Spotting kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

Kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough

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In December last year, I went to Cape Hillsborough National Park as part of a road trip along Australia’s East Coast with some of my best friends. You can read about our time exploring Magnetic Island here and our time sailing the Whitsundays here.

I must be honest, I didn’t know much about this place before the trip, but spotting kangaroos at Cape Hillsborough definitely became a highlight. And I believe that everyone should drive by to experience the Australian animals up close and to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. In this post, I share my experience and my best tips that hopefully can inspire you to spend an early morning in Cape Hillsborough yourself.

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Getting there

Cape Hillsborough National Park is located in a remote area two hours drive from the Whitsundays at north and one hour drive from Mackay at south. The easiest way to get there is by car via Bruce Hwy. Alternatively, you can take a flight to Mackay and drive from there. The beach where you can spot the kangaroos and wallabies is located next to Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park where you can park your vehicle.

Where to stay

As you will have to be at the beach before sunrise to spot the kangaroos and wallabies, I can highly recommend booking a night at Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park that is a combined nature resort with small low-key huts and cabins and campsite. It’s very conveniently located one minute walk from Cape Hillsborough Beach and has all the required facilities you need for a single night.

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Spotting kangaroos at the beach

The kangaroos and wallabies come to the beach at sunrise so you’ve to wake up early to spot them. We were told to be there at 5 am, however, you should ask in the reception for the precise time as it may vary.

We got to the beach at 4.45 am when it was still completely dark. A few kangaroos and wallabies had already shown up, and we joined the few other people who were spectating the animals.

The kangaroos and wallabies are completely wild and come to the beach to eat seaweed and mangrove seed pods that have been washed onto the shore. However, when we visited back in December, there wasn’t much for them to eat, and a local nature guide poured animal food on the ground for them to eat instead. Immediately after he showed up lots of kangaroos and wallabies jumped to the beach from their shed, and it was a spectacular sight to see both large and small, old and young and a single joey in a pouch that appeared to join the eating.

The sight became even more spectacular when the sun began to rise behind a hill and lit up the sky. I literally had to pinch myself in the arm to understand how lucky I was to experience this. After around an hour, the sun had risen completely and it became too hot for the kangaroos and wallabies to be in direct sunlight. They jumped back to the surrounding mangrove, and we headed back to the campsite very happy with what we had just experienced.

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Other information

Cape Hillsborough was once a hidden gem but nowadays, more and more people have heard about this unique spot, and you probably have to share the beach with several others. I think there were around 20-30 other people the morning we visited. The animals seem to care very little with people though, so the experience won’t change just because there are many others around.

When we visited, some people were standing very close to the animals, which we were told was a bad idea. The kangaroos and wallabies are wild animals and they can’t jump to the side, so it’s important not to cut off their escape route in case they get scared.

In terms of photography, you will get the best photos right after the sun has risen. I won’t recommend spending too much time taking photos before that – you should just enjoy watching the animals and the beautiful surroundings instead.

You can read much more about Cape Hillsborough National Park here.

Read more posts from Australia here.

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I december sidste år tog jeg til Cape Hillsborough National Park som en del af et roadtrip langs Australiens østkyst med nogle af mine bedste veninder. Du kan læse om vores tid på Magnetic Island her og vores tid ved the Whitsundays her.

Jeg må være ærlig at indrømme, at jeg ikke vidste meget om dette sted før turen, men at spotte kænguruer ved Cape Hillsborough blev helt klart et højdepunkt. Og jeg vil vove at påstå, at alle bør køre dertil for at opleve de australske dyr helt tæt på og for at nyde de smukke omgivelser. I dette indlæg deler jeg min oplevelse og mine bedste tips, der forhåbentlig kan inspirere dig til at bruge en tidlig morgen ved Cape Hillsborough. 

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Sådan kommer du dertil

Cape Hillsborough er placeret i et øde område to timers kørsel fra the Whitsundays i nord og en times kørsel fra Mackay i syd. Den nemmeste vej at komme dertil er i bil via Bruce Hwy. Alternativt kan du flyve til Mackay og køre derfra. Stranden, hvor du kan spotte kænguruer og wallabies er placeret lige ved siden af Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park, hvor du kan parkere din bil/campervan. 

Her skal du bo

Da du skal være på stranden før solopgang for at spotte kænguruerne og wallabierne, kan jeg anbefale at booke en nat på Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park, der er et kombineret naturresort med små simple hytter og en campingplads. Det er meget bekvemt placeret et minuts gang fra Cape Hillsborough Beach og har alle de faciliteter, du har brug for for en enkelt nat. 

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At spotte kænguruer på stranden

Kænguruerne og wallabierne kommer til stranden ved solopgang, så du skal tidligt op for at spotte dem. Vi var blevet fortalt, at vi skulle være der klokken 5.00 – du bør dog spørge i receptionen, for det præcise tidspunkt kan ændre sig. 

Vi var ved stranden klokken 4.45, da det stadig var helt mørkt. Et par enkelte kænguruer og wallabier var allerede dernede, og vi stillede os sammen med de få andre, der stod og betragtede dyrene.

Kænguruerne og wallabierne er vilde og kommer til stranden for at spise tang og frø, der er skyllet op fra havet. Da vi var der, var der dog ikke meget for dem at spise, og en lokal naturguide hældte dyrefoder på jorden, som de kunne spise i stedet. I samme sekund han dukkede op, kom flere dyr hoppende ned på stranden fra deres skjul, og det var et mindeværdigt syn at se både store og små, gamle og unge og en enkelt lille kænguruunge, der kom frem fra sin mors pung for at spise.

Det blev endnu mere spektakulært, da solen begyndte at stå op bag en bakketop og oplyste himlen. Jeg blev bogstaveligt talt nødt til at nive mig selv i armen for at forstå, hvor heldig jeg var at opleve dette. Efter cirka en time var solen stået helt op og det blev for varmt for kænguruerne og wallabierne at være i direkte sollys. De hoppede tilbage til den omkringliggende mangrove, og vi gik tilbage til campingpladsen lykkelige over, hvad vi lige havde oplevet.

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Andre informationer

Cape Hillsborough var engang en skjult skat, men nu om dage har flere og flere hørt om dette unikke sted, og du skal formentlig dele stranden med andre. Jeg tror, at der var omkring 20-30 andre den morgen, vi var der. Dyrene ser dog ud til at være ligeglade med mennesker, så oplevelsen bliver ikke anderledes af, at der er andre der.

Da vi var der, var der nogle, der gik meget tæt på dyrene, hvilket vi fik at vide var en dårlig ide. Kænguruerne og wallabierne er vilde dyr, og de kan ikke hoppe til siden, så det er vigtigt ikke at stå i vejen for dem, hvis de nu bliver bange. 

I forhold til fotografering, får du de bedste billeder lige efter, at solen er stået op. Jeg kan ikke anbefale at bruge for meget tid på at tage billeder inden da – du bør i stedet bare nyde synet af dyrene og de omkringliggende omgivelser. 

Du kan læse meget mere om Cape Hillsborough National Park her

Du kan læse flere indlæg fra Australien her

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