Cape Hillsborough Experience Development Project

Nature. Reserved. is what The Mackay Region is all about. We have an array of wonderful natural experiences on offer and one is Sunrise with the Wallabies at Cape Hillsborough.

50 km north-west of Mackay, Cape Hillsborough National Park is an accessible coastal national park. Its rugged landscape, sandy beaches and natural setting adds to its appeal to campers and day visitors and provides access to the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. 

One of the most popular experiences in the park is watching the sunrise from Casuarina beach, where agile wallabies gather at dawn to forage seed pods on the sand. This enables visitors to observe native animals in their natural habitat, and provides spectacular photography and memory-making moments. Six species of kangaroos and wallabies are found in the park, including eastern grey kangaroos, agile wallabies, whiptail wallabies, unadorned rock-wallabies, swamp wallabies, and red-legged pademelons. 

Bushwalking is a popular activity, there are several walking tracks at Cape Hillsborough National Park. These walking tracks provide access to beaches and lookouts. There area Yuibera (Yuri) cultural sites in the area which are protected by the stunning surroundings of the National Park. These sites are accessible to visitors via walking trails and interpretive signage. 

A few must-stops on the way:

  • The Leap Hotel – Here they pay homage to the local woman who gave The Leap its name. The best place to hear the story is inside The Leap hotel.
  • That Sapphire Place – Check out what’s on offer with a beautiful range of sapphires and other gems, as well as their spectacular jewellery designs.
  • The Organic & Natural Store at The Leap – Here they stock everything from hand-woven African baskets to groceries, handy if you are self-catering at your accommodation.
  • The Avatar Country Day Spa – Enjoy a relaxing day overlooking the beautiful bushland of Cape Hillsborough while being pampered.
  • Leap Lychees – This is a roadside fruit and sorbet stand with refreshing flavours like mango, lychee, pina colada and passionfruit
  • Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park – The perfect place to stay and wake up earlier for an amazing Sunrise with the Wallabies.
  • The Old Station Teahouse – Stop here for brunch or to enjoy a cup of coffee while surrounded by their quaint garden setting. They are best known for their scones and wood-fired pizzas.
  • Shambahla Creek Cottage –  For more luxurious accommodation and easy access to both Cape Hillsborough and Eungella National Park – this is the place to stay.

Tourism and Events Queensland, in partnership with Mackay Tourism Limited, Rio Tinto – Hail Creek Mine and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal are delivering a new program to further enhance the visitor experience in the region and ensure this world-class area is protected for future generations to enjoy. 

If you plan on visiting Cape Hillsborough we recommend spending your time immersing in the wide array of experiences and attractions the region has on offer, starting your day at sunrise with some very friendly (and furry) locals.

For more information and tips to make the most of your stay, stop in and see a local at the Mackay Visitor Information Centre, located at 320 Nebo Road, Mackay.


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