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Hinchinbrook Island, Cardwell

5.0 stars


A relaxing cruise to end the trip

Soon after this we reach Ramsay Bay, the end of the trip and the destination for day-trippers. The pick-up point is across a boardwalk to the boat jetty, where a small boat collects us and a group of day-trippers. Through the mangroves, we are ferried to a larger vessel and enjoy a nice cruise back to Cardwell. The trip was great, and other than many other walks not very challenging. There was more than enough time to enjoy and explore this beautiful island. [more ]

An unforgettable view

The last day provides us with some wonderful views across the island from Nina Peak. What you can see here, is beautiful. The lush, dark green of the rainforest against the rich dark blue of the ocean, fringed with narrow white bands – the beaches. If you turn around, rivers forge their way through the wide mangrove swamps on the mostly impassable west coast of the island. This is a view we will not forget soon. [more ]

Looking for water

While the track is sometimes closed due to heavy rains, the opposite can also become a problem: a lack of water. And at Nina Bay we can soon imagine that this may often be the case. The river where you can usually collect water looks dried out. It is only a small, brownish trickle that does not look drinkable at all. We continue upstream for quite some time before it becomes a little wider and we finally find a spot where the water is more clear and moving and we can fill up our bottles. If not for this, we would have had to continue on. [more ]

Our own bay

After camping at Little Ramsay Bay (a beautiful campsite in the fringes of the rainforest right next to the beach) we make the next day a short trip of only a couple of hours which leads us up into the forest behind the campsite, down again through Boulder Bay with some hopping along over roundly shaped boulders, then up again, and finally, after scrambling down a cliff into Nina Bay, which is maybe the most beautiful beach on the trip. Palm trees, coconuts, mangroves… and no one else seems to have made this stop. We are on our own. [more ]

Crocodiles crossing?

In the morning we continue along the creek again and through lush rainforest passing a mangrove swamp, not surprising, bearing in mind that a large part of the island is lined by mangrove swamps. After quite a few (partly swampy) creek crossings we reach the last one: the wide North Zoe Creek. We have been warned that saltwater crocodiles have been spotted here and although the last sighting lies a few years back, we try to get across quickly. A group of walkers is less worried: they are having a picnic on one of the large rocks in the middle of the mostly dried-out creek. [more ]

Swimming hole with a view

The next day we continue on to Zoe Bay. The legs on this walk are short ones and allow for a lot of time to enjoy the scenery, which is amazing. Across creeks and boulders we continue upwards and down a fixed rope climb to a wonderful swimming hole at the base of Zoe Falls. From here you have a great view across the forest and the ocean! Downstream, we continue on to Zoe Bay, where we camp for the night. The only downfall is the many flies and mosquitoes. [more ]

Along Picnic Beach

After a short and enjoyable boat ride we get off at the island at George Point on Picnic Beach. The first hour or so we walk along a beautiful palm-fringed beach. Then the trail, which is a bit hard to spot here although signposted, continues inland through the tropical forest for about another hour. After a few creek-crossing, we reach the campsite, which has great swimming below Mulligan Falls. (Though the water is a bit cold.) [more ]

Getting there

The first hurdle of such a trip is the matter of organizing drop-off and pick-up at the designated points. Which direction you walk on the trail doesn’t really make a difference – we picked south to north because the pick-up at the northern end of the trail is the same boat that brings the day-trippers and includes a nice half-day-trip to Macushla and Cape Richards (a small eco resort and camping area in the north of the island). So we leave our car in Cardwell, arrange for a shuttle to Lucinda and a “ferry” (which was actually a small boat) to George Point. [more ]

Beautiful Hinchinbrook Island

One of my best experiences in Australia by far was the walking tour on Hinchinbrook Island. The beautiful tropical Island, most of which is National Park covered by rainforest and mangroves, is only accessible by foot or boat. While you can explore a small part of the island in an organized day-trip, which is well worth the time and money, only with a walk along the Thorsborne trail you can really explore the unspoiled wilderness. [more ]

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