Seaforth has lots of national parks on hand you can get to either by car or boat, with plenty of trails and history it is a dream location for any nature lover.
Newry Islands National Park lies within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, an area of outstanding natural beauty and irreplaceable value. Pearl-coloured beaches, exposed rocky headlands, open woodlands and dense rainforest, all surrounded by the sparkling turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef—Newry Islands National Park is truly world class World Heritage.
Newry Island was once home to one of the earliest resorts in the area. Wander along the island’s resort trail past the resort ruins and contemplate a bygone era. Take a walk on Newry Island’s circuit track through rainforest and open forest. Vantage points along the way offer spectacular views of nearby islands and the mainland. Enjoy a picnic on the island’s western side overlooking Rabbit Island.
Camping is available on Newry, Outer Newry and Rabbit islands. Camping fees apply and bookings are essential. Book in advance for school holidays. Take water and a fuel stove. Check restrictions on activities such as spearfishing, anchoring, fishing and collecting.
Island Circuit—2.8 km return (Allow 1.5 hours) Grade: Moderate
Wander through open eucalypt forest and dry rainforest as this track loops across Newry Island. Lookouts along the way offer spectacular views of nearby islands and the mainland.
The Resort Trail—300 m one way (Allow 40 minutes) Grade: Easy
Wander through the resort remains on a self-guided walk and drift back to a bygone era.
Outer Newry Island—400 m one way (Allow 10 minutes) Grade: Easy
Cross Outer Newry Island from the inshore landing to the rocky eastern shore.
Cape Hillsborough, with its 816 hectare coastal National Park about 20 kilometres north of Mackay, is renowned for its rugged scenery, walking tracks and native wildlife. The closest thing to a crowd on a beachfront stroll is likely to be a friendly family of wallabies.
The park is scattered with walking trails, the most popular being the 1.6 kilometres Juipera Plants Trail. This trail illustrates the way the Juipera Aboriginals used the park’s native plants for survival. Other walks include the Diversity Boardwalk, Beachcomber Cover Track and Andrew Points walking track which passes six lookouts offering spectacular views. At low tide a causeway links the end of the track to Wedge Island. Check tide times before embarking on this track and only attempt the crossing to Wedge Island on a falling tide. At low tide, walkers may return to the picnic area along the beach; this route is inaccessible at high tide.
Over 150 species of bird life and tropical butterflies live amongst the park’s eucalypt forests, hoop pines, creeks, mangroves and headlands. The park includes a picnic and barbeque area and public toilets. Nearby Cape Hillsborough Nature Resort offers a variety of accommodation options from caravan and camping, beachfront huts and motel
Diversity Boardwalk, 1.2km 40minutes.
Explore the variety of plant and animal species in the distinct ecosystem of the Diversity Boardwalk. Discover the inhabitants of the mangrove community. Move into open eucalypt forest and pass a Yuibera midden, the remnants of long post shellfish feasts. See vine thicket twisting in front of you as you complete the trail.
Beachcomber Cover track 2.2km 1.5-2hours.
With an extensive volcanic history, the Cape Hillsborough region has an array of intriguing geological landforms. Beachcomber Cove is the best place to discover more about this fiery past – evidence is all around you as you climb the steep track through the eucalyptus woodland.
Only the sloping southern side of this 34 million year old volcano remains, the norther and western sides have been eroded away over time. Rhyolite lavas erode to form a relatively infertile shallow stony solid characteristic of the region. The parent rock also contains high quantities of mica which reflect the sunlight creating golden flecks in the sand and waves.
Andrews Point track 2.8km 2-2.5hours.
This steep rocky track provides spectacular views from it’s numerous lookouts as well as a unique transition through distinct vegetation types. The moist vine forest is home to over 25 species of brightly coloured butterflies and 150 bird species. See rugged, hoop pine clad hills plunge the rocky headlands of rhyolite boulders. At low tide cross the causeway and explore Wedge Island.
Yuibera Plant Trail 1.5km 40minutes.
The natural productivity of Cape Hillsborough region makes it a rich homeland for the Yuibera people. They traditionally make use of the diverse plant communities here for food and medicine. Learn more about these plants and their traditional uses on the Yuibera Plant Trail.
There are many reminders of the Yuibera people’s special connection to the Cape. See the remains of a stone fish trap from the car park.