Railway Sq.

Art and Craft Centre: excellent variety of local art and craft as well as visitor centre; Bruce Hwy.

'Field of Dreams' Historical Centre: local industry history and memorabilia; open 10am–2pm Tues, Wed and Fri; Railway Sq.


Cape Palmerston National Park This remote park features rugged coastal landscapes of headlands, swamps and sand dunes. Watch for the soaring sea eagles overhead or the birdlife around the swamp. There are spots for bush camping. The park has no official walking tracks, but the outlook from the cape is spectacular. 4WD recommended. (07) 4944 7800; 46 km SE, via Ilbilbie.

Beaches: including Grasstree and Half Tide beaches to the north-east (Grasstree hosts annual bike race; date depends on tidal conditions); also Sarina Beach (east), popular for boating, fishing and swimming, with a lookout over the coast, and Armstrong Beach (south), great for swimming, prawning and fishing.

Hay Point Lookout: viewing gallery at Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay coal terminal complex – informative video and excellent views; 12 km N.

Salonika Beach: attractive beach with amazing wildlife, including loggerhead turtles and whales in season; adjacent to Hay Point Lookout.

Lake Barfield: picnic area and bird sanctuary; 12 km N.

Carmila: small town with beach just to the east. Visit the nearby Flaggy Rock Exotic Fruit Garden for delicious ice-cream; 65 km S.

Clairview: popular spot for beach fishing and crabbing; 73 km S.

St Lawrence: once a major port, this town is now a historical tribute to past days with many historic buildings and the remains of the wharf; 110 km S.

Fishing spots near town

Pioneer River 47 km

Fishing from a canoe is one of the best ways to get close and personal with the environment. Even when the fish are small, catching them from a canoe is both challenging and rewarding. With that in mind, I jumped at the... Find out more

Teemburra Dam 62 km

Mackay has excellent freshwater options. The most popular venues are the region’s dams in the Pioneer Valley – Teemburra, Eungella and Kinchant. Of these, the best known is Teemburra in Eungella National... Find out more

Seaforth 64 km

Seaforth is about an hour’s drive north of Mackay, depending on cane harvester traffic. The small seaside resort is remarkable in that it hasn’t yet been overrun by developers, although that is changing... Find out more

Campsites around town

Bush camping areas 29 km

Bush camping is permitted in the fore dunes along the eastern coast of Cape Palmerston. There are no facilities or amenities provided, so bring all self-sufficient camping gear, including drinking water, rubbish bags and... Find out more

Cape Creek campsite 31 km

Cape Creek is to the south-west of Cape Palmerston. For self-sufficient campers, it is accessible by 4WD only via a sandy track. Fires are permitted if you bring your own raised fire container/brazier – bring your... Find out more

Windmill Bay campsite 32 km

This basic site for self-sufficient campers is south of Cape Palmerston on the eastern edge of the park. Access is by 4WD only via a sandy track. Fires are permitted in raised fire containers/braziers  – bring... Find out more

Kinchant Waters Leisure Resort 40 km

Popular with waterskiers and anglers, the Kinchent Waters Leisure Resort includes a 4 ha camping area, offering a range of accommodation options including cabins and backpacker rooms, plus a bar, restaurant and laundry... Find out more

Captain’s Crossing camping area 58 km

Camp beside lovely Teemburra Creek at this campground and picnic spot. There are no facilities; bring all self-sufficient supplies, including drinking water, rubbish bags and a gas/fuel stove. Access is by 4WD only.... Find out more

Smalleys Beach camping area 60 km

The gravel road to Smalleys Beach is signposted about 6 km along Cape Hillsborough Rd, 50 km north-west of Mackay. The campground offers plenty of shade under eucalypt trees and there are 11 numbered sites. The nearby... Find out more

Ball Bay Campground 61 km

Ball Bay is a basic campground (no powered sites) off Cape Hillsborough Rd, about 48 km north of Mackay. Camping attendants visit the site daily to collect fees. Mackay is on the Bruce Hwy,  about 125 km south of... Find out more

Seaforth camping area 63 km

This campground is 45 km north of Mackay along the Seaforth–Yakapari Rd. It has coin-operated showers. Camping attendants visit the site daily to collect fees. Mackay is on the Bruce Hwy about 125 km south of... Find out more

Outer Newry Island camping area (boat-based camping) 70 km

This campground is on Outer Newry Island’s south-west coast. If you’re lucky you might see some amazing birdlife on the island, including brahminy kites, ospreys and white-bellied sea eagles. Campers should... Find out more

Neils camping area (boat-based camping) 70 km

Bush camping is permitted on Carlisle Island, at the entrance to the Whitsunday Passage. Toilets and picnic shelters are the only facilities, so bring all self-sufficient supplies. The surrounding coral reefs provide... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

The Park Mackay 27 km

This is a large park and the tourist van sites are at the rear, furthest away from the highway. There are good facilities and it is a popular base for travellers. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Andergrove Van Park 35 km

Sweeping lawns are visible as you enter this excellent park set in a quiet, off-road position with easy access from the Bruce Highway. It has good features at a reasonable price and is an ideal base for exploring the... Find out more

Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort 58 km

This park within Cape Hillsborough National Park offers camping and caravan sites and is a great spot for a break. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Seaforth Camping Area 63 km

This is a popular open camping area right on the beachfront in the heart of the small town.... Find out more

St Helens Gardens Caravan Park 73 km

A basic park with good facilities, this place is set back from the highway beside Kolijo Creek, 1 km south of the Calen Post Office. This is a good overnight stop. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Travellers Rest Caravan and Camping Park 99 km

There are no more sandflies or midges at Midge Point than elsewhere, but there is a lovely beachside caravan park with lawns, large shady trees and a host of other great features. We really enjoy staying here. Bookings... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Sarina park area 2 km

At Sarina

Just off the highway behind the roadhouse on the south side of town.

Palm Tree Creek park area 55 km

34km N of Mackay (L) or 90km S of Proserpine (R)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Smalleys Beach camping area 60 km

T/O to Seaforth

Small area on the beach among dense coastal vegetation in Cape Hillsborough National Park. Located 1.7km (partly unsealed) north of Cape Hillsborough Rd.

Ball Bay camping area 62 km

At Ball Bay

Small campground on the foreshore at the end of the road into the village.

Seaforth camping area 63 km

At Seaforth

Large foreshore campground located at the end of the road into the village.

St Helens Beach camping area 75 km

T/O to St Helens Beach

Small campground located 15km east of the highway on the foreshore at the south end of St Helens Beach.

Clairview rest area 83 km

At Clairview

On the foreshore via the service road at the north end of town.

What's on around town

Market: showgrounds; last Sun each month.

Mud Trials: buggy racing on a mud track; May.

Scope Visual Arts Competition: May.

Discover Sarina Festival: May.

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