Witness the enchanting pre-dawn ritual as eager visitors gather for a magical sunrise with playful kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough National Park just 45 minutes’ drive from Mackay.

Visitors flock not just for the jaw-dropping beach sunrise over the tranquil sea but to mingle with the wild kangaroos, who strut the beach each morning, checking out the overnight haul. On the hunt for beach snacks, these furry beachcombers wander down from Cape Hillsborough National Park, ready to snack and snap some selfies with their adoring fans.

Where is Cape Hillsborough?

You’ll find Cape Hillsborough about 800 kilometres up the coastline north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, about a 45-minute drive from Mackay in regional Queensland. This beautiful area is part of the Cape Hillsborough National Park, which is known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and unique wildlife experiences, including the famous sunrise gatherings of kangaroos on the beach. Do leave early and allow plenty of time to catch those first rays for a kangaroo beach sunrise. Check the sunrise time here.

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Kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough at dawn

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Dawn at Cape Hillsborough with kangaroos
Kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough
Dawn at Cape Hillsborough with kangaroos

How cute is this joey amongst the kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

How close can you get to the kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough ?

The wild kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough are chilled and curious, even with the crowd. Some are so laid-back they’ll munch a banana right out of a tourist’s hand—though feeding native animals is a no-no. Meanwhile, others play hard to get and hop away if you get too close.

Not everyone’s here for a kangaroo beach sunrise selfie. Some visitors are content to stroll the sands, bask in the early sun, and savour the serene vibes of this unique spot.

It’s not just about the roos. Take a walk on the national park trails, and you’ll meet a parade of colourful birds and the dazzling blue Ulysses butterfly, making sure nature’s got plenty of stars to show off.

Walking through Cape Hillsborough National Park

After soaking in your kangaroo beach sunrise, it’s time to hit the trails. My top pick? The Andrews Point track, offering fab views. Climb to the top of the ridge where five lookouts serve up stunning vistas of the coastline and islands.

It’s not a tough walk, but you’ll break a sweat climbing those rough stairs up the hill. Trust me, the view from the top is worth every single step.

These long, wide beaches are perfect for the kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

Where to stay?

If you stay close by, you only have to stumble out of bed to see the sunrise and the kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough.  The Cape Hillsborough Resort offers budget accommodation and camping facilities. and has plenty of facilities for children.

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.