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From Smalley's Beach to Ball Bay

Updated: Jan 24

Level: Beginner

An easy walk along the beach, no shoes required, enjoy the sound of the sea as the grains of sand slip between your toes as you walk all the way from Smalley's Beach to Ball Bay. Highly recommended during sunrise or sunset (taking the tide into account of course!).

Right side view of Smalleys beach

A walk along the beach

Before the New Year we decided to have a well deserved holiday and what better way to start our holiday than choosing a camping site with a seaside view. We left Townsville early in the morning on the 28th of December to drive south. After passing through the dry tropics and the endless sugar cane plantation landscape on both sides of the road, we arrived in the wetter tropics of Central Queensland. Turning from the main road (Bruce Highway) towards the coast (heading toward the coastal town of Seaforth), our first destination to explore was Cape Hillsborough National Park. There are several camping places in the area.

We prefer camping in National Parks. If you haven't been in Australia before, then I should tell you that camping in Australia is quite safe and most camping places have facilities such as toilets, picnic tables and fire places. Before we go anywhere in Queensland we normally search for camping site information, and book places, on the National Parks Website (https://qpws.usedirect.com/qpws/).

Smalley's Beach Camping ground is hidden among gum and she oak trees which offer great shade and privacy. Most of the designated camping spots have private access paths to the beach and amazing seaside views, silhouetted with she oak trees. Furthermore, Smalley's beach camp ground has drinkable tap water and toilets.

From Smalley's Beach, the beach extends all the way to Ball Bay to the left (if looking towards the Sea) and towards the mangroves and the hills of Cape Hillsborough National Park on the other side.

The beach is made of stony sandy grains and shells and it extends for about 2 km, and requires the crossing of a small creek, which is easiest done at low tide, to get to the Ball bay side. If you are camping at Smalley's beach wake up early to enjoy a morning walk along the beach, as we did.

Camping information

Smalley's Beach camp ground is a fairly hidden spot, which is reachable via a turnoff to the left as you near Cape Hillsborough on the road into the area. In addition to Smalley's Beach camp ground, there is a Caravan Park at Cape Hillsborough, a camping ground in Ball Bay and a Caravan Park at the town of Seaforth.

Main access to Smalleys beach camping site.

Flora and fauna

Eucalyptus forest, she oaks and some subtropical rainforest trees are common in this area. Lots of species of birds, wallabies (including the famous Cape Hillsborough morning beach wallabies) and bats.

Hobbit's Tip

1. Wear a stinger suit during summer time anywhere in Central and North Queensland.

2. Prepare yourself to encounter huge March flies (called Horse flies elsewhere in the world) with cute green eyes, mosquitos, and midges. This beach has them all at different times of the day from morning to night time.

3. Please don't feed wildlife, including birds. Watch your food with the local thieves (brush turkeys and kookaburras).

Have a wonderful outdoor time with family and friends!


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OutdoorHobbits by P&F photography

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