Travel guides covering numerous destinations across the globe with a focus on: must-visit cities, places of historical and culture significance including Unesco World Heritage Sites, and opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitats.

Read up-to-date tips and advice for expats based on my own experiences of expat life including our recent move to Australia.



A guide to the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

A guide to the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

A guide to the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

I am sure everyone has seen those beautiful glossy images of kangaroos on a beautiful beach at dawn in any tourist information brochures for Australia. Well if you are a nature lover and/or a keen photographer then that is a place you want to be and that beach can be found in Northern Queensland not far from Mackay at Cape Hillsborough.

If you want to see kangaroos and take some of those iconic shots for yourself then you are in the right place with my guide.

Are the kangaroos and wallabies wild?

Yes!! They 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!

A kangaroo on Cape Hillsborough beach at sunrise from a post all about the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough


An unforgettable day with Brisbane Whale Watching


Can I get close to the wildlife?

Yes you can though I wouldn’t go too close myself and there are signs warning that these are WILD animals. After all this is their beach we are the ones coming along with cameras and invading it every morning. Make sure not to get between a kangaroo and the back of the beach – I inadvertently did this and was asked to move – don’t cut off their escape route. If they 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

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


How to see amazing Australian animals in Queensland


What time do I need to be there?

Early….and I mean early. You want to be on the beach at sunrise – and also to get those iconic shots! If you get there too late there will be an empty beach and not a kangaroo to be seen!

A kangaroo on a beach at sunrise at Cape Hillsborough

If you are driving through the park to get to the beach do be careful as kangaroos are active at dawn and will jump across the road in front of you (as the many dead kangaroos you will see in Australia by the side of roads will illustrate).


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


Where should I stay?

As we were living in Mackay at the time we just had a 30 minute drive to get to the beach. If you are coming especially to visit Cape Hillsborough I would recommend staying in some of the accommodation available next to the beach.

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!

A black and white image of two kangaroos on a beach at Cape Hillsborough


What should I take?

Your camera/phone or whatever you use to take photographs/video. I took my good camera once but took my better photographs with my iphone one morning when I had left the ‘real’ camera at home! You will see plenty of people taking photographs with big cameras!

If you are heading down to the beach during winter be sure to wrap up as can be very chilly!

A man taking a photograph of a wild kangaroo on a beach at sunrise

3 kangaroos on a beach in Cape Hillsborough at dawn

Top 20 things to do in Queensland Australia


What facilities are there?

There is freee parking available as well as toilets and picnic benches – take a picnic and have breakfast after the kangaroos have moved on.

A kangaroo on Cape Hillsborough Beach at dawn

I would recommend checking out the official website when you start planning your trip so that you have the most up-to-date information available.

A little video of our trip!


 A guide to the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

Please share on social media – I would really appreciate it!

Photograph of a kangaroo on a beach in Cape Hillsborough Queensland Australia

A guide to the best time to see kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

A photograph of a man with a camera taking a picture of a kangaroo on a beach at sunrise at Cape Hillsborough in Queensland

Further reading

I always recommend travellers to have travel insurance – I recommend World Nomads – contact them for a quote!


An expat review of life in Australia

Living in Australia – expat dreams versus expat reality

A round-up of 65 things I have learnt since moving to Australia

 Life in Brisbane Part 1

Expat diary – Life in Brisbane Part 2

 Life in Brisbane Part 3

Expat diary – Life in Mackay Part 1

Life in Mackay Part 2

Expat diary – Life in Mackay Part 3

6 common Australian myths debunked

5 reasons to visit Bowen

Rachel’s story – Moving to Australia

10 Australian movies to watch before you visit

A guide to visiting Uluru

25 books about Australian animals to share with children

Sharing stories about our expat life in Brisbane Part 4

Things I love about living in Australia

Things I don’t love about living in Australia




  1. Linda Tallett
    January 20, 2018 / 8:21 am

    Great post Tracy, and amazing photos! Something which is on Mark’s list for a visit one day!

    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:30 am

      We would love to go back so I am sure at some point we can arrange it with you! That would be fun!

