Backyard Bores are your water bore and geotech drilling specialists in the Mackay, Moranbah to Bowen regions since 2002

About Us

With our small drilling rig mounted on the back of a Landcruiser, we can drill in your back yard (or front yard) to find water for any purpose.

With our large drilling rig we can drill your rock bore for stock, domestic and irrigation use (up to 300mm)


  • Water bore drilling to industry best practice standards
  • Environmental, Geotech & soil sampling drilling (NDD, SPT, DCP, Monitoring wells, Geoprobe and push tubes, split spoon, etc) - For a full list of our Geotech drilling products available, please visit our Geotech & Environmental Drilling page
  • Bore repair / cleanout, sand pumping, air lifting (blowing clean)
  • Bore test pumping, water level logging, flow rate data logging
  • Simple water testing (Salinity-TDS, Iron-TDI & PH levels)
  • Drilling using Solid Stem (Continuous Flight) Augers (CFA) and Hollow Stem Augers (HSA)
  • Drilling using rock hammer (DTH or rotary air)
  • Borehole camera inspections and reports
  • Production bore drilling/cleaning and large diameter well cleanouts
  • Installation of spears
  • Pump supply and installation
  • Comprehensive drinking water testing available on request
  • Licensed drillers for hire

If you are looking for water to keep the yard green, top up the pool, or reduce the high cost of town water, give us a call and we can come and drill for water in your backyard (or front yard) saving you money.  You can water any day of the week without restrictions.  We use the latest techniques and equipment with the best quality products in our bores with factory cut fine slot casing (0.4mm) eliminating 98% of the fine sand compared to hand cut slots.

We also offer test pumping of bores to Australian Standard AS2368–1990 from 2 hours to 2 days in duration.

We use and recommend Solinst water level data loggers and depth meters.

If you need an experienced and licensed driller, our team of drillers are also available for contract hire. 

Contact us now for an obligation free quote.

Looking for Bores near you?

Try our new Bore Search app, just go to our search page and put in your address to see how many bores are nearby, it's free!

Privacy Act 1998

Backyard Bores and Geotech Drilling Pty Ltd has registered as an opt in small business for the Privacy Act 1998 and we have committed to uphold relevant sections of the act and how we deal with your information.

For more information please see the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

And view our Privacy Policy here.

We are members of the National Ground Water Association, the largest collection of drillers and drilling suppliers in the world.

NGWA goals are:

  • NGWA and its members will use its outstanding scientific and technical leadership, knowledge, and resources to pursue innovation, model best practices, and improve the business climate for the groundwater industry.
  • NGWA will be a credible, valued resource on significant and timely issues that impact the groundwater industry and public access to safe, sustainable groundwater.

Looking for Bores near you?

We recently updated our database with 15,000 additional bores and extended the search radius to 5km.  We have included data from Bowen to Rockhampton now.

Try our new Bore Search app, just go to our search page and put in your address to see how many bores are nearby, it's mobile friendly and FREE!

Seniors and Carers discount now available

Contact us now for an obligation free quote and the discount amount. 

No other offers allowed, discount applies to standard drilling rates not to already discounted rates.

Call 0418193194 or email for a free quote

Use our online booking system here


Cyclone / Flood Advice

For advice on what to do if your bore has been flooded, please see our Facebook Page or our new Flooding Advice page to advise you how to get your bore back into tip top shape.

We now accept VISA and MASTERCARD payments with no surcharge,earn points AND get a bore! 

Check out our You Tube channel and see how to prime your bore pump

What do I need to know before I get a bore?

1. Contact a licensed driller.

Backyard Bores and Geotech Drilling have licensed drillers and we work to relevant government requirements. If you are getting a quote from any driller, ask for their licence number and to see their current Queensland Driller's Licence. You can search for their name here on the Qld Registered Drillers List before you engage them to drill.  If they are not listed, they are not licensed.
Chances are, if they don't have a Driller's Licence, they won’t construct the bore to ensure best performance and they won't have public liability insurance either.  If they damage anything at your property, YOU will have to foot the bill. Use a licensed driller who has insurance, why risk it to save a couple of hundred dollars?

