There’s only a hint of light in the pre-dawn sky, but the sand is already a magnet for eager visitors eager to have a kangaroo beach sunrise at Cape Hillsborough National Park just 45 minutes’ drive from Mackay.

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 a kangaroo beach sunrise close up.  Some visitors are happy just to walk along the beach, soak up the early sun rays and enjoy the relaxed ambience of this special place.

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.

Walking through Cape Hillsborough National Park

After you have enjoyed your kangaroo beach sunrise take one of the walks through the park.

My favourite is this one which offers fabulous views. 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 National Park?

You’ll find Cape Hillsborough about 800 kilometres up the coastline north of Brisbane, or about a 45 minute drive from Mackay. Do leave early and allow plenty of time to catch those first rays for a kangaroo beach sunrise.

Stay at the Cape Hillsborough Resort which offers budget accommodation and camping facilities.  It’s a great place for kids and the access to the kangaro beach sunrise is close and easy.

If you love animal experiences..

If you love animal experiences, you might also like to try horse riding on the beach or whale watching.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK travelled to Mackay as a guest of Mackay City Council.