Cape Hillsborough National Park Mackay

A visit to Cape Hillsborough National Park isn't complete without seeing the agile wallabies feeding on the beach. Photo credit: John Atkinson © Queensland Government

Things to do

    Camping and accommodation


    Basic camping is available at Smalleys Beach camping area, which can be reached via a signposted gravel road off Cape Hillsborough Road. This small camping area has toilets, town water and some sites suitable for caravans.

    Camp fires are permitted only in off-ground fire containers and within the camping area. Bring your own clean, milled timber. Fuel stoves are preferred and recommended. Fires are not permitted anywhere else in the park, including on the beaches. All campers must carry sturdy rubbish bags to remove all rubbish from the park. Generators are not permitted anywhere in the park.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply.

    Other accommodation

    You can also stay in commercial camping areas or cabin-style accommodation at Cape Hillsborough, or private accommodation at Seaforth. For more information see the tourism information links.


    For all walks, wear insect repellent, a hat and sunscreen, and carry drinking water.

    View the journeys information for more details.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    Visitors can enjoy a picnic at the Cape Hillsborough day-use area on the foreshore at the end of the main access road. Electric barbecues, picnic tables, toilets and water are provided. Picnickers often see kangaroos on the beach in the late afternoon, or brush-turkeys strutting around the day-use area. Please do not feed these animals as they can become aggressive.

    Boating and fishing

    The adjacent waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park offer boating and fishing opportunities. A boat launching area is provided at the southern end of the beach in front of the Cape Hillsborough day-use area. Boat-users need to beware of estuarine crocodiles, sharks, box jellyfish and other marine stingers year round (though stingers are most common from October to May). Wear a stinger suit when wading.

    Marine park zoning regulations protect the inter-tidal zone and waters surrounding Cape Hillsborough National Park. Zoning regulations specify how you can use particular sites and the permits you might require. For detailed information on activities such as fishing and crabbing, consult the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority zoning map. Maps are available from Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol offices, bait and tackle shops, Queensland Parks offices and online at

    Viewing wildlife

    Around the day-use area, you can quietly observe wildlife such as agile wallabies, orange-footed scrubfowl and Australian brush-turkeys. The park contains a wide variety of habitats and bird species, making birdwatching a rewarding activity.

    Please do not feed any native animals in the park. Feeding can make them sick or aggressive, and can also increase the population of some species, with negative effects on vegetation and other animals.

    Other things to do

    Explore the tidal rock pools. Relax and enjoy nature, or spend time photographing the park’s spectacular scenery.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.