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Cape Hillsborough National Park

Roos on the beach at Cape Hillsborough via Mackay.

Famous for the Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos, which come out on the beach each morning, you can spend a day, a week or forever at the Cape Hillsborough National Park and never get tired of the diverse range of wonderful sea views, sandy beaches and native flora and fauna.

Named by Captain Cook in June 1770 after the Earl of Hillsborough, the cape is now among the top picnic spot for locals from Mackay and visitors from all around the world. If you are looking for a spot that is totally unspoiled by large development, then make sure you put Cape Hillsborough high on your list.

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Cape Hillsborough National Park

Roughly 50 kilometers north of the tropical city of Mackay, lies a quiet piece of fabulous natural area that forms the Cape Hillsborough National Park. Containing superb, clean beaches and some of the most diverse plant and animal life along the coastal region, Cape Hillsborough is the perfect place to stop and see nature at it's best.

Cape Hillsborough is a very popular spot for families from Mackay to go and have a picnic, walk the clean beaches or go on an adventure walk through some magnificent rainforest with stunning views. Here we showcase a few of the delights that await the visitor to the Cape Hillsborough area.

Kangaroo with baby in the pouch. Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos

Sit yourself down at a table for lunch and you will be joined by a host of Australian native wildlife. Kookaburras, scrub turkey, kangaroos, all like to join you and see if you will share. (Please don't feed them as they are wild animals.) They are among the friendliest bunch of animals you can find anywhere and you can almost put your hand out to give them a pat, they are that tame.

To the right is an image of a female wallaby with a Joey in her pouch. The best times to see the kangaroos is in the mornings on the beach or in the afternoons when it is cooler. Most mornings they will actually be on the beach and make great photo opportunities. (Click on the image for a larger size.)

The Beach

Taking a stroll at Cape Hillsborough beachClean and beautiful, Cape Hillsborough National Park has several beaches where you can spend a quiet day relaxing on the sand. The main beach is very large and you will always find a spot just for yourself. During week days, you sometimes have the feeling that you are totally alone.

The Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort occupies an area at the end of the public reserve. Camping is only available in the resort, which also has motel style rooms plus cabin accommodation. There is a cafe where food and drinks are available to the public.

Accommodation may not be 5 star style, but the management are very friendly, rooms are clean and comfortable, the pool is fantastic and the beach is the spot to be every morning to see the kangaroos. Staying at Cape Hillsborough Resort is highly recommended.

The public picnic area includes shaded tables, free barbecues, toilets and cold showers.

Smalleys Beach is a deeper beach with a different grain of sand than that of the main beach. The beach runs right around to Ball Bay. There is limited camping facilities, toilets and cold showers. You need to take your own cooking stove as there are no barbecues provided. Town water is now available at Smalleys Beach.

Nature Walks

Palm tree in Hidden Valley. One of the best nature walks is the one at Hidden Valley. Accessible by 4WD vehicle or a 7 km walk. Hidden Valley has a semi permanent waterhole that was used by the Yuibera people thousands of years ago.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service has constructed a circular walking track through the rainforest around the waterhole and erected signage telling visitors of the flora used by the aborigines for various uses.

The image to the right shows a tree in Hidden Valley that was encased by a strangler vine. Somehow it has escaped the vines clutches, yet still bears the scars.

There are nature walks at either end of the public picnic area that take you on fabulous tracks overlooking the deep blue sea. Please make sure you wear appropriate walking shoes and take plenty of water as they are quite steep in places and during hot weather you can easily dehydrate.



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