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 8th 2021
Discover Cape Hillsborough National Park
Cape Hillsborough National Park excels for its rugged beauty, rainforests, breathtaking views over the ocean and volcanic rock formations. Camping and walking is a great way to explore and learn about Cape Hillsborough National Park.
Cape Hillsborough National Park offers beautiful walks;
1. The Diversity boardwalk 2. Beachcomber Cove Track 3. Yuibera Plant Trail 4. Andrew's Point Track 5. Explore Wedge Island at low tide.
1. The Diversity Boardwalk
The well-maintained trail presents a boardwalk meandering into a forest of mangroves, eucalypt and melaleucas. The first 300 metres of the boardwalk are accessible by a pram and a wheelchair. The walk is 1.2 km return loop, allow about half an hour. It is an easy walk, suitable for most people.
The Diversity Boardwalk starts in the carpark off Cape Hillsborough Road, just 3 minutes, 2 km drive west of Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort.
Cape Hillsborough is culturally significant for the Yuibera people. There is an ongoing connection between the Yuibera people and their traditional land.
The Group Hiking South East Qld and More on the Diversity boardwalk.. Photo by Author.
All the plants form a network of life as a part of a unique coastal ecosystem. All living beings rely on other living beings for survival. It is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, where every piece is interconnected. The ecosystem needs rain, sun, wind and even fire to be healthy.
On the trail, there are informative signs about how Yuibera Aboriginal people used plants as food and medicine.
At the beginning of the trail, there are the remains of the Indigenous fish trap. The Aboriginal people used to eat the trapped fish and collect shells off the rocks. Today you can still see the many discarded shells that form middens.
The trail enters the rainforest which is rich in biodiversity. The walk is 1.2 km return, allow about 40 minutes. The trail starts at Hidden Valley, just drive to Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Resort and drive onto the dirt road. Please consider you need a car with some high clearance as the dirt road is not suitable for cars with very low clearance.
The Pandanus palm fruit used as a source of food for the Aboriginals. It is a hard job to get the hard orange segments and then the seeds require special cooking too. New shoots, leaves and the roots of young hibiscus added variety to the diet.
This walk is part in the forest and part on the beach. If the tide is low, you can cross the causeway and make the loop. If tide is high, do not attempt to cross the causeway, just retrace your steps. At low tide, a causeway links the end of this track to Wedge Island.
The walk includes climbing many steps, so it requires some fitness. There are stunning views of the sea from the different lookouts along the trail. You can see all the islands scattered in the beautiful ocean. Spot the turtles that can be seen when they resurface to disappear again in the sea.
The walk is 5.2 km return, allow two hours. The walk starts at the beach near the boat rump at the Resort Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park.
Together with the Group Hiking South East Qld and More, I hiked the trails in Cape Hillsborough National Park over two days. The first day we did the Diversity Boardwalk, Beachcomber Cove Track and Yuibera Plant Trail. I saw many beautiful Blue tiger butterflies and spectacular blue Ulysses butterflies.
The next morning, we got up early to catch the low tide and go across the bank of sand and rocks to Wedge Island. A few kangaroos were on the beach. They were very tame because they receive food from the local resort. It is prohibited to pat and feed the kangaroos.
Wedge Island is spectacular with views over the ocean, volcanic rocks forming pools and there are a few trails that allowed a bit of exploration of the island.
Casuarina Beach is one of the most scenic beaches in Cape Hillsborough. At sunrise, kangaroos and wallabies visit Casuarina Beach to eat the seeds of the mangrove trees. The iconic Australian mammals are tame and you can go near them and take photos. Patting and feeding the macropods is prohibited.
At low tide, you can explore Wedge Island, generally separated from the mainland by high tides. Wedge Island is rugged and beautiful, made up of volcanic rock. There are stunning views from the island and it is possible to walk on the little island following the uncharted trails.
It is easy to take photos of a Kangaroo when the macropod is not afraid of humans. Photo by Author.
Hiking gear: a hiking medium backpack, long trousers and shirt with long sleeve, light raincoat, very recommended hiking ankle supportive boots, first aid kit, insect repellent (give preference to cream or roll-on as they are more environmentally friendly than the spray), hat, sunscreen, gloves, walking poles if you like to use them, socks protectors or gaiters.
Bring a medium day backpack with lots of water, especially if it's a hot day, 1.50 litres of water and snacks. During summer, you can bring electrolytes to dissolve in water to compensate for the loss through perspiration.
You may consider packing sandwiches, fresh fruit, dry fruit, energy bars and small meals.
Walk with family, friends or in a group. Never alone!