Updated: Jan 24
Before you start
Distance: Resort-beach-Island-Hill-resort total 5.2 km
How to get there: Follow the Bruce Highway to Seaforth exit (about 50 km north of Mackay), and follow the signs to Cape Hillsborough National Park from where you will reach the nature tourist park.
Accomodation: We stayed at Smalley's beach campground, but camping and caravanning options are also available at the nature tourist park, and Ball Bay and Seaforth.
At Cape Hillsborough in Central Queensland, there is a very picturesque track that displays the dramatic landscape of this region. Although it was challenging at times for our young children, it was a very gratifying walk for all of us. The walk starts from near the resort (which looks and functions surprisingly like a caravan park) and starts on the wide open Cape Hillsborough beach, which is famous for its friendly wallabies and kangaroos at sunrise. You follow the beach heading towards Wedge Island. We went in the morning and, like us if you go at low tide, you can walk over the natural causeway (bridge) of volcanic rocks and sand to visit the island. You will find information on the tides time at the resort's convenience store, but it's best to plan your visit beforehand. On the island there is a nice little beach, and apparently if you go at the right time of year, there are orchids flowering (I assume particularly on Orchid rock which lies just of Wedge Island). Also on the far side of the island is a rock pool frequented by swimmers
After coming back from the island visit, the track continues on the mainland into the forest from near the causeway, and is sign posted. This trail will take you to Andrew's point and the Turtle Lookout among others, with the landscapes changing as you walk, some parts of the trail had plants from dry climates and other patches with green subtropical vegetation.
All of the three lookouts had amazing views that allow you to contemplate different parts of the landscape and including unofficial lookouts, you will pretty much get a 360 degree perspective of the landscape in the region on this hike.
Flora and fauna
There are over twenty species of butterfly in the area. We spotted at least five different species of butterflies and lots of different caterpillars (December). We have been previously in the cooler months in June/July and the place is spectacular as it was covered in numerous species of butterfly, including the spectacular blue tiger butterflies. It feels as if you are walking in a fairy tale garden This time we went in December, and it was still amazing despite the fact that it wasn't covered limb to limb in butterflies. Marsh flies were common.
There are a recorded 130 birds and mammal species in the area. Ghost bats and coastal sheathtail bats are common of this area. Along the trail is a limestone cave where we saw bats, but they moved quite quickly so we are not sure what species they are. This cave can be found when heading down the hill on the way back to the resort, those with a good nose will find it with their eyes closed. The beach is commonly visited by swamp wallabies early in the morning and this has been one of the greatest attractions of the area. This beach is a nesting ground for flat back turtles. And guess what you can see from Turtle lookout? Pay attention and pretty soon you will see a dark blob appear in the water below, then another, then another....It was amazing how many turtles were busy in the water below feeding.
Take this walk early in the morning or later afternoon as it can get very hot when walking up the hill.
It can be windy in certain times of the year, so watch out for your hats at the lookouts.
Remember to check the tides time beforehand so you don't miss out on an island visit.
More photos here
Thanks for reading,