Tour duration: 60 minutes
Fly high over the Barron Gorge and stunning rainforest canopies before heading over magnificent sights such as the Great Barrier Reef, it's spectac...
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So I was planning on writing a story about my time on Hinchinbrook Island but I have realised I have neither the patience, self-control or writing-skills to do it properly. For those that don't know on Hinchinbrook Island (between Townsville and Cairns in QLD) is a national park (actually it covers the entire island) through which is a walking track called the Thorsborne Trail which travels from almost the top of the island to the bottom. I thought I would test out my new backpack and multi-day walking skills with a 3 night/4 day hike (or tramp for NZ readers). For some more context I was doing this walk alone, carrying everything I would need and be heading South to North rather than the conventional North to South. Below is some of the discoveries.
- Question #1: How relaxed would you be if the skipper dropping you off on an island said he expected you would see only one or two crocodiles during your walk? It made me marginally more relaxed although this disappears as soon as you are dropped off alone on the beach, with no phone coverage and no-one within cooee of you. This could be a new dictionary defintion for both nervous and lonely.
- I don't actually know what a crocodile track looks like, what they sound like when they run on sand, out of the water or through the bush. I realise I actually don't have any useful croc avoiding/identifying skills.
- Finding a surprisingly good imitation of the 'Wilson' character from that Tom Hanks movie is not that reassuring at the start of a 4 day remote island walk.
- It's interesting how alert your senses can be - and how much palms and trees in the wind can sound like a croc walking in the bush
- Missing the first track junction from the beach into the trees doesn't help with confidence levels.
- Relief is realising the sound in the leaves as you are looking for the start of the track is 'only' a 5 foot goanna and not something else. It is also a good heart starter.
- Question #2: You are nervous about crocodiles. Would you rather walk alone on a deserted beach or on the track which winds through the rainforest and coastal scrub.
- The fawn-footed melomys nor the giant white-tailed rat are not cute. Especially when they pop up as you are eating dinner. Apparently they can do some real damage to your food supplies and packs if you don't use the campsites food boxes. Advice duly taken.
- The waterfalls at Mulligan Falls and its rock pools are impressive. I braved a swim in the pools. It was the worlds quickest swim and would have been a funny sight if there was anyone around.
- Day 1 (really one afternoon) was fantastic, filled with amazing scenery but also bloody nerve racking.
- First injury - broken fingernail thanks to slippery rocks in Diamantina River. Also lots half a breakfast bar.
- It's weird to run into someone on a remote walking track especially after you have not spoken a word for over 24 hours. It's also nice to hear others have the same croc concerns as you.
- Zoe Falls is very impressive. I elect not to swim in the pools this time though. Did have a nice chat with Savio.
- Walking trail planners joke #1. Find a largish creek which empties into a beach. Setup up a campsite where these meet. Add some picnic tables. Install a sign that says: "Crocodiles inhabit this area. Camp well away from the water". Don't define how far is 'well way'.
- Being stuck in a small tent from 2pm to 8am due to heavy rain is as fun as it sounds. Lucky I had lots of nut bars, etc to eat as couldn't pull out the cooking gear. I also finish my book "Disco Daddy" - it is neither a book about Juan Gomez or a good read.
- Day 2 had again had some fantastic scenery as climbed to the highest point on the walk, and some great views of cloud covered Mt Diamantina. Loads of little creek crossings, rainforest, abit of mountain heath, waterfalls.
- A combination of too long an afternoon nap (see above), weird outside sounds, campsites too close to water with croc signs, heavy rain and strong wind are not conducive to a good nights sleep. I did have one visitor during the night (see photos).
- Two other groups (of 5 each) at the campsite that night but didn't seem them as was stuck in the tent.
- Day 3 - a big day of walking planned. 13+kms. Mostly flat, but definitely not boring.
- Walking trail planners joke #2. Run your trail to meet a wide creek (or small river). Install a sign indicating that "Crocodiles inhabit this area. Do not enter the water." Have the track start again on the other side of the creek. Add an extra sign saying "Safety is our concern but our responsibility." Thanks for that QLD government.
- It's amazing how carrying a large stick make you feel safer on this walk.
- Question #3: How long would a large stick last against a crocodile. a) 10 seconds b) 30 seconds c) leave the stick and climb the nearest tree you fool.
- Crossing a freshwater swamp area (ankle or more deep water) is just as nerve-racking as other terrains.
- It's annoying when your gas cooker decides to pack it in - after working fine for the previous 5 weeks. Lucky 2 minute noodles can be eaten dry.
- 'Disco Daddy' does not improve on second reading
- Day 4 - a short walk of only 4 kms to the pickup point at 9.30am so was an early start. Funny how you can get up early when you really need to especially when the next available pickup is the day after tomorrow!
- First and only nasty meeting of the walk - a cane toad in the middle of the track. Interestingly it is the first one I have seen on the entire trip so far.
- Walking trail planners joke #3: Fray nerves of walkers by building a trail through creeks, swamps, beaches and scatter some crocodile inhabit here signs along the track. Find river at northern end of island, build pickup pontoon in the middle of very thick mangroves. That was up there with the most nerve racking moments.
Tour duration: 60 minutes Category: Outdoors
Fly high over the Barron Gorge and stunning rainforest canopies before heading over magnificent sights such as the Great Barrier Reef, it's spectacular islands and sand cays. This one-hour scenic flight allows one to see the 'best of both worlds', as it showcases the high...
From: £388.81More Info