  2. Louise Rhodes
    January 20, 2018 / 9:04 am

    Fab photos! It looks such an amazing place to visit…

    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:29 am

      Thanks Louise it was fantastic!

  3. January 20, 2018 / 3:18 pm

    What a great place to visit wildlife in its natural surroundings 🙂 I believe those kangaroos are already used to humans, as they really gets close to them in your photos.

    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:28 am

      Yes they are as its a popular place to visit – best not to get too close though!

  4. January 20, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    Gorgeous place to see kangaroos with the ocean in the back~ 😉 Awesome! We haven’t seen these creatures here, but we had a similar experience in Lucky Bay, next to Esperance in Le Grand NP! Kangaroos go to the beach to chill 😉 It’s very picturesque too!

    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:27 am

      Thanks – it is a beautiful place to visit!

  5. January 20, 2018 / 4:11 pm

    AH you have no idea how much I wanna go to Australia and see those wonderful Kangaroos! They are so beautiful and cute! I am glad to find this blog post before I went, now it will help me to plan my trip! Your photos are stunning!

    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:27 am

      Enjoy your trip when you come over!

  6. Lance
    January 20, 2018 / 5:10 pm

    What an absolutely fun experience. My kids would love this. Your pictures are amazing. Cannot wait to put this on our bucket list.

    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:26 am

      Thanks Lance I am sure the kids will enjoy it!

  7. January 20, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    Australia is so high on our bucket list! I knew kangaroos don’t like it when people get too close but I love the fact that going to the beach early will allow you some (mostly) alone time with them!
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    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:26 am

      Yes it is a fantastic experience

  8. Laurence
    January 20, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Nice! Thanks for sharing this post to when the best time to see Kangaroos. Nice post with the Kangaroo, that’s so cool! So they’re not scared of people?

    • TracyJane
      January 21, 2018 / 12:25 am

      No not at all I think they are used to them! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  9. January 21, 2018 / 3:57 am

    Wow, beautiful photos! I’ve never been to Australia but would love to. And even more would love to see a kangaroo in its natural habitat. Nature & wildlife are great. #FlyAwayFriday

    • TracyJane
      January 22, 2018 / 8:20 am

      Thanks Liana – definitely go to Cape Hillsborough when you visit Australia!

  10. January 21, 2018 / 8:11 pm

    This is so cool! I never knew kangaroos lived so close to the beach and even visited the beach, just brilliant! Maybe a dumb question but… what are they eating? Seaweed I guess?

    • TracyJane
      January 22, 2018 / 8:17 am

      I am not sure I think so! I will find out!

    • TracyJane
      January 22, 2018 / 8:17 am

      Thanks Christine – definitely and I loved your post about Chobe too!

  11. January 23, 2018 / 11:26 am

    Wow these are definitely fantastic shots of the sunrise with the kangaroos on the beach! I’m not usually an early morning person, but to get these pictures, i’d be more than happy to wake up really early and watch the kangaroos. I haven’t been to Australia yet but I do plan to go there early 2019 and hopefully I’ll get to see such great sights! Thanks for the tips and recommendations.
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    • TracyJane
      January 24, 2018 / 9:19 am

      Thank you – enjoy your visit!

  12. January 23, 2018 / 1:00 pm

    Ahh that I didnt stumbled upon your post much earlier…like in 2014! I would definitely wake up before the sun to catch a perfect shot of the kangaroos at the Cape Hillsborough! So unique experience! We are going back to Australia for sure and trust me I will get that shot!
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  13. January 23, 2018 / 4:17 pm

    I love the pictures you have captured a lot. I am yet to see a Kangaroo can you believe. The kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough are such amazing experience to visit.I have noted the details for my future travel . Sunrise with kangaroos is a great idea.

  14. January 23, 2018 / 9:44 pm

    I had no idea that you could find kangaroos and wallabies by the beach. That is so interesting! I have only seen a few from the zoo. To see them out in the wild is incredible! I’m not an early riser but I will wake up before dawn just to see this. 🙂 Your sunrise photos with the kangaroo or wallaby is amazing! But, I have no idea how you were able to take a photo with a kangaroo in a very close range. 😉

    • TracyJane
      January 24, 2018 / 9:17 am

      They don’t seem to mind people they are used to it so they don’t move! It is sooooo worth getting up early to see them.

