A SECRET ‘hot spot’ with a small-town vibe and that is close to the beach as well as the CBD is getting Slade Point noticed as both an idyllic and practical place to live in.

Named by Captain James Cook after Sir Thomas Slade, the naval architect who designed Nelson’s HMS Victory, the peninsula community looks out across Slade Bay and the suburb’s locals can often be found basking on the sands of their favourite nearby beaches.

Cassy Dickerson, of Sell Buy Lease Real Estate Mackay, said there were “beautiful” beachfront properties and homes, or the beach was within fives minutes’ walking distance and the CBD was only seven minutes away.

“Slade Point is a secret hot spot – it’s an under-appreciated and under-valued suburb of Mackay,” she said.

“Similar style properties on the east coast of Australia in well-developed towns like Mackay would be fetching far greater prices.”

Much of the land to the south of the suburb is absorbed by the 73ha Slade Point Nature Reserve and large tracts to the west are wetlands that adjoin the abundant fishing grounds of McCreadys Creek.

The council has said that these green buffer zones and a lack of through traffic helped keep the area quiet.

Ms Dickerson said she had adopted Lamberts Beach, which was seasonally patrolled, as her favourite.

“A lot of people don’t know that you can actually swim at Lamberts,” she said.

“The water is a little nippy when you first get in at the moment but it’s well worth it.”

She said she recently snorkelled in “crystal clear” waters and was able to see plenty of fish.

“There are hidden rock pools for the kids and you can even have a great boogie board or body surf when the conditions are right. When you bask in the sun on Lamberts Beach you feel like you are on one of the best beaches in the world.”

She said there were plenty of places for picnics, barbecues and get-togethers, and the walk south to the north wall – with plenty of sand dunes along the way for fitness fanatics – was great for adventurers and people with dogs.

The Seabreeze Hotel has undergone a major upgrade and now features regular weekend music sessions amid a modern, open-plan relaxed atmosphere with great food, MsDickerson said.

The world-class whale-watching platform was also attracting more people to the area.

“I encourage the locals to take a picnic lunch and enjoy the kids’ playground or shady picnic tables along the foreshore and stay a while after they have done their whale watching,” MsDickerson said.

She said Slade Point was home to a lot of owner-occupiers “and you can see this in the pride people take in their homes when you come into the area”.

There is also the Slade Point Bowls Club, popular with locals, a skate park in Ocean Ave, and sporting fields, and a Rugby Union Club.

The athletics oval – named after Olympic champion Cathy Freeman who grew up and trained as a young athlete in the suburb – caters for everyone from four years old to masters.

“Properties are easy to rent because a lot of people moving to Mackay love to be by the beach and close to town. You can get the cheapest petrol in town from the Slade Point service station and the area has doctors, schools, daycare, convenience store, liquor store, a post office, and chemist,” MsDickerson said.

“There are some great buys to be found in Slade Point but my tip to investors would be to grab them while you can because as soon as the rest of Australia knows what we’ve got, property prices will be driven up.”

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