Hay Point is at the southern end of Dalrymple Bay and is 18 km south-east of Mackay. The origin of its name is not known.
In the late 1960s the Utah Development Company (USA) and Mitsubishi (Japan) embarked on massive coal mining at Goonyella, about 150 km south-west of Mackay. The consortium built a separate rail track, running parallel with the Queensland rail route in parts and proceeding through the Sarina district to Hay Point, the site for a massive coal-export terminal. A wharf 1.5 km long was built, and the first coal was loaded from it in 1971. The Hay Point facility is close to a similar government-owned wharf (1983) at Dalrymple Bay, which is leased to the private sector. There is a lookout for viewing both terminals.
Hay Point has a hotel, a general store, a caravan park and a bakery. Its census population in 2006 was 1386 persons (earlier counts not published).