camping in cape hillsborough


While in the planning stages of what to see, and where to go, in Australia we looked to Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. We know, typical, right? Well, another often overlooked outlet is Instagram. #such #a #great #idea !! Ryann would just search “Queensland” or “Australia” and the results proved worthy of a follow or two. Ryann would scroll through the pictures until finding something worthwhile.

Cape Hillsborough was one of those.

Kangaroos on the Beach at Sunrise

The iG upload that Ryann saw was a picture of kangaroos on the beach during sunrise. She immediately sent the picture to Devin for his opinion and we decided, umm, YEAH! We figured we would try to capture the shot ourselves, assuming it was a rare sighting. Little did we know, they frequent the same beach every morning for breakfast.

So that was that, the decision was made and we were on our way. We didn’t do any more research, we though the kangaroos on the beach was a good enough reason to stop. Upon pulling off the main road onto Cape Hillsborough Road, we drove expecting to continue straight to the campground, but Devin wanted to stop at a park first. After sitting in the car for so long, Ryann wasn’t going to pass up exploring a little. We parked and walked towards the beach. Wow. We had NO idea what we stumbled upon but it was incredible.

The Ultimate Natural-Made Playground

We walked IMG_20150216_132500through the Eucalypt forest, past the scurrying crabs and towards the volcanic rock formations on the beach. Apparently the history behind Cape Hillsborough is that Captain James Cook had named the land after the Earl of Hillsborough, a member of the English and Irish parliament, who also served as Secretary of State for the American colonies. Boom! Kangaroos. Beach. Volcanic rock formations. Now, to add a little American patriotism to the mix? We felt we definitely lucked out with this side trip. We discussed the balls of sand mounds that the crabs left scattered to dig their holes. Ryann felt that they could honestly be in an art-installation one day because they often made the most abstract and unique designs. Art aside, the crabs were fun to chase. We even saw some blue-colored crabs in the volcanic rocks.

The Campground

After climbing and playing with the crabs for an hour, we continued down to the campground. The camp grounds are located past the Nature Park, and depending on availability, you could potentially park your caravan or tent within 20 feet of the beach. The upside was the quick access, sunrise vista, and kangaroo prime-time viewing. The downside was the high winds blowing the sand in the tent. We took the latter in stride because the experience of waking up in the middle of the night hearing kangaroos and wallabies hopping around outside our tent was pretty amazing. The campground provided a swimming pool, laundry on-site and showers. What luxuries! There also IMG_20150217_061213was a convenience store with some grocery/snacks and souvenirs.

Wild Kangaroos

We woke up early at sunrise the next morning, excited to see the ‘roos hopping around on the sand. We walked down, where some other people had already been waiting. There were close to 30 kangaroos already there! And they were super close.

Some hopped. Others stared at us. Some dug for crabs to eat for a delicious ‘brekky.’ The kangaroos, although wild, were very calm and seemed used to people. We found this to be true when later we saw a group of backpacking girls taking selfies with some that were lying down. They didn’t mind being so close to people and did not act scared or skittish in the slightest.

Even though the campground advised and requested that campers do not feed the kangaroos…we HAPPENED to have some leftover kangaroo food bags from our stop at Lone Pine Sanctuary in Brisbane. We emptied the bag of pellets on the ground near a kangaroo that was all alone in the bush. We walked away, but looked back to see if the kangaroo was interested. The kangaroo devoured it in seconds, before any others could join. Walking away, we’re pretty sure we saw it lick it’s little furry fingers.

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