Hinchinbrook Island’s Thorsborne Trail: From Mountains to Mangroves


Hinchinbrook Island’s Thorsborne Trail is a 32-kilometer hiking path located in Queensland, Australia. The trail provides an opportunity to explore diverse landscapes ranging from rainforests to clear coastal waters. It runs through the Hinchinbrook National Park. The trail is named after Arthur Thorsborne. He and his wife, Margaret, were committed to nature conservation and spent time tracking the pied (Torresian) imperial-pigeons, which nest on nearby islands during the summer.

Hinchinbrook Island lies off the north Queensland coast between Townsville and Cairns. The island features mountains up to 1000 meters high, heath vegetation, rainforests, eucalypt forests, mangroves on the west side, and bays and headlands on the east side.

Since 1932, Hinchinbrook has been protected and is now one of Australia’s biggest island national parks, covering 39,900 hectares. It’s part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and is set apart from the mainland by the Hinchinbrook Channel.

Hinchinbrook Island is characterized by its varied ecosystems. The Thorsborne Trail showcases this diversity as it winds through ancient rainforests and along the island’s coastline. Along the coast, hikers can view the Coral Sea and may choose to swim or snorkel in its clear waters, where they can observe coral reefs and marine life. The island provides a comprehensive natural experience for visitors

There are seven remote bush camping areas along the Thorsborne Trail with no or limited facilities. 

The trail isn’t a standard walking path and can be rough in places. It’s maintained with a focus on minimal environmental impact and leaves no trace. There are restrictions on the number of people on the trail to keep its natural setting. Only 40 people are allowed at once, and the biggest group size is six. Because of these limits, getting camping permits for the trail can be challenging, especially from April to September.

“For the Bandjin and Girramay people, this rugged island has cloud-covered mountains, fragile heath vegetation, lush rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and mangrove fringes is known as Munamudanamy. The Thorsborne Trail explores the eastern side of the island.” Queensland Parks and Forests

Visit the Queensland Parks Thorsborne Forest page for information about getting on the track.

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