Hints for Hiking the Thorsborne Trail

Thorsborne Trail

The Thorsborne Trail is a 32 km hike which traverses Hinchinbrook Island’s stunning eastern coast. This Hinchinbrook Island walk, which takes about four days in total, is popular with experienced hikers and campers. Running from Nina Bay at the north end of the island to George Point, at the south end, the trail provides access to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

Hikers can expect to encounter verdant rainforests, cloud-capped mountains, untouched sandy beaches and rocky peninsulas. Some of the wildlife that can be spotted on this Hinchinbrook Island hike includes crocodiles, dolphins, dugongs, sea turtles and tropical butterflies.

While hiking the Thorsborne Trail is an amazing experience, for safety and convenience there are few important things you need to know before embarking on your adventure:

  • Bookings are essential. Access to Hinchinbrook Island is limited to protect the delicate environment. At any one time only 40 walkers are permitted to be on the trail, and groups can be no bigger than six. The most popular time of year for hikers is from May to October as conditions are drier and cooler. If you’re planning your Hinchinbrook Island hike at this time, book well ahead. Walkers are also required to organise a departure date with the ferry operator. If you don’t arrive to meet the ferry at the agreed time, authorities will be alerted.
  • The Thorsborne trail is not for the fainthearted. The path can be difficult to walk as it’s not graded and there are loose stones along some stretches. At creek and river crossings, the trail can be hard to follow, so you’ll need to have a good Thorsborne Trail map. To help with navigation, orange, triangular markers have been placed on trees at intervals and there are also rock cairns to guide walkers. There are numerous stories about people getting into trouble when attempting to cross swollen waterways, so exercise caution. The weather can be very humid, sapping energy quickly, and there is limited relief from direct sunlight in some places.
  • Be prepared. There are seven camping sites in total along the track, all of which should be clearly marked on your Thorsborne Trail map. They all have storage containers to protect food supplies from native animals, such as white-tailed rats. Five of the camps have toilets, but apart from these basic facilities hikers must be completely self-sufficient. You’ll need to bring a fuel stove for cooking. Drinking water is available from creeks and streams, but in the drier seasons reserves can be limited in the smaller creeks. Purification tablets are a must. If you’re walking in warmer months be sure to wear loose flitting clothes that cover the body to protect you from mosquitos and don’t forget mosquito coils. You’ll need to light one when you stop for longer than 10 minutes.
  • Don’t be afraid to go off track. For the truly adventurous, some of the best experiences can be had by exploring beyond the trail. Hikers can climb Mt Straloch, where B-24 Liberator, the Texas Terror went down near the summit in 1942 during an electrical storm. A return trip to the site takes a day. You can also climb Mount Bowen, the highest peak on Hinchinbrook Island.

Follows these tips for an unforgettable Hinchinbrook Island walk on the Thorsborne Trail.

For more information on Hinchinbrook Island National Park and for Thorsborne Trail, head to www.npsr.qld.gov.au

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Josh Liddle
“Josh Liddle is your pilot for helicopter and fixed wing tours with over 40 years experience in the aviation industry.”


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