Instagram is a blessing to some and a curse to others. But without it I wouldn't have known about this spot. The Cape Hillsborough Tourist Park in Queensland, Australia, is a remote RV park at the beach front. It is about 130 km south of Airlie Beach and about 50 km north of Mackay and overall halfway between Cairns and Brisbane along the tropical Queensland coast. Every morning lots of wallabies and some grey kangaroos come down to the beach from the Cape Hillsborough National Park to feed from the algae that the flood left at night. You will mostly find Agile wallabies (also known as Sandy wallabies) but they also have Whiptail wallabies which we didn't see that day. In addition to them we saw some Eastern grey kangaroos that day. Once you see them side by side it becomes easy to differentiate what otherwise looks just like kangaroos to tourists from the Northern hemisphere.
Set your alarm clock to 5.00 am
Our alarm clock was set to 5 am and we went just the fews steps to the beach to be there way before sunrise around 5.20 am. Some of the marsupials have already been there foraging. With the rising sun and more tourists it got a bit crowded. Around 40 people, a marine biologist from Mackay, lots of wallabies and some grey kangaroos populated the scene. First, I was a bit annoyed about the marine biologist setting up small yellow cones like for soccer practice. But seeing how some tourists tried to cuddle with and even feed the animals I understood that this is a sad necessity. They just want to ensure that future tourists can have the same experience that we had. And what an encounter this was - one of my all time favorite animal experiences ever!
Cape Hillsborough beach is also know as Casuarina Beach
Wallabies are checking their strength levels
After filling their bellies some male wallabies started to check their strength levels. They started to "fight" at the beach. The pictures might look quite aggressive, but these "fights" are more of a ritualistic nature to impress the females. Overall, I was very happy with the footage that day - both photo and video. I layed down my 70-200 lens on the beach to stabilise it and to include some foreground to the scene to show some depth.
Kung Fu Fighting wallabies
Cape Hillsborough with wallabies and kangaroos at sunrise is in my Top 3 animals encounters ever. It is quite easy to access the spot on the tropical coast of Queensland - just make sure to book a campground in advance. The beach itself is just a few steps from your campervan and when you get lucky - like we were - it is a fantastic sunrise experience that you will never forget.
Let me know in the comments below whether you have been to this magical spot or whether it is on your bucket list now. And if you enjoyed this make sure to check my Australia gallery and blogposts.