Hinchinbrook Island

Cape Richards

National Park status has seen Hinchinbrook Island remain relatively uninhabited and in pristine condition. The Thorsborne Trail has a limit of 40 visitors per day while the Hinchinbrook Island Resort and Orchid Beach have no restrictions on visitor numbers.

Activities on the Island include hiking through the stunning rainforest, bird spotting, relaxing on the many beaches, and visiting the Island's lookout to watch the sunset. Keep an eye out for dolphins and turtles that maybe swimming by.

Australia's largest island National Park, Hinchinbrook Island, is separated from the mainland by the deep, narrow, mangrove-fringed Hinchinbrook Channel, scoured from sand and mud by strong tidal currents. Rising to 1121 metres in the centre of the island are the jagged battlements of Mt Bowen, largest in the chain of rugged granite crags forming the backbone of the island's southern half.

To the north-west a range of lesser peaks of older volcanic rocks, similar in chemistry but finer grained than the granite, forms an undulating skyline descending to the sandy beach of Hecate Point, 4 km across the channel from Cardwell.The spectacular north face of Mt Bowen drops 1121 m in cliffs and forested scree slopes almost to sea level. From here a narrow, 8 km long strip of sand, stretches north to connect with Capes Sandwich and Richards.

The island is approximately 37.4km long and 10km wide. Including the main beach at the resort there are 11 beautiful sandy beaches. You can enjoy absolute seclusion on several of them including North Shepherd, Macushla and South Shepherd. The National Park covers 39,300 hectares.

For the energetic visitor, walking is fairly easy through the light bush sections of the park and with very little luck the walker will observe the abundant bird life for which the island is renowned. There are Herons, Cockatoos, Pheasants, Scrub Hens, Sunbirds and Torres Strait and Wompoo Pigeons.

Ramsay Bay

At the very northern end of Orchid Beach access is made to the lookout on Cape Richards, the best vantage point for sunsets, dolphins and the neighbouring islands. To the southern end of the beach a short walk leads to Turtle Bay where most afternoons large sea turtles feed on marine grasses.

Hinchinbrook Island presents 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, halfway between Cairns and Townsville in North Queensland Australia, 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 1121m Mt. Bowen which towers over a rainforest wilderness, mangrove-lined shores and spectacular golden sandy ocean beaches.

Hinchinbrook 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 this island as an area for special protection. Only small sample areas of the island have been opened for visitor access for very limited numbers.

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.