HINCHINBROOK ISLAND & CHANNEL Location: Hinchinbrook Island is situated 5km off the North Queensland Coast of Australia, between Lucinda (Lucinda is 28 km north east of Ingham - North Queensland Australia) and Cardwell.
Ingham is 110 kms north of Townsville and 240 kms south of Cairns along the Bruce Highway and is the commercial centre of the Hinchinbrook Shire. About Hinchinbrook Island and the Hinchinbrook Channel: Hinchinbrook Island is the world's largest island National Park and is approximately 37.4km long and 10km wide. Hinchinbrook Island is surrounded by marine parks. It has a myriad of natural vegetation such as lush rainforest, extensive eucalypt forest, melaleuca swamps and sloping mountain rock pavements.
Hinchinbrook Island is separated from the mainland and is surrounded by marine habitats including deep, narrow, mangrove-fringed reefs, seagrass beds and muddy bottoms. Seagrass beds are the basic food source for dugong, which are seen occasionally in Missionary Bay. Adult green turtles also frequent the channel.
This unique world heritage, pristine wilderness is thought of as the jewel of Queensland national parks.
●Lucinda (Ingham - North Queensland Australia) Lucinda is the Southern access to Hinchinbrook Island and the Hinchinbrook Channel. A variety of Tours can be organized from Lucinda.
●Hinchinbrook Island has it all Hinchinbrook Island has rugged mountains, mangrove forests, beautiful waterfalls and fresh water creeks for a refreshing swim, hiking through the stunning dense rainforests, spotting the abundant bird life, picnicking on the many sandy beaches, coral reefs, sheltered bays and visiting the Island's lookout to watch the sunset.
●White-bellied Sea-eagle can be seen in the channel all year round.
●Visiting Hinchinbrook Island and the Hinchinbrook Channel Visitor numbers to the island is restricted. Hinchinbrook Island camping is by permit only. The aim is to preserve the islands biodiversity and limit environmental degradation.
For sustainable conservation of marine natural resources the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has a detailed zoning map.
●Boat Fishingin the Hinchinbrook Channel and Outer Reefs If going out in a boat you need to be aware of the existence of Transit Lanes and Voluntary Speed Limits in the Hinchinbrook Channel and the Green Zones (no fishing allowed in green zones) – be sure to check with the Department of Fisheries Website.
Also be aware of seasonal closures for Barramundi and some reef species.
●The protected waters of the Hinchinbrook Channel offers anglers almost 365 days a year fishing opportunities. ●Types of fish in the area Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Grunter, Spanish Mackerel, Giant Travally, Queenfish, Whiting, Flathead, Black Brim and many more. Mud Crabs and Prawns are also caught in this area.
Thorsborne Trail (East Coast Trail) 3-7 Day Trek on Hinchinbrook Island (Ingham - North Queensland Australa):
The 32 km Thorsborne Trail is along the east coast of Hinchinbrook Island. The trail is recognised world-wide and was named in honour of environmental activists Arthur and Margaret Thorsborne.
The Thorsborne Trail is an excellent way to experience Hinchinbrook Island. It is not a graded or hardened walking track and in some areas is rough and difficult to traverse. The ungraded Trail leads its way through a tropical wilderness, it crosses numerous cool, clear mountain streams and beautiful ocean beaches. Care needs to be taken as it is rough with loose stones, slippery creek crossings and, in wet weather, slippery hillsides. The Trail is from Ramsay Bay in the north to George Point on the southern extremity of the island. There are Camp sites along the trail some with safe freshwater swimming.
When around the Mulligan Bay area listen out for the Noisy Pitta.
The deep sound of the Wompoo Fruit Dove can be heard on most of the trail.
The trail can be walked from either direction with most walkers completing it in 3 nights (4 days) with the average duration between designated camping sites only 3 - 4 hours. Prevailing weather conditions can have an influence on walking times e.g. slippery surfaces due to rain; heat and humidity.
While the trail presents seasoned walkers with a challenge, inexperienced and the young at heart adventurers, with sufficient planning, will find the experience extremely rewarding.
●Permits Required To Access the Thorsborne Trail To help minimize impact and to maintain the wilderness setting, walkers are required to obtain a National Park permit to access this trail. Only 40 walkers are issued with a permit at any one time.
April to September are the best months for hiking. Book well ahead, particularly for the Australian winter months or you may not be able to acquire a permit.
●Access to the Thorsborne Trail Access to the Thorsborne Trail is either by private vessel, launched from Lucinda (Dungeness) or Cardwell, or by the water taxi services. Services vary according to demand, tide levels and time of year, and bookings are essential prior to obtaining camping permits. ●Book Transfers to Thorsborne Trail To book transfers to the southern end of the Trail contact Hinchinbrook Wilderness Safaris Ph: 07) 47778307.
●Accessing the Thorsborne Trail by Private Vessel Hikers accessing the island by private vessel should obtain a copy of the Marine wonders of Hinchinbrook: a guide to using the Hinchinbrook transit lanes brochure produced by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority: www.gbrmpa.gov.au
●It is imperative that hiking details are left with a responsible contact person. This will assist in the event of an emergency situation or when hikers are overdue.