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(This post was about the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough was updated in March 2019)

 

I am sure everyone in Australia and abroad has seen stunning images of kangaroos on a beautiful beach at dawn. If you are a nature lover and/or a keen photographer and would like to have the opportunity to take your own photographs (or simply enjoy the experience of seeing kangaroos and wallabies in a beautiful setting) the place you need to go is Cape Hillsborough National Park in Queensland

 

Situated only 50 km north of Mackay,  Cape Hillsborough offers visitors wonderful wildlife experiences and also the opportunity to explore forests, beaches and volcanic headlands. Cape Hillsborough was named by explorer James Cook in 1770. Before European settlement the Yuibera Aboriginal people lived in the area for thousands of years.

 

Cape Hillsborough offers visits the opportunity to explore and experience the natural beauty of the Mackay region and is a worthwhile addition to any Queensland itinerary.

 

If you are planning a trip to Cape Hillsborough to see the kangaroos and wallabies my guide will help you make the most of your visit. Your questions answered.

 

Are the Cape Hillsborough kangaroos and wallabies wild?

Can I get close to the wildlife at Cape Hillsborough?

What time do I need to be at the beach? (Which beach? Where?)

What do I need to take with me to the beach?

What facilities are there at Cape Hillsborough?

What are the accommodation options at Cape Hillsborough?

YouTube video of Cape Hillsborough

Key links and websites

 

ARE THE KANGAROOS AND WALLABIES AT CAPE HILLSBOROUGH WILD?

The kangaroos and wallabies come down onto the beach to feed at dawn off the seed pods that have been washed onto the shore and then hop off just after sunrise to chill out for the rest of the day.

 

Whilst the majority of the animals  are wild there there are a couple of hand-reared  kangaroos who also hop down to the beach for their breakfast.

 

 

CAN I GET CLOSE TO THE WILDLIFE?

You can get quite close to the animals though I would be wary of going too close as these are after all WILD animals.

 

Do not stand between a kangaroo and the back of the beach. I inadvertently did this and was asked to move. It is important not to make the animals feel trapped and cut off their escape route. If the animals feel uncomfortable they need to be able to leave freely.

 

A sign giving instructions about seeing kangaroos and wallabies at Cape Hillsborough in Queensland Australia and how to keep safe | The Best Time to See Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos featured by top international travel blog, Tracy's Travels in Time

It also should go without saying – DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS!

 

YOU MAY ENJOY – A guide to seeing platypus in the Mackay region

 

WHAT TIME DO I NEED TO BE AT THE BEACH TO SEE THE CAPE HILLSBOROUGH KANGAROOS?

Early….and I mean early!

 

You need to be on the beach at sunrise if not a few minutes before. If you arrive too late all you will see is an empty beach with not a kangaroo in sight.

 

There is only ONE beach at Cape Hillsborough and if you follow the road to the end you will arrive at it. I have had some e mails from readers concerned that they won’t find the beach but you really can’t go wrong. The main thing is to be early – if you are late you will miss them!

 

If you are driving through the park to the beach be careful as kangaroos are active at dawn. It is entirely possible that they could jump across the road in front of you.

 

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO TAKE TO THE BEACH?

Do not forget your camera or phone to take some video.

 

If you are visiting during the cooler months wrap up warmly as it can be really chilly on the beach before the sun rises.

 

Also bring a hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellant (after being chased down the beach by the biggest scariest insect last time I was there I really would strongly advise insect repellant!)

 

Collage of photo of kangaroos on the beach at Cape Hillsborough

 

WHAT FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE AT CAPE HILLSBOROUGH

There are a number of areas to park your car near the beach. The parking is free.

 

There are picnic benches near the parking areas.

 

Toilets are also available near to the beach.

 

TIP – Why not take a picnic with you and enjoy breakfast at one of the picnic benches once the kangaroos and wallabies have left?

 

 

WHAT ELSE DOES CAPE HILLSBOROUGH HAVE TO OFFER?

Once the kangaroos and wallabies have left the beach you may be wondering what else there is to do at Cape Hillsborough.

 

  • Visit the Diversity Boardwalk (1.2 km return/grade easy) and Yuibera plant trail (1.2 km return/grade easy) to learn about the Yuibera people who have lived in the area for thousands of years.

 

  • Go for a walk along one of the many hiking tracks – as above plus Beachcomber Cove Track (2.2 km return/grade moderate)

 

 

  • Look out for other wildlife in the area. We were lucky to see a huge stag on one occasion as we drove through the park.

 

YOU MAY ENJOY – Top 10 things to do in the Mackay Region

 

WHAT ACCOMMODATION IS AVAILABLE AT CAPE HILLSBOROUGH?

If you are staying in Mackay it is a 30 minute drive to the beach.

I would recommend staying in the park if possible as it is much easier getting up early in the morning if you are a few minutes walk or drive away (especially in winter).

AIRBNB

On our most recent visit to Cape Hillsborough we managed to find an Airbnb about 5 minutes drive away from the beach. It made it so much easier to get there before sunrise and we were probably the only people on the beach for the first 10 minutes!

 

 

CAMPING

Camping is available at Cape Hillsborough – check the links at the bottom of the page for further info.

CABINS

There are cabins available near the beach. Please be aware that accommodation gets booked up in advance – months in advance especially during the summer and school holidays.

For more information about accommodation options click the link below. 

 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK HOTEL ACCOMMODATION AT CAPE HILLSBOROUGH OR MACKAY

 

YOUTUBE VIDEO OF OUR VISITS TO CAPE HILLSBOROUGH

 

KEY LINKS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

 

 

  • Pets are not permitted in the park.

 

 

  • If you are planning to swim in the ocean you will need a stinger suit.

 

 


FURTHER INFORMATION FOR VISITING QUEENSLAND


I have lots of posts all about visiting Australia and a number of these are focussed on the beautiful state of Queensland. With an enviable climate, wonderful wildlife, stunning beaches if Queensland is your destination these posts will help you get the best of your visit! If you are seeking some inspiration these 15 photographs will have you booking the next flight!

 

  • My ultimate guide to Australia has links to every post I have written about Australia and is great starting point when planning your visit.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Click here if you are interested in learning more about the 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Australia.

 

 

PIN FOR LATER – A guide to seeing the Cape Hillsborough kangaroos

Photograph of a kangaroo on a beach in Cape Hillsborough Queensland Australia | The Best Time to See Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos featured by top international travel blog, Tracy's Travels in Time Photograph of a kangaroo on a beach in Cape Hillsborough Queensland Australia | The Best Time to See Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos featured by top international travel blog, Tracy's Travels in Time

 

YOU MAY ENJOY THESE POSTS TOO!

 

Top 10 things to do in Mackay Queensland

What you need to know about finding platypus in Eungella National Park

101 Things to Know When Visiting Australia

 



 

This post may contain compensated links. Please read our disclaimer for additional information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

4 thoughts on “A guide to the best time to see Cape Hillsborough kangaroos

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