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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Mackay Gooseponds Trail

The Mackay Gooseponds Trail is a scenic off-road pathway in North Mackay for shared use by bicycle riders and walkers. The popular track circles around a large central wetland lagoon which attracts a variety of bird life, including geese, ducks and pelicans.

A ‘missing link’ in the trail was constructed in early 2015, including a pathway under the Bruce Highway to allow for safe off-road crossing.

Family riding

Key facts

  • 8 km off-road shared pathway in North Mackay.
  • ‘Missing link’ in the path delivered in early 2015 for total cost of $1.23 m, funded by Mackay Regional Council and the Queensland Government.
  • Up to 100 path users recorded per day in 2017.


The Mackay Gooseponds trail starts behind Wheeler Drive, Glenella and stretches through to Evans Avenue. The trail passes under the Bruce Highway, offering a safe crossing option, and includes multiple access points and a few large loops along the way, totalling close to 8 kilometres of shared pathway.


In 2015, an additional section of 2.5m wide shared pathway was constructed to provide an off-road connection between the communities of Glenella, Mount Pleasant and North Mackay, extending to Mackay CBD.

The ‘missing link’ delivered on the Gooseponds Trail

Download the ‘Gooseponds Walk’ brochure (PDF, 1.78 MB) published by Mackay Regional Council.

Highway underpassThe ‘missing link’ in the trail was constructed between Hicks Road, Glenella and Willetts Road in North Mackay. The pathway was constructed on a semi-vacant block, near 2 significant retail precincts.  It is also near a private hospital, a major employer in this community, and a small number of residential properties.

The completion of this section of pathway within the local path network provides a continuous off-road path from Glenella to North Mackay. It also eliminates the need to cross the Bruce Highway at road level, offering safety benefits and eliminating a significant deterrent to walking and riding in the area. The Bruce Highway crossing point is 1 of only 3 in Mackay.

The delivery of this infrastructure has enabled safer commutes to work, school and leisure activities for many residents.

Community engagement

The completion of the Gooseponds Trail also marked the completion of the Active Towns Program in Mackay. Active Towns was a pilot program jointly funded by Mackay Regional Council and the Queensland Government to provide infrastructure, policy and behaviour change programs with the aim of significantly growing participation in bicycle riding and physical activity.1

To celebrate the program, Mackay held a bubble themed community fun run through the Gooseponds trail. The event recognised what Active Towns has provided the Mackay region with and the expected positive impacts on the health and wellbeing of local residents into the future.

Community event


The Mackay region is one of Queensland’s fastest growing and environmentally diverse areas. Safe and convenient active travel modes provide many economic, environmental, social, and health benefits, ultimately making an area more attractive to visit, reside, and to invest in.

The Mackay region has a generally flat landscape with a sub-tropical climate, making it ideal for bike riding and walking to get around locally. However, there are high levels of car ownership and few disincentives to travel by car due to little congestion and ample cheap or free car parking available in the CBD. 

Family walkingCounts and surveys of path users in 2017 revealed that the pathway is being used for predominately recreation rather than transport trips, with more than 50 people using it each day.2 Closer to the city, counts of up to 100 path users per day have been recorded.

Almost 40% of people surveyed said they would not have ridden their bike or walked if it weren’t for the pathway. Half of the path users said that existence of the Gooseponds Trail had increased the amount of walking and/or bicycle riding they had done in the past month.

Path users surveyed were overwhelmingly supportive of the construction of the pathway.

According to Strava data collected by Mackay Regional Council, delivery of the ‘missing link’ segment of the Gooseponds Trail led to a substantial increase in the number of cycling activities, with 128% more trips recorded. There was also an 80% increase in the number of unique bicycle riders, indicating that new riders were attracted to the area because of the completion of the pathway.

Analysis of usage of the Gooseponds Trail suggests a positive shift towards more physical activity in the area, and positive impacts for the Mackay community.

More information

For more information, please contact the Cycling and Programs team by emailing

1 Active Towns was a 3 year program from 2012-2015, during which TMR targeted investment in infrastructure and behaviour change events and promotion with the specific objective of achieving a rapid increase in walking and cycling.
2 CDM Research. 2017. Evaluation of the Mackay Gooseponds Trail (Mackay). Unpublished report prepared for the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Last updated 16 November 2022