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Monday, June 11, 2018

Smalleys Beach Camping Area, Cape Hillsborough National Park, QLD.

View in front of our campsite of Cape Hillsborough National Park.
Smalleys Beach Camping Area is a very popular campground right next to the beach. Some of the sites have views of the beach and other sites are more secluded however, they have their own beach access paths. To ensure that you get a site it is important to book before arriving. You have to select a site number when booking, which is always a challenge when you haven't seen the sites before, so I have given some descriptions of the sites below in the campground details section. We booked our site a few days beforehand and by the time we arrived the campground was booked out. We enjoyed our secluded site and have put this campground on our favourites list.

Site 9.
Site 8 
Amenities Block and Drinking Water Tap.
Brush Turkeys and a Lace Monitor with an amputated back leg patrolled the campground.

Despite missing half a back leg and having an ungainly gait this Lace Monitor looked healthy.
We didn't even need to leave the campground to see great birds and butterflies. At night, the mournful sound of Bush Stone-curlews could be heard; although we didn't manage to see any.

Yellow Honeyeater
Leaden Flycatcher, male.
Helmeted Friarbird
Dingy Bush-brown
The grass trees (Xanthorrhoea) were just coming into flower which attracted a good variety of wildlife.

Bordered Rustic, open (L) closed (R).
Blue Tiger and Rainbow Lorikeets
There are no defined walks at the campground but we enjoyed leisurely walks along the beach in front of our campsite. Other campers were fishing on the beach for whiting and our camping neighbours caught a large trumpeter for dinner. We also enjoyed going down to the beach at night and star gazing as the night sky was very clear away from city lights.

Looking west on Smalleys Beach.
Pied Oystercatcher on Smalleys Beach.
We found the edge of the beach, were the vegetation meets the sand, was also worth exploring.

Olive-backed Sunbird, male.
Agile Wallaby.
Cotton Stainer bugs.
I will cover the walks in other areas of Cape Hillsborough National Park in another blog.

Details for Smalleys Beach Camping Area, Cape Hillsborough National Park, QLD:
Where: Turn off the Bruce HWY about 20 km north of Mackay, into Seaforth Road, travel another 20 km and turn right into Cape Hillsborough Road. Travel a further 6 km and turn left into Smalleys Beach Road until arriving at the campground.
Access: Smalleys Beach Road is gravel. The last couple of kilometers has pot holes. Camping Type: The campground is listed as suitable for caravans, camper trailers and tent camping beside your vehicle.
Fees & Booking: Book online or phone 13 74 68 before arriving as there is no phone reception at the campground. This is a very popular campground, even during the week, so it is safer to book in advance or you may miss out. $6.35 per adult.
Facilities: 11 numbered sites, sandy surface, most sites have a picnic table. Amenities: flushing toilets, hand basin, 1 drink water tap (town water). Fires are only permitted in BYO off-ground fire containers, BYO milled timber. We did not have Telstra phone reception. Sites 1 to 5 have views of the beach. Site 5 is next to the toilet. Sites 2 - 5 and 6-7 are open to each other. Sites 8 - 11 can't see the beach but are separated by plants and have individual, short, access paths to the beach.
Prohibited: No pets, no generators, no fires on the ground.
Caution: Dangerous marine stingers may be present all year round; most common October to May.

Wildlife seen by us in Cape Hillsborough National Park: Ocean Turtles (type unknown), Lace Monitor, Agile Wallabies. Cotton Stainer Bugs, Weaver Ants (Green Tree Ants). Mangrove Crabs, Sand Bubbler Crabs. Butterflies: Yellow Albatross, Blue Tiger, Bordered Rustic, Grass Yellows, Caper Gull, Monarch, Orange Plane, Clearwing Swallowtail, Purple Crow, Dingy Bush-brown, Green-spotted Triangle. Magpie Moth. 
Bird List: Brahminy Kite, Whistling Kite, Australian Brush Turkey, Little Pied Cormorant, Little Bronze Cuckoo, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Bar-shouldered Dove, Spangled Drongo, Grey Fantail, Leaden Flycatcher, Helmeted Friarbird. Lewin's Honeyeater, Dusky Honeyeater, Yellow Honeyeater, Sacred Kingfisher, Laughing Kookaburra, Rainbow Lorikeet, Magpie-lark, Masked Lapwing, Spectacled Monarch, Pied Oystercatcher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Silvergull, Olive-backed Sunbird, Varied Triller, Rufous Whistler. Heard: Bush Stone Curlew.

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