You can stroll or cycle along Mackay's CBD-based Bluewater Trail to take in the botanical gardens and several other local attractions or enjoy fine food at the marina village. Many yachties explore the Whitsundays from here and you can readily get to the islands to enjoy their beaches and national parks.
There are many onshore national parks nearby too and if you want a 'touchy-feely-tasty' experience of cane farming history, head south to the Sarina Sugar Shed. If you've an industrial bent, there are several mines in the region that offer tours too. Flights to Mackay are frequent due to its mining link.