Added: Vernard Deloney - Date: 29.10.2021 07:44 - Views: 30284 - Clicks: 7286
Hinchinbrook Island is an m high coastal range that has been cut off from the Australian mainland by a narrow channel. The entire island is a National Park, which protects the rich diversity of landscapes; rainforest, sclerophyll forest, mangroves, white sand beaches, rocky headlands, creeks Real cute Hinchinbrook Island waterfalls. The Thorsborne Trail stretches down the eastern side of the island between mountain and sea and passes through these habitats. A permit is required to walk the trail and camp on the island, and this is limited to 40 people on the trail at any one time, with a maximum of four nights.
Four nights gives ample time to explore Hinchinbrook in a leisurely manner, and that is what we are doing. View across to Hinchinbrook Island from Cardwell. Access to and from Hinchinbrook is by ferry and sailing times depend on the tide, which can also determine how many nights you camp and in which direction you walk.
In our case, the early morning sailings meant it was easier to walk north-south, catching the ferry to the island at Cardwell, returning to the mainland by ferry at Lucinda and then getting a connecting bus back to Cardwell. We had spent the last two and a half days in a car, travelling from Alice Springs and the recently completed Larapinta Trail - so, armed with our permits, ferry tickets and fully-loaded backpacks, we were ready to stretch our leg muscles again.
From the arid red centre to the lush green of the coastal tropics - the contrast couldn't be any greater. It was time to go. Mangroves to Little Ramsay Bay 8. Our small and speedy ferry set out for Hinchinbrook Island with us, five other track walkers and two day-trippers on board.
Leaving the Port Hinchinbrook marina, our captain carefully guided the boat across the choppy channel before reaching the protected waters to the north of the island and opening out to skim across at 40 kph. To the south lay the rugged mountain spine of the island, while ahead our way seemed barred by a flat green belt of mangrove swamps. However, the captain guided us into a long and ever-narrowing channel within the mangroves to eventually pull up at a tiny wooden dock. We had arrived and the Thorsborne Trail lay ahead.
From close up the cloud-capped and rugged mountains of Hinchinbrook were even more impressive than from the mainland and we were keen to get underway. A short section of boardwalk took us from the dock in the mangroves home to saltwater crocodiles to the edge of a low sand dune. Once over the dune, we were greeted by the sight of a long stretch of sand fringing Ramsay Bay and by a stiff south-easterly wind. We turned and headed down the beach, towards the outline of the mountains and into the face of the wind.
Lowland rain forest near Ramsay Bay. It wasn't for long though - the beach soon ended and an orange marker directed us inland. Almost immediately, we were in the still and humid rain forest - not a breath of wind in here as Real cute Hinchinbrook Island meandered our way over a low saddle to descend to the pretty creek outlet at Black Sand Beach. It was but a brief coastal visit, as once again the track headed inland to climb steadily through the forest to a higher saddle.
One of our fellow walkers had asked us whether we were going to climb Nina Peak, which to be honest I didn't know that you could. However, when we reached the saddle and noticed the unmarked track junction and then saw the sheer rock face of Nina Peak through the trees, we thought "why not?
It was a very steep and, near the top, a rock-scrambling climb up through a drier vegetation of casuarinas, eucalypts and grass-trees, but the views from Nina Peak made it "well worth the deplacement" as the French would say. From the rocky summit we could look directly across to the rugged face of Mt Bowen, at m the highest point on the island. Back to the north lay a broad expanse of mangroves, split by a series of long and winding channels. To the south lay our route ahead across white sandy beaches and tree-covered headlands and spurs.
The face of Mt Bowen m and the Hinchinbrook Range. Tide is out in the stony creek.
The cloud seemed to be settling in as we headed down to put our backpacks on again and continue. The track led us down the south side of the saddle, across a couple of mangrove-lined creeks where the outgoing tide had sucked out most of the water. This was good for us, as the crossings were reduced to a bit of rock-hopping. Following the creek and the increasing sound of the surf, we crossed an old dune to reach Nina Bay.
It was a good place for lunch, but the wind at the northern end hit us as soon as we stepped out of the forest and on to the sand. We pushed on down the wide low-tide beach to its more protected southern end and found a comfortable fallen log next to the pink boulders of a tidal creek in the pumice-fringed zone between sand and forest. Rocky passage at the southern end of Nina Bay. The setting of Nina Bay is quite spectacular, backed by the impressive rock face of Nina Peak and the Hinchinbrook Range - we were now looking up to the place from whence we looked down.
Lunch over, we headed back to the beach to pick our way around the pink and maroon boulders at its southern end and climb to the top of a small headland. From here, a short track led us down through the scrubby vegetation to Boulder Bay.
No sand here - we boulder-hopped and rock-scrambled our way across this jumble of stone to leave via the southern end of the bay and start a long, steady climb up to the saddle between Boulder Bay and Little Ramsay Bay. An equally Real cute Hinchinbrook Island and steady descent brought us to the northern end of Little Ramsay, popping out of a thickly wooded gully onto the beach. Ahead lay a long stretch of sand - firm, wide and runnelled by the outgoing tide.
A short stroll brought us to the lagoon - beautiful body of water, with semi-submerged paperbarks reflecting in the still surface, and backed by the dark back-lit silhouette of Mt Bowen. On the south side was our campsite, just in the trees and sheltered from the wind. We found a spot, pitched our tent and then did our water run.
