Happy birthday to me...Cape Hillsborough National Park

Last month, i turned the ripe old age of 39! I’m not entirely sure how this happened. One minute I’m pub crawling my way through uni with high hopes for the future and the next thing I know I’m knee deep in an existence that consists entirely of nappies, coffee, disney movies and laundry. Then, just as the tidal wave of one baby after the other finally starts to recede, i wake up and I’m 39. The path to 40 now seems all to short and I suddenly regret those moments when I wished the kids would hurry up and grow up so I could get stuff done, not realising that I too would age accordingly.

So, grabbing whats left of my life by the horns, I booked us a night away at one of favourite beaches in this neck of the woods…Cape Hillsborough Holiday Park. We often day trip up here, but I haven’t stayed here since I was a child so I decided to bite the bullet and book a cabin so that we could really experience the place. It didn’t disappoint.

 Building a sand mermaid on the beach on a day trip in 2016

Building a sand mermaid on the beach on a day trip in 2016

Cape Hillsborough is a hidden gem. The forest literally meets the beach which is a little bay protected by rocky cliff faces at each end. Children love all beaches, but this one has kangaroos on it at sunrise, an island that can be reached at low tide, caves to explore along the cliff face, gentle waves, and sand rich in mica which shines like flecks of gold in the sun. The kids LOVE it.

 Bubba Charlie heading back to the waves after exploring the rocks

Bubba Charlie heading back to the waves after exploring the rocks

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As much as I loved the beautiful white, sandy, surf beaches of the the sunshine coast when we lived there, the beaches up here have a lot to offer kids. There’s so much to explore amongst the rocks and rock pools. The waves are gentle and the shoreline takes a long time to fall away so except during stinger season (Nov-March), its a very safe spot for young children to splash about. Even then, you can buy stinger suits which I’m definitely going to invest in this summer. Although as kids we used to just improvise and wear a pair of pantyhose over our bathers on our legs and cut the crotch out of another pair to wear like a shirt. It did the trick.

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At low tide, you can walk out to Wedge Island, pictured above and this trip, we finally had the chance to do so. You have a two hour window either side of low tide to walk out there and not get trapped. We cut it pretty close so we didn’t get to spend much time there, but at least I can tick it off the bucket list.

 Oliver and Louie walking out to Wedge Island at low tide.

Oliver and Louie walking out to Wedge Island at low tide.

 The boys sitting on Orchard Rock overlooking the ocean before the tide quickly came back in and nearly left us stranded.

The boys sitting on Orchard Rock overlooking the ocean before the tide quickly came back in and nearly left us stranded.

The walk out there gets pretty rocky, so I would advise river shoes so as not to cut your feet up on the oyster shells. If low tide happens to fall at an inopportune time, you can also get a pretty awesome view of both Wedge Island and Orchard Rock from one of the lookouts on the bushwalking trails.

 Me with my mum and sisters on a family camping trip in 1980. Thats Wedge island in the distance. Im’m the fat one balanced on the ledge.

Me with my mum and sisters on a family camping trip in 1980. Thats Wedge island in the distance. Im’m the fat one balanced on the ledge.

 38 and half years later…..

38 and half years later…..

I was lucky enough to do some SOLO bushwalking this trip and it was great. Actually it was definitely one of the highlights for me as its so rare to have any time alone ever, let alone to do something like this.

 The views were incredible!

The views were incredible!

The other awesome thing was that we managed to time our night there with a full moon and the sunset was amazing. We all ate dinner on the beach under the full moon. It was bliss. Once we sorted out the sandflies thanks to avon skin-so-soft! Note - It’s the ONLY thing that works. Buy some, trust me!

 Sunset…the photo really doesn’t do it justice. It was just beautiful.

Sunset…the photo really doesn’t do it justice. It was just beautiful.

So here are a few more pictures from our time there….

 So many rocks, caves and cliffs to explore.

So many rocks, caves and cliffs to explore.

 Boulders on the beach.

Boulders on the beach.

 Catching and releasing toadfish in a rock pool.

Catching and releasing toadfish in a rock pool.

 Kinda gross and probably not the safest thing but they survived.

Kinda gross and probably not the safest thing but they survived.

 Catching more fish in the low tide pools.

Catching more fish in the low tide pools.

 Finding starfish for the first time.

Finding starfish for the first time.

 The “kids” loved the pool, the kiosk and the mini golf and the caravan park.

The “kids” loved the pool, the kiosk and the mini golf and the caravan park.

 And lastly, a reminder of that one time I snuck away on my own to do something fun!

And lastly, a reminder of that one time I snuck away on my own to do something fun!