Hinchinbrook Island, Goold Island and the Family Islands are continental islands located off the wet tropical coast between Ingham and Tully, in North Queensland. Hinchinbrook’s 39,000 hectares make it Australia’s largest island National Park. With its granite peaks rising 3747 ft. directly out of the sea, it is a magnificent backdrop for sea kayaking. Waterfalls, tropical rainforests, precipitous headlands, coral reefs and secluded beaches are among its treasures. The diversity of the island is remarkable with the mangrove swamps along its western shore contrasting sharply with golden sand and numerous bays up the eastern shore. The tiny, jewel-like Family Islands provide a delightful playground with their dense rainforest contrasting with exquisite coral beaches. The marine life throughout is superb, with manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical fish. Bird life abounds both over the water and in the forests.
Using our specially designed two-person sea kayaks we’ll paddle our way through 56 miles of tropical paradise. In 7 days we’ll explore the magnificent grandeur of Hinchinbrook Island National Park, the Family Islands and Goold Island. Hinchinbrook, with its rugged granite peaks is perhaps the last remnant of the eastern coastline that remains exactly as it was before white settlement of Australia. We will paddle into protected bays and ease up onto remote wilderness beaches. If you are interested in catching yourself a tasty meal may we suggest you bring a small collapsible fishing rod or hand line as there will be time to fish while paddling or relaxing on the beaches each afternoon. Most days we will try to be in camp by lunchtime to avoid paddling in the hotter and windier part of the day. Join us on this special wilderness adventure!
Pre Trip: Your guides will inform you of our schedule, show you how and what to pack and answer any questions you may have for the trip ahead at the pre-trip briefing -6.00pm Licuala Lodge. Storage for your excess gear should be organised through your hotel, or we can assist you if necessary.
Day 1 We depart early (7:00 am hotel pick-up) as we have a two-hour drive south to Lucinda before we begin kayaking. After a safety briefing and fitting you to your boat we have lunch and practise our paddling skills before heading a short distance across the channel to Hinchinbrook Island. The island’s immense grandeur seeps in as we paddle away from Lucinda and edge closer towards the towering peaks. We’ll camp for the night at Mulligans Bay or Sunken Reef Bay.
Day 2 We leave southern Hinchinbrook and head around the vertical cliffs of its easterly aspect, Hillock Point, into the very picturesque Zoe Bay. We’ll take a walk through the luxuriant forests surrounding Zoe Creek to the base of Zoe Creek Falls. Eating lunch while soaking in the large crystal clear pool is the perfect way to relax and hear the birds clearly. Refreshed, we paddle a little further on to camp by Agnes Island or Blacksand Beach.
Days 3-4 Paddling up the eastern shores of Hinchinbrook Island gives us our best views of Mt. Bowen (3747 ft). Its rugged granite crags form a magnificent skyline often dotted with cumulus cloud as the island’s dominant position often creates its own weather. En route we have ample time to paddle along rugged cliff lines and into picturesque coves. This untouched wilderness is one of the finest examples of Australian coastline. After paddling the 5 mile length of Ramsey Beach we round Cape Sandwich and often camp overlooking the sheltered waters of Sunset Beach.
Day 5 Today we continue along Shepherd Bay towards Cape Richards, the northernmost point of Hinchinbrook Island. After rounding the cape we cross a short stretch of open water to Wilderness Cove on Goold Island, the perfect place to spend a lazy tropical afternoon.
Day 6 We set out across our largest stretch of open water to explore the idyllic group of tiny islets comprising the Family Islands, Wheeler Island being our destination. We have the afternoon to explore our private island, snorkel or bask in the sun.
Day 7 After a leisurely morning we set out for Mission Beach passing Bedarra, Thorpe and Dunk islands, leaving the fading peaks of Hinchinbrook behind us. After unpacking our familiar sea craft one last time we have a celebratory lunch at Horizons Resort. Our last paddle back to civilisation at Mission Beach is filled with satisfaction and achievement at having completed a unique and memorable experience.
**Note: We finish the trip at Mission Beach on Day 7 by about 3:30pm so it is possible to connect with a 5:30 pm bus back to Cairns., but please don’t count on catching a flight out of Cairns on this day since we may be delayed.
2003 Dates -Jun 1-7 | Jun 15-21 | Jun 29-Jul 5 | Jul 13-19 | Jul 27-Aug 2 | Aug 10-16 | Aug 24-30 | Sep 7-13 | Sep 21-27 | Oct 5-11 | Oct 19-25 | Nov 2-8
Commence Sunday morning and finish late Saturday afternoon
Your tour cost includes:
· Two-person expedition kayaks, paddles, life jackets and safety equipment
· Two-person tents
· Closed cell foam sleeping mats
· Watertight containers for personal clothing and equipment storage
· Professional guides
· Transport from Mission Beach to the start of the trip on day one.
· All meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 7
· Group first aid kit
· Emergency radio telephone and marine distress kit (flares etc.)
· National and Marine Park fees
small group of 8-12 people
Your tour cost does not include:
· Travel between Mission Beach & Cairns before and after the trip
· Items of a personal nature such as postage and laundry
· Meals in Mission Beach as outlined above
· Alcoholic beverages
· Travel insurance
· Sleeping bag
FITNESS REQUIREMENT We always feel that the fitter you are the more you are able to enjoy your holiday. The degree of difficulty of the trip will vary greatly depending on the weather we encounter. The sea and weather conditions off Hinchinbrook are affected by the south-easterly trade winds that blow from April to November and assist us as we paddle north. On average, a paddling day will range from 3-5 hours with the afternoons free to explore our surrounds. However, there may be days, due to windy weather conditions that we will be required to paddle for up to 7 hours. To prepare for your holiday we recommend that at least 3-4 months prior to the trip you should involve yourself in at least one hour of exercise 3-4 times a week. For paddling, upper body training such as swimming is highly recommended.