  15. January 24, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    The video turned out great! It must be brilliant to see such cool animals in the wild, and I’m glad to hear there are decent protections around not disturbing them etc. People these days… The sunrise looks stunning, too. I am not a morning person but I think even I would make an exception for this!
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    • TracyJane
      January 24, 2018 / 12:14 pm

      It is definitely worth it Rachel – such a wonderful sight to see!

  16. January 24, 2018 / 12:18 pm

    Wow! Seeing kangaroos in the wild really is a dream, especially with that gorgeous colourful backdrop! That really is something I’d love to see one day 🙂

  17. January 24, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    Kangaroos at sunset – what an amazing view! I love interacting with wildlife , real wildlife like the one you have described here.

  18. January 24, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    What an incredible experience. I just love seeing animals in their native habitat. I love that you remind your readers that this is the kangaroo’s beach, and we are just visitors. Thank you so much for sharing!

  19. January 24, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    What an amazing experience. I would love to do that, too. Thanks for sharing this great guide.

  20. January 24, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    I’m not going to lie – this is soooo cool to me!! Those pictures with the early morning light and water reflections are STUNNING. Just love the silhouette effect. My friend’s little brother got kicked by a wallaby so they definitely are no joke. I’d love to see these animals in their habitat though!
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  21. January 24, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    Beautiful pictures. It reminds me of the time I spent in Australia over 10 years ago. I visited a kangaroo sanctuary in Alice Springs… and saw the most adorable baby kangaroos. Great guide!

  22. January 24, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    what an incredible experience! Beautiful photos – so amazing that you can get so close to the kangaroos! A nice breakfast after would be such a fun way to start your day!

  23. January 24, 2018 / 5:00 pm

    Great pictures! Visiting Australia and going to see kangaroos is high up there on my bucket list!

  24. January 24, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    Wow – I guess I don’t know a lot about kangaroos but I didn’t even know they lived around beaches? I though they were more inland animals. But… talk about an amazing photo op! Those first photos you have of the sunrise with the lone kangaroo and her reflection on the beach is pretty incredible!

    • TracyJane
      January 25, 2018 / 9:03 am

      Oh wow so glad you have been! Isn’t it an amazing place!

  25. January 24, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Kangaroos on the beach, that’s probably the best beach in the world! I’ve seen them only in the ZOO. 🙁
    Australia has some dangerous animals, but it doesn’t matter because it has cutest too.

    • TracyJane
      January 25, 2018 / 9:02 am

      It is fantastic seeing them on the beach!

  26. January 24, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    Beautiful pics and great advice. I like the thought of a breakfast picnic there, all full of excitement after seeing the roos. I hadn’t thought about leaving the escape route for them too; that’s really helpful information. I’ve only ever seen kangaroos in the wild in Adelaide, and there they were, rather unexpectedly, browsing by the side of the dual carriageway leading to the business park.

    • TracyJane
      January 25, 2018 / 9:02 am

      It is always amazing to see them isn’t it! Glad you liked my post 🙂

  27. January 24, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    Sweetest photo-shoot, I assume it is safe to say! Love the animals! the sunset is breathtaking! are they kids or grown up ones?

  28. January 24, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    If I ever visit Australia I’d absolutely love to do that,seeing kangas is on my bucket list but seeing kangas on a beach would be double win, I had never heard of this before.
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    • TracyJane
      January 25, 2018 / 9:00 am

      Yes even some people in Australia don’t know – glad you enjoyed it!

  29. January 25, 2018 / 4:00 am

    This post made me smile! I love kangas and got a chance to finally see some in real life during our Australian cruise. What beautiful pictures you have shared – the ones at sunrise are spectacular. Thanks for sharing

  30. January 25, 2018 / 5:16 am

    You have provided a great guide on how to spot a kangaroo in Australia. Kangaroos are my favorite animal and they look so lovely and rare species. When I was living in Melbourne and was going towards Puffy Billy side, we saw one kangaroo just crossed the road. What a splendid sight for me but then it got hid somewhere. As you have provided all details and watching them closely, next time, I will take care of all details. Watching kangaroo on beach with a early start of day is really a beautiful start of day. I will now go early to watch these lovely species.

