There’s only a hint of light in the pre-dawn sky, but the beach is already a magnet for eager visitors anxious to share sunrise with the kangaroos.
They are not there just for the stunning beach sunrise over the somnolent sea, but also to bond with nature through the wild kangaroos who browse the beach each morning checking what has been washed up overnight.
Seeking beach nuts, they wander down to the sand from Cape Hillsborough National Park to browse for a feed and happily pose for photographs.
The kangaroos are relaxed and curious even though there are plenty of people about. Some are very relaxed, even eating a banana from the hand of one tourist, even though it is not considered okay to feed native animals.
Others are a little more wary and hop away when people encroach too much into their space.
Not everyone wants to commune with the kangaroos for a beach sunrise, some visitors are happy just to walk along the beach and soak up the early sun rays.
It’s not just kangaroos that are the star here. A walk along the national park trails will reveal colourful birds and the dramatic blue Ulysses butterfly.
Take the Andrews Point track to climb to the top of the ridge where there are five lookouts over the coastline and the islands. It’s not a hard walk but there is a bit of climbing up the side of the hill via some rough stairs. The view from the lookout is worth every bit of effort to get to the top.
Where is Cape Hillsborough?
You’ll find Cape Hillsborough about 800 kilometres up the coastline north of Brisbane, or about an hour’s drive from Mackay.
Stay at the Cape Hillsborough Resort which offers budget accommodation and camping facilities. It’s a great place for kids too.
Find out more about Cape Hillsborough from Visit Mackay Region.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled to Mackay as a guest of Mackay City Council.