Cape Hillsborough revisited

kangaroo silhouette at Cape Hillsborough

Cape Hillsborough near Mackay is a favourite holiday destination for the very good reason that it’s magically beautiful. We’ve written about the National Park and the resort after a previous trip (introduction and overview , 2014)  so this post is mostly saying that it’s still there and still as good as ever.

The resort has been adequately maintained but not significantly altered in at least 25 years, so it’s still very low-key and family-centred; it is probably constrained by its position, wrapped around by National Park with no possibility of expansion, but that is fine as far as we’re concerned.

The National Park, in turn, maintains the existing walking tracks and picnic areas. New since our last visit is their practice of posting a ranger to the famous wallaby feeding event on the main beach, presumably to encourage responsible interactions between visitors and the wildlife. The ranger scattered “macropod food” (we asked and that’s all he said) on a designated area of the beach and answered tourists’ questions but there was no regimentation of either the people or the wallabies.

wallabies feeding on Cape Hillsborough Beach
Wallabies feeding on the beach at sunrise

Incidentally, the food which naturally brings the wallabies to the beach is mangrove seeds.

wallaby with food
Agile Wallaby with mangrove seed
Fish Trap Youbera Trail
The fish trap at high tide

Click here for a photo of the trap at low tide in 2014.

Wedge Island, Cape Hillsborough
Wedge Island and Orchid Rock from the Andrews Point lookout
Cape Hillsborough view
Main beach (foreground) and Beachcomber Cove from Andrews Point lookout

On our last visit we saw large flocks of overwintering butterflies from the mangrove boardwalk and a smaller aggregation near the main beach end of the Beachcomber Cove walk. This time we missed the mangroves (the boardwalk was closed for repairs) but saw hosts of Blue Tigers and Brown Crows along the trail just above Beachcomber Cove.

blue tigers
Blue Tigers near Beachcomber Cove

We saw lots of other wildlife in our few days at the park, of course, and my photos are now on iNaturalist.

National Parks also maintains a bush camping ground at Smalley’s Beach – a dozen sites with minimal facilities along a pretty little bay, five or ten minutes by car from the resort and main beach. Self-sufficient campers could consider it as an even quieter alternative to the resort.


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