Meet the Locals: Wallabies & Kangaroos on the Beach at Cape Hillsborough

Melissa Woods on September 12th, 2017

There’s something magical about being up early to watch the sunrise. But to be joined by the kangaroos and wallabies that frequent Cape Hillsborough Beach (also known as Casuarina Beach) is an even better highlight.

Whether you decide to stay at the nearby Nature Park or camp somewhere down the road, the best time to arrive at the beach is just before light and, obviously, before sunrise.

Once your eyes adjust, you’ll soon make out the shadows of some friendly wallabies and kangaroos that feed on the waters edge just before the sun comes up. They predominantly feed on mangrove seed pods, seaweed and coral sand dollars. 

Hot tip: How do you tell the difference between kangaroos and wallabies? Kangaroos are larger in size and wallabies have a reddish coat.


Capture the wonderful colours of the sun rising from the east, while the wallabies and kangaroos bound up and down the beach.

You can get some great photos if you’re patient and let the wildlife do their natural thing. Some of the kangaroos and wallabies will get very curious and come right up, while others prefer to stay a little further away. Visitors are reminded not to feed the wildlife and ensure they keep a safe distance at all times.

Explore Cape Hillsborough National Park

Once the sun has fully risen, the kangaroos and wallabies will bound off, not to be seen until the next morning.

Now is the perfect time to enjoy a short bushwalk around Cape Hillsborough National Park, admiring the volcanic headlands, eucalypt forests and prehistoric rock formations.

There are several bushwalks you can take, ranging in distance and grade. The popular Andrews Point track climbs over a headland with five lookouts, which provide fantastic views in all directions of the coastline and the Whitsunday Islands.

At low tide, you can walk across the causeway from the beach to Wedge Island, but always make sure you know the tide movements before going.

Wildlife galore

Wallabies and kangaroos aren’t the only wildlife you can catch a glimpse of at Cape Hillsborough National Park.

Turtles can be seen year round, especially at ‘Turtle Lookout’ on Andrews Point track.

There is also a huge variety of lizards, geckos, skinks and snakes, which you can see while bushwalking.

Over 20 species of butterflies have been identified at Cape Hillsborough National Park. Some beautiful species include Blue Tiger (in the cooler months) and the Ulysses butterfly. 

Melissa Woods

Melissa Woods

Melissa has spent over 10 years working as a photojournalist, editor, tv and radio presenter, travel writer and public relations advisor. Her passion is for telling stories about the incredible places she visits, and the amazing people she meets along the way.

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