Video: Trekking Hinchinbrook Island’s Thorsborne Trail
This classic trail wends its way through the World Heritage-listed island, with its mangroves, pristine beaches, mountains and dense forest
HINCHINBROOK ISLAND, located about 6km off the coast at Cardwell, a small town halfway between Townsville and Cairns in north Queensland, falls within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Protected since 1932, it is one of Australia’s largest island national parks.
Hinchinbrook’s rugged 400sq.km landmass has been shaped by the seasonal rains and tidal swells of the Wet Tropics. An intricate network of creeks and waterways threads across the island; swollen with monsoon rainwater during the humid summer months, they give birth to falls that thunder through the island’s rock country.
During the winter months, the waterways gradually drain and evaporate, leaving many creeks dry. On Hinchinbrook’s coastline, sweeping beaches, mangrove-fringed forests and rocky headlands meet the Coral Sea.
Twice a day, its tides fill and drain the island’s inlets and tidal channels.
Known for its varied ecosystems, Hinchinbrook is home to heath-covered mountains, melaleuca and palm wetlands, eucalypt and casuarina woodlands, and lush, tropical rainforests. Its mangrove forests, fringing reefs and seagrass beds are important habitats for fish and marine species, such as snubfin dolphins, dugongs and green turtles, as well as saltwater crocodiles.