QUICK GUIDE TO HIKING HINCHINBROOK ISLAND
When I was in my late twenties, I lived within 3 hours of Hinchinbrook. It quickly became my go-to escape destination to get away from it all and enjoy some time in Australia’s backcountry. I have done the Thorsborne Trail 3 times, once with my husband, once with some girlfriends and once with my children in tow as well. Each time I got something different from it and each time I found myself better prepared for the 32km trail.
NORTH OR SOUTH
I have walked the trail north to south twice, and south to north only once. When you walk north to south, you leave Hinchinbrook via Lucinda. When you walk south to north you start in Lucinda and leave in Cardwell.
I would have to recommend the north to south route over south to north. The drier part of the island sits in the north, so the camping in the north is harder. If you walk north to south, you are walking towards a lusher landscape and more comfortable camping.
The wind is usually southeasterly in Hinchinbrook. For this reason, it is also more comfortable to take in the trek from north to south. If you walk south to north, the wind is predominantly on your backpack, but if you walk north to south you can enjoy a gentle breeze on your face, a welcome relief – particularly in summer.
The final reason for hiking north to south is the tidal behaviour on the island. The tidal movements around Cardwell can be unpredictable and if you are leaving, bad weather can delay your departure. However, Lucinda has much better access. Even if the tide is really low, you are unlikely to be delayed.
WHEN TO GO
My first hike, with my husband, was done in April. It was great fun but the temperatures were still high and the hot sun drained our energy a little more than we would have liked. The second trip was the perfect temperature. We set off at the end of May, it was early enough in the season to capitalise on the fresh water, but not so early as to hit the high summer temperatures. I would recommend taking on the Thorsborne Trail between May and September.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD I CARRY
Throughout each of my trips, I gradually shed weight. On my first trip to Hinchinbrook, I was dragging around far more than was essential and the April heat taught me a valuable lesson. When I returned, my pack was around 17kg and on my final trip, I managed to cut this to even less.
The Thorsborne Trail requires a bit of experience but there are some short walks too. More than anything, make sure you are well-informed before you go because there is quite a bit to know.
Is there anything you would like to add to this article? You can share your experience through the comments section below.