Visiting Cape Hillsborough safely
Getting there and getting around
Cape Hillsborough National Park is about 50km north-west of Mackay by road.
From Mackay, travel north on the Bruce Highway for 20km and turn right into Seaforth Road. Travel a further 20km and turn right into Cape Hillsborough Road. It is then 10km to the main park entrance.
From Proserpine, take the Bruce Highway south and travel 79km to Mount Ossa. Turn left into the partly unsealed Mount Ossa Road and travel 15km towards Seaforth. Turn right into Seaforth Road then left into Cape Hillsborough Road. Drive another 10km to the main park entrance. Please note, the Mount Ossa road is not suitable for caravans. Caravan owners travelling from the north should continue to the sealed Seaforth Road, 20km north of Mackay.
Please note: a gravel road to Smalleys Beach camping area is signposted about 6km along Cape Hillsborough Road. Turn here if you are camping at Smalleys Beach or continue along Cape Hillsborough Road to reach the main park entrance, day-use area and walking tracks.
The Diversity Boardwalk is wheelchair-accessible for the first 300 m.
- Sun protection is needed all year. Bring a hat and sunscreen.
- Bring insect repellent, as sandflies and mosquitoes can be prolific.
- Wear stinger suits when swimming or wading. Marine stingers are most common from October to May but can occur throughout the year. Check Beachsafe for the latest safety advice.
- Beware of estuarine crocodiles, be croc wise.
- Remain and be SharkSmart in Queensland waters.
- Pack a first aid kit and know how to use it.
- Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are the most effective in this area. Mobile phone coverage is poor.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
In an emergency
For all emergencies call Triple Zero (000).
We recommend you visit the Triple Zero website before visiting the national park. You can also download the free emergency + app before you leave home, the GPS functionality can provide critical location details to emergency services.
Before you visit
Essentials to bring
- hat and sunscreen
- fuel stove and cooking fuel
- sturdy rubbish bags
- toilet paper
- insect repellent
- stinger suit if planning to enter the water
- first-aid kit (including vinegar for box jellyfish).
Cape Hillsborough National Park is open 24 hours a day, however adverse weather may cause temporary closures, especially during the wet season generally from December to March. The park may be closed at other time for management activities. Check park alerts for information on park conditions, access and closures.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
- Book your camp site online.
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
Various activities in national parks require a permit. Activities include commercial tours, social events (weddings and parties), organised group visits, school excursions, scientific research, and the sale of photographs or vision of the national park. View permits and fees for further information.
Domestic animals are not permitted in the park.
Climate and weather
Winters are mild (13°C to 25°C) while summers are warm to hot (23°C to 30°C). Expect heavy rain from December to March.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available at Mackay and Seaforth.
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.