Ooralea, formerly Planlands, is eight km south-west of central Mackay. It was formally named in 1999 and the origin of the name is apparently unrecorded.

Its north-east area is bounded by the Bruce and the Peak Downs Highways, and it was there in 1866 that the Mackay Turf Club secured a grant of land for a racecourse. The railway to Marian and Finch Hatton ran parallel to the Peak Downs Highway, and the Planlands station was opposite the racecourse entrance. The racecourse's most notorious event was a riot between South Sea Islander indentured plantation workers (known then as Kanakas) and European inhabitants at the Boxing Day race meeting in 1883.

Until the 1980s Planlands was beyond Mackay's built-up area. In 1992 the Mackay campus of Central Queensland University opened there, and a housing estate developed between the campus and the racecourse. The racecourse also hosts harness racing.

Ooralea's census populations have been:

census datepopulation

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