The Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos are a must visit when checking out the Mackay region of Queensland. The kangaroos and wallabies make their way to the beach every sunrise to feed on the washed up seaweed and seeds from the overnight tides. This magical experience happens every morning and there’s no better way to start your day. Watching the sky erupt in colour and being able to greet the friendly kangaroos sure is spectacular! Here is everything you need to know about seeing the kangaroos on Cape Hillsborough Beach at sunrise.
How to get to the Cape Hillsborough Kangaroos
The Kangaroos are found along Cape Hillsborough Beach in the national park. They are also usually towards the southern end of the beach. There’s parking all along the beach but try park at the end, as close as you can to the tourist park so you won’t have to walk far.
Cape Hillsborough is located in the Mackay region of Queensland and is halfway between Rockhampton and Townsville. Both cities are about roughly a 4.5 hour drive away. The easiest way to get there is to stay in Mackay as it’s only 45 minutes from there. Alternatively, if you don’t want to drive in the early morning, you can stay at the Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park. It’s right on the beach so you’ll only have to walk down.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the kangaroos on Cape Hillsborough Beach is at sunrise. However, we recommend getting there well before the sun has fully risen. The kangaroos already start to appear before dawn and you’ll often find a whole bunch of them. Once the sun is up, most of the kangaroos have already hopped back into the bush for shade. Be sure to fight off the morning struggle and get there just a little bit earlier! You’ll also be able to witness the hues of the sky change from blue to orange which is simply stunning. Cape Hillsborough is known for its spectacular sunrises so you definitely won’t regret getting there a little earlier.
What to Expect
Visiting the kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough was one of the most magical mornings we’ve had in Queensland. If you’re looking for a unique experience, definitely add this spot to the list. The kangaroos are super friendly and curious as they will often come right up to you. They are usually hanging around the southern end of the beach, in-front of the tourist park.
Watching the colours of the sky erupt in a fiery orange was beautiful enough, but it was even better with the locals keeping you company. The backdrop of sunrise colours and kangaroos on the beach creates a unique experience that you’re sure to remember. It also makes for an incredible photo opportunity that is sure to be perfect.
We often found that if you stay still in one place, the kangaroos will slowly come up to you. There were plenty of times when kangaroos were all around us. They’re definitely not shy and will come within centimetres of you! Be sure to take it slow and don’t make any sudden movements as you can scare them.
Things to be mindful of:
- Please don’t pat them as they are still wild animals and you can scare them off
- Please don’t feed them
- Give the kangaroos enough space as they hop around
- Please avoid using flash photography
Where to Stay
Mackay is the closest town to Cape Hillsborough National Park. It’s a coastal town off the coast of the Great Barrier Reef. The region is known for stunning islands, rainforest, reefs and rich marine life. There are plenty of things to do in Mackay during your stay and the city has variety of accommodation options to choose from.
Oaks Mackay Rivermarque Hotel – Luxury: Oaks Mackay offers guests a stunning rooftop swimming pool as well as an outdoor spa. The location is perfect for those looking to be in a central location but still have some peace and quiet. The rooms are incredibly spacious and modern. Each is fitted with their own flat screen TV, comfy sofa, DVD player and some even have a balcony with incredible views of the river. The staff at the hotel are exceptionally friendly and are always willing to cater to your needs.
Mackay Oceanside Central Hotel – Midrange: This hotel is only a 2 minute walk from Town Beach and a 4 minute drive from Caneland Central shopping centre. The property is modern, stylish and the rooftop salt water pool is stunning! The rooms are impressively big and the beds are very comfy. The hotel staff are also super friendly and nice.
Gecko’s Rest Budget Accommodation & Backpackers – Budget: This budget backpackers offers private rooms as well as dorm style accommodation. The backpackers is only a 3 minute walk to Pioneer River and a 10 minute walk to the central shopping centre. The property features a shared terrace with internet access also available in the business centre. The beds and amenities are kept clean and the staff are helpful.
↠ For more places to stay in Mackay, you can check the latest prices here.