The city was named after John Mackay in 1860, he was the leader of an expedition into the Pioneer Valley. There has always been much contention over the pronunciation of the name Mackay. Correspondence received by Mackay City Library in 2007, from descendants of John Mackay, confirms that the correct pronunciation is /məˈkaɪ/, from the Gaelic name “MacAoidh” which is pronounced “ɑɪ” not “eɪ”.
Mackay is one of the fastest-growing towns in Queensland, with a population of 117,703 people.
Mackay is nicknamed the sugar capital of Australia because its region produces more than a third of Australia’s cane sugar. The region’s expanding employment, investment and development opportunities, buoyant economy and lifestyle attributes are just some of the many positive aspects that encourage people to live, work and play in the Mackay region