A few hundred metres up the north side of the lagoon lay a lovely boulder-filled creek, framed by rain forest trees and babbling with cool clear mountain water. Fresh water creek up from the lagoon. Now we could brew a cuppa, followed by a swim in Real cute Hinchinbrook Island calm refreshing water of the lagoon.
The wind had dropped to a breeze and the sun had broken free of the cloud for a perfect end-of-day relax in this delightful spot, wedged between the Coral Sea and the rugged peaks of Hinchinbrook. The magic of a Hinchinbrook afternoon. Trekkers kept arriving from north and south - if 40 people are allowed on the island on any one day, over half seem to have found their way to Little Ramsay tonight. By day's end, pretty much every bit of space at the site was occupied by tents - it was cosy, if not crowded. The perfect end to a great day's walking. Replete after our delicious rehydrated chicken and Moroccan sausage couscous and uplifted by the dramatically reflective sunset, we agreed that the Thorsborne Trail was living up to its reputation.
We retired to bed, to fall asleep to the hypnotic sound of wavelets rolling gently on to the beach alongside. Little Ramsay Bay to Zoe Bay What a strange night it was - at No, it wasn't that someone turned on the campground floodlights, it was the full moon that had risen above the eastern horizon. In fact, it was a super moon, when the moon's orbit approaches closer to the earth and it appears larger in the sky. It was a magnificent spectacle to see the white beach bathed in moonlight and the cloud-capped peaks lit by a pale light.
However, a super moon also extends a stronger gravitational pull resulting in super tides. In fact, all that was left of the beach was a narrow moonlit strip between the surf and our tent site. No wonder that the soft rumble of the surf had become a repetitive crashing roar - from sleep-inducing to sleep-inhibiting. Real cute Hinchinbrook Island 4 am a strong gust of wind arrived and, with it, the first shower squall, followed by a series of others. We were greeted by a damp campsite when we got up, breakfasted and packed up - all in the inter-shower intervals.
The rain seemed to synchronise departure times, with everyone watching for the break and, when a bit of sun emerged, we all took off. We found ourselves in a sort of drawn-out convoy of 15 hikers, heading south down the wet sand of Little Ramsay Bay.
It was a wide highway though as the super moon had sucked the sea back out again. Heading off after the rain. Near the end of the beach, it was boots off for our first water crossing of the day - a tidal creek just too wide to jump. Then we headed on to the jumble of maroon rocks at the end of the beach.
Stopping only for one last backward look at the beautiful setting of Little Ramsay Bay, framed by the mountains of the hinterland, we climbed up and over a small scrubby headland to reach an inlet backed by a beach of stone and boulders. A section of maroon-coloured rocks. We carefully picked our way across it to reach the sandy southern end. This brought us to the start of our one big climb for the day, heading up a rain forest gully, leaves dripping with the morning's rain. As soon as we entered the forest, the humidity soared and my brow began to drip with perspiration. The fringe between beach and forest.
To the east, a track descended to Banksia Bay - we took the detour, effectively uncoupling ourselves from the hiker convoy. Pack-free, we quickly descended through the forest to reach the lagoon-backed beach of Banksia Bay It had looked so inviting.
We settled for a muesli bar apiece and climbed back up to the junction. Track through the rain forest. A self-explanatory at Banksia Bay. Packs back on, the track led us down beneath a dark rock face to cross Banksia Creek and then steadily upwards to the saddle. From here, we could see the route ahead - the dark green rain forest and swampland flats backing Zoe Bay. We were about to spend a couple of hours in the dripping and somewhat claustrophobic rain forest.
The route down to it followed a steep and rocky gully good for ankles before bringing us out into the dense rain forest flats. Here the track meandered its way beneath an intensely green and silent world of competing vegetation, with barely a dash of wildflower colour to be seen or a bird to be heard. We had a brief respite from this overdose of green when we emerged into an open paperbark swamp, skirting the muddy edges to re-enter the rain forest. It was difficult at times to judge which direction we were heading as the narrow green corridor wound its way along.
Here we rock-hopped the channel between a series of water Real cute Hinchinbrook Island that the crocs called home, before once again pushing on across stony creek and muddy bog beneath the dark green canopy. Sunlight in the fan palm forest. An easy crossing of one channel of Fan Palm Creek belied the next - it was time to take the boots off and wade, which at least allowed me to clean the mud out of my sock. A quiet pool in Fan Palm Creek. As we climbed out on the far bank, the showers returned. However, deep in the forest only one drop in ten reaches the forest floor, so we pushed on, crossing boggy stretches of fan palm forest and finally changing direction to make a bee-line for the coast.
So this is where the crocodiles live. A wet-foot crossing. A slightly more open forest. Coastal swampland. Soon after Cypress Pine Creek the rain forest gave out no more lawyer vines and fine-spined palm tendrils to latch on to skin and clothing and was replaced by more open coastal sclerophyll forest and then by mangrove swamp. The track skirted the mangroves as the next shower passed, forcing us under the shelter of a large tree.
It passed quickly and we continued, back into rain forest. Track next to the mangrove swamp. For a while, the sound Real cute Hinchinbrook Island surf had been getting louder and we heaved a sigh of relief to finally emerge into the open, wide sandy beach of Zoe Bay, where the air actually moved and refreshed.
I like rain forest up to a point, but the point had long been passed.Real cute Hinchinbrook Island
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