    • TracyJane
      January 25, 2018 / 9:00 am

      Definitely do! Its a great sight!

  31. January 25, 2018 / 5:37 am

    We are in love with our shot of the sunrise and the Kangaroo! It is so cute they just come hand at the beach too, didn’t know they would wander around there! Wouldn’t get too close of them if they are big though! Would love to visit Cape Hillsborough, it looks fantastic.
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  32. Iulia
    January 25, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    This is sooo nice 🙂 And, despite being wild, the kangaroos look very friendly 🙂 I assume that, at some point, they get used to the people that arrive each morning. You have taken some great photos – I am sure it was an extraordinary experience. And, on top of getting to see kangaroos, you also managed to catch a breath-taking sunrise 😉 I feel sorry, though, for the dead kangaroos – I was not aware that there were so many 🙁

    • TracyJane
      January 26, 2018 / 10:02 am

      Yes unfortunately you see a lot of dead kangaroos on the roads in Australia 🙁

    • TracyJane
      January 26, 2018 / 10:03 am

      Thanks Shona! Isn’t the joey gorgeous!

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:41 am

      They appreciate the beaches in Oz too I think!

  33. January 26, 2018 / 11:43 am

    This is such a good post that I needed last year when I visited Oz and was constantly on the look our for these beautiful animals! Great read! (oh and I did end up finding them!)

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:40 am

      Glad you found them and that you like the post!

  34. January 26, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    This is so adorable! I would like to see kangaroos on the will but I think it is extra cool to see them at the beach. That is not something you see from where I come from. #feetdotravel
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    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:40 am

      It is great seeing them in the wild and on the beach is extra special!

  35. January 26, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    The kangaroos in Australia look so amazing and cute. I could definitely see myself on the beach waiting for them and taking some great photo shots. What a great opportunity. Pinned this for later. Happy you shared! #feetdotravel
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  36. January 27, 2018 / 1:22 am

    I love seeing animals in the wild! This is on my list for the next time I get back to Australia!

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:39 am

      Yes do it! It is fab!

  37. January 27, 2018 / 5:12 am

    Wow! These pictures are amazing! And I can’t believe how close you guys got to the kangaroo. I would have been so nervous. This looks totally worth it to get up early for! How amazing to see wild kangaroos just doing their thing.
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    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:38 am

      It was lovely to see them and they seemed ok about us being around them! I think they are used to having breakfast watched by a lot of humans with cameras!

  38. January 27, 2018 / 7:10 am

    Thanks for sharing these tips on how to experience seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat and how to interact with them properly. Australia has been on my list for so long…hopefully I can make that happen and share in this same experience 🙂

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:37 am

      I hope you can as it is a fantastic experience!

  39. January 27, 2018 / 9:40 am

    That is so so SO cool! So jealous!!! #WeekendWanderlust

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:37 am

      It was really amazing!

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:37 am

      It is surprising how many Australians don’t know about it either and it is an amazing place!

  40. January 27, 2018 / 9:40 pm

    I am glad to see that the wildlife authorities have signs near these beaches to remind people to respect these beautiful wild animals and to keep at a distance. I hope that everyone abides by these common sense rules. Not being from Australia I did not know that any kangaroos venture out onto the beach shores. That is so interesting! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:35 am

      Yes I think everyone does – they seemed fine with human company! But I agree it is important to have those signs!

  41. January 28, 2018 / 3:41 am

    Great post and beautiful photos! I’ve only seen kangaroos in a zoo in Australia, though we were able to get close enough to pet one. They are so much softer than I expected! To see them wild would be a dream. Maybe next time…. Love your photos! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 4:34 am

      Thank you – they really are soft aren’t they I was surprised about that too!

  42. January 28, 2018 / 7:52 am

    The kangaroo is such a neat animal. I remember one of the highlights from my trip to Australia was my coffee with the kangaroos. I thinking seeing them on a beach like this may be even better. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.
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    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Thanks Anisa glad you enjoyed it!

