In early May I walked the Thornsborne Trail, which goes along the eastern side of Hinchinbrook Island in Queensland for 20 miles
Permits are limited for the trail and a boat shuttle is required, I used Absolute North Charters out of Lucinda (2018)
Not going in there, look at what happened to the last five people
Looking north from Nina Peak at sunset. When hiking back in the dark to camp, one of the dry creekbeds swelled to waist deep from the tide shift
Sunrise at Nina Bay
First campsite on the beach at Nina Bay, my favorite of the week
The rocky section heading out of Nina Bay
I did the walk in 5 days/4 nights from north to south therefore saving the swimming holes for the end. Many do the trail in 4 days/3 nights skipping over the Nina Bay campsite, I would not recommend it as Nina Bay is the most scenic spot on the trail. If only doing three nights I would go Nina Bay-Zoe Bay-Mulligan Falls.
This cove would make a good place to camp on night two if you have a way to hang your food (no foodbox)
Food storage boxes at the campsites, the rats were most active at Zoe Bay and Mulligan Falls swinging from the trees at night dropping some type of buckeye-sized fruit on the tent. They are known to chew through the bottom of your tent if food is left in your pocket.
Second evening at Banksia Bay
I camped in the woods here as there was a swamp behind the beach
Saltwater crocs or "salties" inhabit the west side of island, there are said to be less on the eastern side. While there are croc signs throughout the trail I would pay particular attention at North Zoe Creek as the trail was moved inland here to be deemed safe.
I made a point to cross North Zoe Creek at low tide
The trail then goes through wetlands. Some of the most venomous snakes are in Australia but typically move off the trail when they see you. The exceptions are the tiger snake and coastal taipan which can attack if they feel cornered. The coastal taipan will even chase you during breeding season when it is most active.
The mouth of South Zoe Creek near the campsite. Another place of caution as crocs are sometimes seen sunbathing here in the morning, not a place for a night swim/washing your feet on the river edge. I was told many stories here, particularly about how successful saltwater crocs are at attacking. They will stalk you for days and watch for patterns in your behavior and if you climb a tree to get away they will wait at the bottom for over a month. They are said to have an attack success rate of 90%, the next closest being the lion at 60%. After teaching me all of this, the locals got up from dinner and starting throwing coconuts into the river and watching them float with their headlamps. The most memorable evening of the walk.
Beautiful sunset at Zoe Bay
The Zoe Bay campground was the busiest, as boaters will drop people off here. This camp also has the most critters including a few goannas. This one was about 4 feet, half-sized or "just a baby" according to locals as they can reach 7 feet long.
The goannas in eastern Australia are considered the closest relative to the Komodo dragon, smaller in size by comparison, but have longer tails which they use for climbing. It can be painful if they mistake a human for a tree as their claws are quite large.
The walk from Zoe Bay to Mulligan Falls was exposed to sun and very hot, although no trouble getting water as May is the end of wet season
Dozens of curious fish would surround me in the swimming holes
The final crossing at Mulligan Creek
I started late afternoon at the Wog Wog campground trailhead, easy day as the sun goes down early in late May (430pm)
Just enough room on the summit of Corang peak
From Corang peak, all of the major mountains of the Budawangs are visible
The route was sometimes difficult to follow on day two, a good map will be your friend here, the Corang 8927-3-N is all that is needed for the route. I went off-trail and climbed Shrouded Gods Mountain. I boiled water once I found a place to camp on the summit as there were no creeks flowing in the Monolith Valley after a dry summer
Mount Mooryan from Shrouded Gods Mountain
For my own humor, reminder of the trail conditions
Chains were provided on the main trail, if you enjoy a real challenge take the side route from the Monolith Valley to Mount Owen on the return hike
When the trail does open up, the views are quite scenic
The next day was shorter, but exciting again as I climbed up the Castle. This photo looks down at the route coming out of the forest, which appears intimidating but it is fairly straightfoward until the last bit where there are ropes to help with a series of climbs.
The Castle was popular, there is a shorter route to reach it from the south that could be done as a dayhike or a one-nighter
Looking southeast over Clyde River Gorge towards Byangee Mountain and Pigeon House
I did the long hike back to Wog Wog (16 miles) in one day stopping briefly to photograph Corang Arch which I scouted earlier in the week and thought would look best in the afternoon sun
The final stretch through the forest to Wog Wog