Australia’s largest island National Park.
Off the North Queensland tropical coast of Australia, between Ingham and Tully, lies 15 continental islands, ranging from the 39,300ha Hinchinbrook Island to tiny Tween Island. They present a landscape spectacle of sandy beaches, precipitous headlands, waterfalls, rugged mountains, mangrove forests, coral reefs, sheltered bays and dense rainforests.
Surrounding the tropical islands are the waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the largest coral reef system in the world. Hinchinbrook Island is one of the world’s most diversely beautiful wilderness areas.
This 39.3 sq. km island lying off the Cardwell coast is Australia’s largest island National Park. The island has a rich aboriginal history and was first seen by Europeans in 1770 when Captain Cook sailed past.
Its rugged skyline is dominated by 1142m Mt. Bowen which towers over a rainforest wilderness, mangrove-lined shores and spectacular golden sandy ocean beaches. The island has been separated from the mainland by the deep, narrow mangrove fringed Hinchinbrook Channel for approximately 100,000 years and has remained in relatively uninhabited, pristine condition.
It is this unique pristine condition that has caused the Australian Government to select the island as an area for special protection. Only small sample areas of the island have been opened for visitor access for very limited numbers.
A secluded Wilderness Lodge at Cape Richards is the island’s only settlement. It boasts a self imposed guest limit of just 50 people at any one time.
A 32 klm trek which covers the eastern coast of Hinchinbrook Island, known as The Thorsborne Trail, is popular with experienced hikers. The journey takes around four days to complete and walkers must be self-sufficient. Bookings should be made in advance by using the Hinchinbrook Island Booking Form.Â This trail is described as one of the 6 best wilderness walks in the world. Only 40 walkers are allowed on the trail at any time in groups of no more than 6 to minimize human impact on the delicate environment.
Visitors can explore the many activities on offer on the island, such as bushwalking, fishing, snorkelling, swimming, day cruises, birdwatching or just laying around and soaking it all in. Whether its for a day visit or a weeks trekking, visitors to Hinchinbrook can choose from hiking through the majestic and unspoiled rainforest, relaxing on one of the secluded golden sand beaches or merely capturing the islands splendour from the comfort of a vessel whilst cruising through the magnificent Hinchinbrook Channel.
While visitor access to the islands is very limited in terms of numbers allowed per day, the process of visiting is very simple and affordable.