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Hinchinbrook Island is the site of Australia's largest island national park and is situated off the east coast of the continent, almost midway between the major Queensland cities of Cairns and Townsville. The island occupies about 400 square kilometers, is about 36 km. long and 15 km. wide at it's broadest point and consists of a bush covered, mountainous landscape that features a cloud shrouded 1100 meter peak, Mount Bowen. Apart from the rising level of the surrounding waters, the island remains unspoiled by human hands and conjures up visions of a lost world. It is the habitat of many species of flora and fauna, is encompassed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and is a tropical paradise.
There are many features to explore on Hinchinbrook Island, from it's pristine white beaches with sand as fine as powder, lush tropical rainforests, crystal clear streams, and scenic beauty, to the many species of endangered wildlife that survive in this idyllic setting.
The Thorsborne Trail extends for 32 kilometers along the eastern coastline of Hinchinbrook Island and is open only to a restricted number of trekkers. Permits to trek the trail must be obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency well in advance, as there are just 40 trekkers permitted on the trail at any one time, and a maximum of only 6 trekkers per group. There are also a number of restrictions that have been put in place to preserve the natural state of the island, and all visitors are requested to adhere to these conditions before applying for a permit. Trekkers are also obliged to pay a modest camping fee.
An experienced trekker can expect to spend four days or so on the Thorsborne Trail as there are many side tracks to explore along the way. Designated areas have been established for camping and trekkers are requested to use these areas and respect any restrictions that may apply. Most of these areas will have a steel, rat proof food box for trekkers to keep any food or scraps in overnight.
Hinchinbrook Island is home to a couple of species of food loving rats. Do not leave food or scraps of any kind in a swag or tent 'cause they can chew through just about anything except steel. If there is any food that doesn't fit in the rat proof box then put it in a container and sling it from a tree, high off the ground.
Crocodiles also inhabit the island and the trekker should take the utmost care when approaching a waterway or swampy area. The Thorsborne Trail is for experienced trekkers only, and whilst on the trail a trekker should not venture off alone. Stay with the group, stay alert and stay alive.
The island is also home to mossies, midges and other nasties. Make sure that a finely meshed Mosquito net is included in the camping equipment, along with repellents and other first aid stuff.
Trek the Thorsborne Trail and experience an Australian adventure of a lifetime.
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