Ball Bay, Cape Hillsborough National Park

Cape Hillsborough National Park has a massive reputation, and on our trip down towards Mackay, we knew we had to call in and check it out. As usual, Sarah looked at all the camping options, and decided we’d head to Ball Bay and spend a night or two.

Whilst the Cape Hillsborough Caravan Park looked beautiful, we prefer quieter places that don’t empty your wallet, and Ball Bay turned out to be another  truly fantastic place to stay in Queensland.

Camping at Ball Bay
Ball Bay was a magic place to spend a few nights

Where is Ball Bay?

Ball Bay is a small town between Cape Hillsborough Caravan Park and Halliday Bay, and they’ve got a small camping area right behind the main beach. The camp site is well protected by a huge amount of trees and shrubs, and whilst its in town and overlooking a number of houses, it’s a great location.

Cape Hillsborough National Park
Ball Bay is 10 minutes away from the Cape Hillsborough National Park, which is hugely popular

What amenities are there?

Ball Bay has flushing toilets and cold showers, and rubbish bins. There is no dump point, but the beach access is literally metres away from camp, and it’s a nice, quiet place to be.

Amenities at Ball Bay
Basic, but adequate amenities at Ball Bay
Ball Bay Beach access
The beach access is literally 20 metres away from camp, and at high tide the water would be within 20 metres of you

How much does camping at Ball Bay cost?

Its just $15 a night to camp here, regardless of the size of your rig, or the number of people you have camping with you, which is pretty awesome.

Ball Bay Views
This is a great value camping area (compared to nearby alternatives!)
Our camp site at Ball Bay
Our camp site at Ball Bay was really good

Ball Bay Beach

The beach at Ball Bay is beautiful. It can get windy, but its got a nice headland that blocks a lot of it, and the wind is not relentless and unpleasant. If it gets too much, simply walk the 50 metres back to camp and you are fully protected by the shrubs and plants, which is amazing.

Our kids spent hours enjoying the beach; its big, flat and beautiful, and has a few puddles for them to splash in. At high tide, the water is literally metres away from camp, and you can hear the waves crashing. It’s a beautiful place, and we really enjoyed it.

Ball Bay Beach is beautiful
We all loved Ball Bay beach, and spent many hours on it
You can walk to the next beach from Ball Bay
You can walk to the next beach, which is stunning too
Sand patterns on Ball Bay
The sand patterns on these beaches are mesmerising

Where else can you camp?

There’s a handful of places you can camp out this way. Halliday Bay has an RV park that looks beautiful, but requires ‘in built toilet and shower by the manufacturer’ (what an absolute load of garbage!) and is fairly expensive.

Haliday Bay Camping options
The camping area at Haliday Bay is nice, but you need in built showers and toilets, and its not cheap
Haliday Bay Beach
The beach looks beautiful though!

The Cape Hillsborough Caravan Park looked nice too, but is extremely busy and also very expensive. This is where the wallabies come out onto the beach early in the morning, and hundreds of tourists stand to take photos.

No doubt it’d be neat to see, but after finding numerous pellets on the beach one has to wonder how natural it actually is.

Cape Hillsborough Caravan Park
The Cape Hillsborough Caravan Park looks great, but its busy and very expensive

National Park Camping

We drove into Smalleys Beach, which looked like a fantastic place to stay. It’s well protected, and asides from the fact that there is limited solar options, its beautiful, quiet and great bush camping. Funny enough, it’d cost us $22 a night to camp here so Ball Bay was cheaper. Despite this, we probably would have stayed here if it was available.

Smalleys Beach camping
Smalleys Beach is another good option in the National Park, but it was booked out

About Cape Hillsborough National Park

This national park is well known, and we drove in and did the kjdsalfjsdkf walk, which was pretty nice. The main beach at Cape Hillsborough is beautiful, but fairly busy with the caravan park right nearby.

We didn’t bother with the kangaroos being such an early start with two young kids, and the fact that it’s a full on tourist attraction, with hordes of people. I’m sure its nice, but it wasn’t for us.

Cape Hillsborough National Park is very diverse
Cape Hillsborough National Park is stunning and diverse
Cape Hillsborough Walk
Doing the national park walk at the tip

Would we stay at Ball Bay again?

Yep, with no hesitation. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and if you get a decent spot, there’s nothing better for the price. We really enjoyed our stay here, and the kids loved it even more.

Ball Bay is a stunning part of the world
We’d happily return to Ball Bay

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