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, Australia. 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… 😉
Deceivingly close to the coast
Hinchinbrook Island looks deceivingly close, almost attached to the mainland. But it 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 mainland. Huge granite mountains rise up dramatically in the interior. The mountains on Hinchinbrook Island actually stand out taller than most of the the surrounding mainlaind.
How to get to Hinchinbrook Island
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.
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.
By the end of November, when the wet season is about to set off, 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.
NaturePic Challenge – Remote Islands # 1: Hinchinbrook Island
Pristine beaches and mountains looming beyond the thick jungle.
Approaching the southern side of Hinchinbrook Island from Lucinda, across on the main land.
Mulligan Bay, on the southern part of the Thorsborne trail.
A multitude of streams flowing from the jungle into the sea.
Wilderness Coffee @ Mulligan Falls, Hinchinbrook Island, November 2012.
I will have to come back and do the full Thorsborne Trail some day 😉
(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High
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