Hinchinbrook Island – Unspoiled tropical wilderness

Hinchinbrook Island – Unspoiled tropical wilderness

Last update: 18 January 2022

There are certain islands that immediately attracted me upon first sight, either on a picture or by actually seeing their intriguing shapes on the horizon. One of those is Hinchinbrook Island, just off the coast of North Queensland in Australia.

Hinchinbrook Island features rugged mountains covered in lush jungle vegetation, broad sweeping beaches and meandering estuaries. Unspoiled wilderness that can only be explored on foot. It’s pure bliss! & definitely triggers a Natural High.

And of course, a Wilderness Coffee has to be part of the essential survival gear… 😉

Mulligan Bay, Hinchinbrook Island, Thorsborne trail, Queensland, Australia
Pristine beaches and mountains looming beyond the thick jungle.

Queensland wilderness island

Hinchinbrook Island looks deceivingly close to the coast, almost attached to the Australian mainland between Lucinda and Cardwell. But the island itself is largely inaccessible. Big saltwater crocodiles live in the maze of mangroves and estuaries on the west coast and on both sides of the narrow Hinchinbrook Channel, that seperates the island from the Queensland coast. Huge granite mountains rise up dramatically in the interior.

The mountains on Hinchinbrook Island actually stand out taller than most of the surrounding mainlaind.

Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia
Approaching the southern side of Hinchinbrook Island from Lucinda, across on the main land.

The Thorsborne Trail

The only accessible places are along the east coast, where the 32 kilometre Thorsborne Trail follows a chain of secluded bays and sandy beaches, along thick tropical jungle with tangled trees and several swimming holes with waterfalls tumbling down rocky outcrops.

It’s one of the most beautiful hikes in the world.

Mulligan Bay, Hinchinbrook Island, Thorsborne trail, Queensland, Australia
Mulligan Bay, on the southern part of the Thorsborne trail.

Mulligan Bay, Queensland, Australia
A multitude of streams flowing from the jungle into the sea.

How to get to Hinchinbrook Island

On Hinchinbrook Island there is no infrastructure, except for the track itself, and a few nature campsites with basic facilities along the route. Ferry services run from Cardwell and Lucinda to both ends of the track during the dry season from May to October. There is a strict limit of the number of people allowed on the track at any one time, and permits have to be obtained in advance during the high season.

North Queensland wet season

By the end of November, when the wet season is about to set off in northern Queensland, the regular ferry services stop going. Fortunately the Cardwell Visitor Information Centre was able to arrange a daytrip with a boat operator from Lucinda. So I could do a part of the track: the southern section from Mulligan Falls to George Point.

Mulligan Falls, Thorsborne trail, Queensland, Australia
Wilderness Coffee @ Mulligan Falls, Hinchinbrook Island.

I will have to come back and do the full Thorsborne Trail some day!

Hinchinbrook Island map

This handy interactive map shows the locations in the pictures above, as well as the Thorsborne Trail route. You can also click on the icons, and zoom in for more details of Hinchinbrook Island.

Have you done the Thorsborne Trail? How was your experience?

If you have a question or a comment, please share them in the comment box at the bottom of this page. Other readers can also benefit from your feedback and the extra information in my reply. Thank you for sharing 💚

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(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High

Remote Islands – Hinchinbrook Island, Australia

This post was originally published as NaturePic Challenge: a series of pictures of epic nature and places that will induce a natural high 😉

Covid travel restrictions Australia

In these uncertain times, things can change quickly. Procedures are constantly evaluated and updated. For the current situation regarding Covid-19 related travel advice and restrictions in Australia, see Health.gov.au.

© All photo’s on this blog are my own, and subject to copyright (unless credited otherwise). Please contact me if you would like to use a particular picture you’ve seen in one of my articles. You’re welcome to share a link to my blog articles and pictures on social media.

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Aurora Solaris – The sunset version of northern lights

The zen of Stafsnes – The hidden beach

Flower Art – Australian flowers & bushnuts

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