2. Do I need council approval to get a bore?

NO.  Local councils are not and should not be involved in the process of drilling for water on your private property.  The resource you are tapping into is a federal reserve owned by the people of Australia.

3. How much does it cost? I thought bores were expensive!

They are not expensive at all! We are offering a great price using the latest, international best practice standards and equipment for a completed and cased PVC bore, call or email us today for a quote.

4. Does Backyard Bores do divining (dowsing) for water?

No.  It doesn't work for us but Contact us and we can give you the numbers of several local diviners.  We do have a good knowledge of the areas around Mackay that have water and what depth a usable bore will be.  
Looking for Bores near you?

Try our new Bore Search, just go to our search page and put in your address to see how many bores are nearby, it's free!

5. What utilities do I need to search for in preparation?
Please try to locate the underground services on your property, the hardest one to find is the pipe from your house to the sewer mains.  If you have your house drainage plans (house connection plans) that would be fantastic.  Also look for town water, power, storm water, down pipes, phone etc.  
We will contact 1100 (Dial Before you Dig) but they only provide power, major sewer and telephone locations to the street, not on your property. 
It’s VERY IMPORTANT for you to locate these services as it is your responsibility as the landowner.  

6. Will the drilling rig fit in my yard?
Our rig is 1.9m wide (standard Landcruiser ute dimensions), 5.5m long and 2.8m high.

7. What do I need to do to prepare the drilling site?
Please clear up the area surrounding the proposed drilling site.  We need about a 2m radius of cleared area.  If there are trees or stumps, branches or shrubs in the immediate area please trim or remove them.  If we need to come in through a fence panel, please make sure it's removed by the time we arrive.  If we need to trim trees or remove fence sections then we will have to add an hourly surcharge.  Please call and notify our staff if you have a fence that needs removing or the area needs trees and branches cut down.

8. How can I see what days you are available to drill?
Click here to access our online calendar but we operate 7 days a week.   Some weeks we can be fully booked with out of town projects.  It’s best to check the calendar to see when we have a free block.

9. Backyard Bores accepts credit cards, Paypal and direct transfer.
We accept Visa and Mastercard payments or direct bank transfer.

10. Can you drill in South Mackay, East Mackay, Ooralea, Bakers Creek, Walkerston, etc?
Please contact us to discuss your options but often times, YES you can.

11. Do you drill outside of Mackay.
We can drill all around Mackay from Bowen to Marlborough and west to the Moranbah.  Mobilisation fees may apply, please call us to enquire.

What to expect on drilling day

1. How long does it take?

Drilling and casing can take 4-6 hours depending on the material being drilled and the depth.

Drilling and casing can take 4-6 hours depending on the material being drilled and the depth.
It's a four step process: 1. Drilling; 2. Installing casing; 3. Cleaning out the inside of the casing to remove damaging sands, muds and clay; 4. Flow rate, salt, iron, PH, testing (if required).

2. Will there be a lot of soil/clay/sand to dispose of?

Usually there are 3 - 5 wheelbarrow loads of material that you need to find a place for.  If you have any holes in your yard or low points, now is a great time to fill them.  We cannot take it with us.

3. What size casing is supplied?

4", 100mm diameter casing with factory cut fine slots (0.4 - 0.5mm) is used in the majority of bores, some locations need 0.8mm. We can install 5”, 125mm casing or 80mm casing as required, surcharges may apply.

4. Do I need a driller to come over and look at the site and provide a quote?

No, unless the location you are thinking of is in a difficult place to access or needs fence sections removed or trees cut back. Please call us and discuss if you have any concerns.

5. Do I need to be home while drilling takes place?

No, but please indicate the location of the drilling site with a photo or stake.

We will require access to working town water and an active power point to complete the processas well.

6. Can you supply and fit a pump for me??

We would be happy to provide a price for a supplied, installed and configured pump to suit your needs.  We could even bring one on drilling day and you can be watering your lawn before we drive out the driveway.

