I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published October 7th 2021
Close Contact With Nature
Cape Hillsborough National Park has one camping ground called Smalleys Beach, located at Smalleys Beach. Camping overnight in the national park gives you the possibility to experience the natural attractions of the area. The camping sites are under the trees, on a sandy surface, just a few metres away from a beautiful beach.
The camping ground has a few facilities, including toilets and a few sites with picnic tables. The sites are big enough to comfortably fit a caravan and you can have your car near the tent.
Smalleys Beach, just a few metres away from Smalleys camping site. Photo by Author.
Smalleys Beach camping area is in Cape Hillsborough National Park, about 50 km north west of Mackay, Central Queensland. When you drive on Cape Hillsborough Rd, turn left onto Smalleys Beach Road and you'll reach the camping ground.
The many beautiful hues of colours of a shell on the beach. Photo by Author.
After camping in Eungella National Park, the Group Hiking South East Qld and More travelled to Cape Hillsborough National Park to camp at Smalleys Beach camping site. It takes about one hour and a half, 103 km to drive to Smalleys Camping ground.
We reach the town of Marian first, where we had morning tea and we got supplies at the local Woolworth supermarket. Then we set off travelling passing through The Leap, travelling on Yakapari Seaforth Road and turning right to Cape Hillsborough Rd. Smalleys Beach camping area is just at the end of Smalleys Beach Road, off Cape Hillsborough Road.
There are 11 camping sites and each of them are numbered. The camping sites are very large and I pitched my tent near my car. The camping site was very spacious and it came with a table and benches, very handy! The terrain was mostly sandy and grass, the toilets block was approximately in the middle of the camping site and near the toilets, there was a tap with potable water.
The beautiful beach was just a few metres away and allowed for an exploratory walk at low and high tide. In the camping site, we had the opportunity to see some wildlife, including kookaburras, brush turkeys, orange foot scrubfowls, possums and bandicoots.
Orange foot scrubfowl. Photo courtesy of Rhonda Corcoran.
There are many activities to do in Cape Hillsborough National Park, including walking on the beach, hiking, fishing, photography, bushwalking and wildlife spotting. It is also good to sit back in the camping site with a drink. Grab your hammock and relax!
Not far from the camping ground, there are a few interesting walks on the trails of the Cape Hillsborough National Park.
The Diversity Boardwalk is five minutes away, 3.7 km by car from Smalleys camping ground. Drive on Smalleys Beach Road and turn left onto Cape Hillsborough Road. Park in the carpark and start the walk on a great boardwalk that meanders in mangroves and eucalypt forests.
Beachcomber Cove Track starts at the end of Cape Hillsborough Road. It is an awesome walk, part on the land and part on the beach. If there is high tide, you need to retrace back your steps to come back to the carpark.
Yuibera Plant Trail starts in the Hidden Valley. Drive to the Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park, at the end of Risley Parade. There are many signs along the trail explaining the plants good for food and for medicine used by the Indigenous people.
The beach at Yuibera Plant Trail. Photo by Author.
Woke up early to experience the sunrise on the beach. Drive to the Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort and start Andrew's Point Track. On the beach, there are kangaroos for the ultimate Australian experience. Explore Wedge Island at low tide for unforgettable adventures and for beautiful photos.
Kangaroo on the beach, Cape Hillsborough National Park. Photo by Author.
For a successful camping experience, come prepared and bring with you all the necessary camping equipment. A good tent, pegs for sand, mattress, sleeping bag, torches, cooking stove, a small table, chair, cooking utensils, dishes and cups are essential items. Bring sturdy rubbish bags, insect repellent, first aid kit and a mobile phone, Keep your food in sturdy hermetic boxes or inside your car.
Be aware of wildlife such as estuarine crocodiles and jellyfishes.
Green ants manage to build their nest joining together the leaves of the trees. Photo by Author.