  43. January 28, 2018 / 9:55 am

    I never get tired of seeing kangaroos in the wild. We have kangaroos and wallabies which visit us every evening. They eat the grass in our back yard. Remarkably we live in Sydney – though we are next to a national park. Even so when we travel in Australia we still seek out places to see them. I wish I had known about Cape Hillsborough last time we were in Mackay.
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    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 10:38 am

      We were at our friends in Melbourne and saw them every night in front of the house – such a lovely thing to see! Next time you are in Mackay you can visit Cape Hillsborough 🙂

  44. January 28, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    Fabulous photos, Tracy. Looks like a wonderful place to visit and spotting kangaroos on a beach is so different from spotting them elsewhere. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 9:42 pm

      Thanks Deeptha it was fantastic!

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 9:42 pm

      I know it is brilliant isn’t it!

  45. January 28, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    Ah, Tracy, your pictures are absolutely fantastic! I’ve never seen kangaroos in the wild. No matter how cute these animals are however, it’s always good to keep a distance from the wildlife. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • TracyJane
      January 28, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks Anda all taken with an iphone 6s too! Yes best to keep distance and not touch them!

  46. January 29, 2018 / 12:15 am

    This is so incredible. Living in the States, this just isn’t something we can ever see here. And stunning photos!

    • TracyJane
      January 29, 2018 / 12:18 am

      Thank-you Jill – it is pretty special seeing something like this. Hope you get the chance to come to Australia so you can see them for yourself – magical experience!

  47. January 29, 2018 / 7:51 am

    This post is encouraged me to visit cape Hillsborough for watching kangaroos. Thank you, Tracy, for this post.

  48. January 29, 2018 / 2:55 pm

    Oh I would love to see kangaroos! That’s sad about the dead kangaroos along the side of the road though. Thanks for the tips and for linking up with #farawayfiles

    • TracyJane
      January 29, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      Yes unfortunately there are a lot killed in road traffic accidents every year :=(

    • TracyJane
      January 29, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      Glad you got to see them when you were in Australia! Yes seeing them at sunrise was lovely

  49. January 30, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    Such an iconic Australian sight and even better with the sunrise as a background. Thanks for sharing your tips on #FarawayFiles

  50. January 30, 2018 / 11:02 pm

    This is fantastic! We SO want to do this – and we will take your advice to stay nearby. Another great To Do for our ever-growing Australian Bucket List. Great photos, btw. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard and #WeekendWanderlust!
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    • TracyJane
      February 1, 2018 / 10:59 am

      Thanks – yes definitely get up to Mackay and explore that region with kangaroos on a beach and platypus at Broken River its a great place to explore!

  51. January 31, 2018 / 2:27 am

    Nice one Tracy – I don’t think I will ever get bored of seeing Kangaroos. I’m living in Tassie at the moment and you tend to see more wallabies here.

    • TracyJane
      February 1, 2018 / 10:58 am

      OoooH we can’t wait to visit Tassie! Lots of pademelons we hear!

    • TracyJane
      February 1, 2018 / 10:57 am

      It was a great experience! I also love roos!

  52. January 31, 2018 / 11:33 pm

    Oh my goodness, YES PLEASE! My dream is to see kangaroos and this place seems to be perfect for it! Love your photos!!! Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday, hope to see you again this week! xo

  53. February 1, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    I never became bored of seeing kangaroos when I lived in Australia, sadly I never made it here but I wish I had! We intend to return to Oz so I’ve pinned for when I do, I definitely want to check this out, thanks for bringing it to my attention. #feetdotravel

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Hello from Australia

Traveller, teacher, train lover, and milkshake connoisseur.Now living and working in my 7th country and experiencing life in Queensland, Australia.

I write to inspire others whatever their age to explore the world - near and far!

I have travelled for over 30 years including solo in my 20's , as a single parent in my 30's and now in my 40's and beyond with my husband. House sitter and aspiring grey nomad a life of location independence is my goal.

Over 40 years ago I dreamt of a life well travelled and that is the life I live!

Dream it, plan it, do it!!


“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
-- Michael Palin