Pump or bore issues:
What to do if your existing bore has lost water, your pump has lost water pressure, is running but no water is coming out, or it's pumping a lot of sand?

1. If your pump is running and no water is coming out but the taps are open and it sounds normal.


You may need to prime your pump (especially if you haven't used your pump for more than a week), please see our priming video for instructions.  If you have primed your pump 3 times and all it does is spit out the water in the bowl of the pump, (about 2L) but then stops, turn it off at the power point, then call us, it needs more love.

We offer a free appraisal of your bores' condition as well as an idea of the usual required depth for your area based on years of experience and logged bores in the area. This can often be done over the phone. It's FREE!

2. Is your pump is making excessive noise, new noises (squealing), or the motor feels really hot to touch?

It could be that your pump has seen better days, please call us or Don Phimister on 0439 949 679, R&T Pumps on 4953 3700 , NQ Water on 4952 2252 ,  or Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment on 4969 4949 for your pump inspection and repair needs.

3. Does your water flow rate start out good but then after a while (seconds, minutes or hours) reduce back to a dribble? Then might come back good briefly then drop off again?

It could be the aquifer has been depleted, run dry, moved, shifted or the bore casing is chocked with fine sand. All or any of these is possible. Please call us for a free appraisal..

4. I can hear gurgling coming from my bore right before the flow rate drops!

Similar to #3 above, the usual cause of this is the pump is removing more water than the bore can replenish. If the bore has been established for a few years, the likely cause is the water table has dropped. Every dry season in Mackay the aquifer levels drop and some bores drilled over prior to 2013 were too shallow. The water levels in town bores can drop by 1 to 3 metres (3 - 10 feet) every July - December.

Sometimes there is a quick fix to clean the bore out with our vacuum pump to get more depth.

Sometimes, the only solution is to drill a new bore close by the existing one.

5. My bore pump is top dressing my lawn with fine sand, is that bad?

Yes! The main causes of this are: 1. Shifting sands in the aquifer (often in the months following a flood). 2. Aquifer water levels dropping or rising. 3. Bore casing failure. 4. The slots for the water to come into the casing, were cut too big to begin with. 4. The installers used fly screen, shade cloth, stocking and it has disintegrated.

Some of these things are repairable (if only for a short time), otherwise it will require a new bore be drilled to the appropriate depth for today's dryer conditions with better quality PVC bore casing with factory cut fine slots to keep the sand out.  Call us for your free evaluation.

6. My bore water is causing brown/orange stains on my pump/fence/house/driveway?

The main cause of this is iron bacteria, please see this document from the Dept. Natural Resources and Water for more information.   We can apply a non toxic treatment to the bore which will dissolve the brown/orange sludge and temporarily fix the problem.  This is not an expensive treatment and can last for many months.  We can also supply cleaning products to clean both porous (concrete) and non-porous (steel or tin) surfaces around your property.  

We can provide an excellent solution using an ultrasonic device to keep the bacteria from growing. This cutting edge technology is available now.

Call us and we can come and test your bore water for total dissolved iron (TDI) and give you an appraisal on what cleaning products are best suited for your bore and your property. 

7. After the recent floods/earthquakes/cyclones, my bore/pump has stopped working, is this possible and can I claim it on household insurance?

This is possible, please make use of our free appraisal service of your bores.  We are happy to provide your insurer with whatever documentation they require to evaluate your claim.

8. My pump is humming, the motor is not turning and no water is coming out?

TURN IT OFF IMMEDIATELY! We cannot stress this enough.  

Please call us for advice, it could be a simple $40 fix.

9. My pump is still running but I have turned the taps off?

It is normal for the pump to continue running for up to 30 seconds after you have turned the taps off.  If your pump continues to run and no water is coming out, please turn it off and call us, or call Don Phimister on 0439 949 679, R&T Pumps on 4953 3700 , NQ Water on 4952 2252 ,  or Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment on 4969 4949.

Our Qualifications

Our licensed drillers have decades of experience in drilling, casing and test pumping of bores and are Mackay locals. Our team is professional and reliable and we always aim for water and your satisfaction.

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