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Walking and Exploring Cape Hillsborough National Park

Home > Queensland > Parks | Nature | National Parks | Beaches | Walks
by Cris (subscribe)
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.

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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.

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Diversity boardwalk aspect. Photo by Author.


The coastal sheath-tail bats feed on insects only close to the coast, visiting mangroves, vine forest and woodlands. It is possible to spot many Blue tiger butterflies in Cape Hillsborough.

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Mangroves. Photo by Author.


Cape Hillsborough receives over 1,500 mm of rain every year and the water springs, even in the drier months, release essential freshwater that stops the salt from reaching the melaleucas.

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Mangrove seeds. Photo by Author.


2. Beachcomber Cove Track

The moderate walk is about 2.2 km return. Allow one hour and a half. Listen to the calls of the birds and stop at the lookout for the great views over Cape Hillsborough.

Descend onto the beach and you can return to the Day Use Area only at low tide when the beach is passable. If the tide is high, retrace your steps to return to the starting point.

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Sign at the beginning of Beachcomber Cove Track Walk. Photo by Author.


Start the Beachcomber Cove Track walk at the Day Use Area at the end of Cape Hillsborough Road.

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View from the lookout. Photo by Author.


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Photo by Author.


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Volcanic rocks on the beach. The beach is passable only at low tide. Photo by Author.


3. Yuibera Plant Trail

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.

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The remains of the fish trap. Photo by Author.


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.

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Pandanus palms. Photo by Author.




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Views over the beautiful sea. Photo by Author.


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Photo by Author.


4. Andrew's Point Track

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.

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Photo by Author.


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Photo by Author.


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Bush in bloom along the trail. Photo by Author.


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.

Camping in Cape Hillsborough National Park
Wedge Island. Photo by Author.



5. Explore Wedge Island at low tide

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.

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It is easy to take photos of a Kangaroo when the macropod is not afraid of humans. Photo by Author.


To reach Wedge Island, go to Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Resort and descend to the beach by boat ramp. Walk along the beach to Wedge Island.

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Views from Wedge Island. Photo by Author.


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Photo by Author.


Camping in Cape Hillsborough National Park
Wedge Island at low tide. Photo by Author.


What to bring

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!

The days prior to the hike, make sure to check:

Weather Website www.bom.gov.au

Reference

https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/cape-hillsborough

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Where: 50km north-west of Mackay on the Central Queensland coast, approximately 1025km north of Brisbane
Your Comment
It looks like a walker's paradise Cris.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9187) 6 days ago
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