Carolyn Reimann: Hinchinbrook Island

Hinchinbrook Island, anyone driving on the Bruce Highway between Townsville and Cairns has seen this massive island across the ocean. After 5 years of passing it in my travels back and forth, I finally visited the island itself, by undertaking a 4-day trek of the Thorsborne Trail.

The Thorsborne Trail is a 32km trek on the East coast of the island. It is recommended that you at least do 3 nights/4 days on the trek, which is what we did. And I would highly recommend that. Here’s the map of the trek so you can see the places I’m talking about thorsborne-map.
The trail is one where you have to carry all of your gear, food and take your trash with you.I have done the Overland Track and 3 Capes Trek in Tasmania, and this was my favorite trek by far.

We used Absolute North Charters to take us to and from Lucinda, they do a round trip drop off and were the cheapest option we could find. If you know someone with a boat who could take you even better!

Before you go you have to book a pass online from the NPS website, they only allow 40 people on the island at a time, we booked 2 months in advance. We were fortunate that 11 people were dropped off the day before us, and 14 people dropped off the day after; so we never came across another person on our time on the island.

The best times to go are from April to September

Our 4-day outline

Day 1: Ramsay Bay to Little Ramsay Bay

  • Beautiful and easy beach walk.
  • There are a few lagoons near the Little Ramsay Bay camping area where we fished, and I caught a barra! (Which I did release)

Day 2: Little Ramsay Bay to Zoe Falls

  • This is the longest walk out of the days, you have to go over some boulders, which can be tricky if wet.
  • If you continue to follow the trail past the Zoe Bay campground you will get up to the falls. It is a beautiful swimming hole filled with jungle perch.
  • We camped and fished along the creek, again be careful of crocs, we heard a loud splash early in the morning that definitely sounded “croc-esque”
  • This was the best stars either of us had ever seen, no camera that we had with us was able to capture it. Make sure you take the time to sit on the beach and gaze at the stars, you’ll never see anything like it elsewhere.

Day 3: Zoe Falls to Mulligan Falls

  • You walk past the upper falls of Zoe Falls and there’s the most beautiful infinity pool there. I would recommend spending extra time at the upper falls in the morning before continuing on to Mulligan Falls.
  • Mulligan Falls is beautiful but is in the forest so there are a lot of mosquitoes.
  • For the Mulligan, Falls campground make sure you have mosquito coils.

Day 4: Mulligan Falls to George’s Point

  • easiest walking day, we just had to cross the big creek at low tide or we would have been stuck another day. It’s important to check the tides, because if it’s high tide over one of the creek crossings you can’t cross because of crocodiles.

Things to pack:

  • at least 3L of water in bottles or camelback
  • water purifiers- all of your water is collected from the streams in the area
  • gas stove kit
  • billy to cook in, fork, spoon
  • food for 4 days
  • tent
  • tarpit is far north QLD it can rain
  • comfortable shoes
  • change of socks and underwear for each day
  • flashlight
  • sleeping bag, mat

Things to be aware of:

  • Crocodiles- this is their territory
  • Sand flies- I was eaten alive by sandflies, 2 weeks later and I still have the marks on me
  • Mosquitos- as mentioned above pack mosquito coils

As mentioned above, this was my favorite trek ever, and actually our favorite vacation either of us had ever been on. I would recommend this to anyone with a good level of fitness and a love of the outdoors 🙂



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