Road Trip Diaries # 5 – 2nd day at Cape Hillsborough
The early morn was cold and tranquil. I found myself waking up again under the canopy of trees and this time with the sound of crashing waves nearby. It was so tempting to linger under the warm sheets but then the promise of a gorgeous sunrise was more inviting. I roused myself from slumber and ran to the shore. I must have been too early because I was the only one there. I went back to the camper van and got my tripod and this time Charles joined me on the vast shore.
I had been waiting for this time of the day at Cape Hillsborough. It was supposed to be the time when kangaroos descend from the forest to frolic on the beach. But not a single one was there – I guess it was not my lucky day. But the sunrise was beautiful. It was a mélange of vivid colors bursting out from the horizon and reflecting off the wet sand – I wouldn’t mind waking up to this vista every morning. By full daybreak more campers had gathered on the beach so we decided to head back to our van for breakfast and to get ready for another bushwalk.
On the way to the trail, we saw a group of people gathered around on the beach snapping photos. I knew they would come eventually! A pair of playful kangaroos were putting up a good show for everyone. At first I was hesitant to touch them because of the thought of wild kangaroos kicking people. But then the kids started petting them and they seemed to be used to people so I gave it a go as well. It was a pleasant experience and it never fails to thrill whenever I see animals in their natural habitat. (except perhaps snakes)
After sometime spent with the furry marsupials, we headed back to the trail to do some more bushwalks. We had to do the walk early before high tide so we could traverse along the beach on our way back (it is submerged at high tide). We started with the rocky steps through the tangled vine forest to the Twin Beach look out. It was the best lookout for me among the three we visited. The view of the Casuarina Beach and the Beachcomber Cove from atop was just spectacular. It was the first beach I saw in Australia and I was impressed by how vast it was.
View from Twin Beach Lookout
We passed through eucalyptus woodland then back to the vine forest as we made our way to Turtle lookout where we found uninterrupted views of the mainland coastline. It was stunning as well while the third lookout provides views to the offshore islands. We continued along the rocky tracks down to the beach. It was still low tide so we were able to traverse along the shores back to our camping ground.
View from Andrew’s Point Lookout
We checked out from Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort around noon and did one more walk in a mangrove forest on the way to our next stop. We also visited Charles’ relative who lives in a nice village near Haliday Bay. The beach here is nicer for swimming than at Cape Hillsborough but again it was still too cold for me to swim. So off we went to our next camping ground for the night. After about 2 hours drive passing 2 dead kangaroos, one dead echidna and a magpie along the road, we finally reached the touristy town of Airlie Beach – the gateway to the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in my life (no kidding).
Mangrove Board Walk
A stopover at Haliday Bay
(This is part of our 6-week North Queensland Road Trip Series, which took place July- August 2010)