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Camping information

Camping on the Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island National Park

There are seven camping areas along the Thorsborne Trail. The camping areas are described here in a north to south order and all are on the eastern side of Hinchinbrook Island.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. Group bookings and mountain access approval must be obtained through the Rainforest and Reef Information Centre before going to the island. It is best to book well in advance. The trail is very popular and often fully booked during peak periods and school holidays. Camping bookings are not for the individual camping areas but for the Thorsborne Trail generally.

It is imperative that hiking details are left with a responsible contact person. This will assist in the event of an emergency situation or when hikers are overdue. The contact person must know:

  1. how hikers are accessing the island e.g. private vessel or water taxi
  2. the planned route
  3. when hikers are due to return
  4. the agreed time period after which the contact person will need to contact emergency services.
  5. to phone Triple Zero (000) or 112 in an emergency or if hikers do not return within agreed time period.

If no longer hiking the trail, ensure to cancel bookings by contacting us. Information on cancellations assists in emergencies such as cyclones and wildfires.

The fawn-footed melomys Melomys cervinipes and giant white-tailed rat Uromys caudimaculatus occur across the island. To avoid damage to packs and food supplies, remove all food from packs at night. Keep cooking utensils and food covered and off the ground. Rat-proof food boxes are provided at most camping areas. Do not hang packs in trees.

Wear low-impact, soft-soled shoes around camp sites.

Please ensure you supply relevant contact details when you book.

Park-specific conditions

  • Open camp fires and cooking fires are not allowed.

Read more about staying safe and looking after the park.

Nina Bay camping area

Camping area features: under trees on and near the beach.

Location: this is the first camping area from the northern end of the Thorsborne Trail.

Access: the camping area can be reached on foot from the Thorsborne Trail.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: trail hikers only.

Camp site surface: sand and dirt.

Facilities: composting toilets. Collect water from 100–200 m upstream of the creek at Nina Bay and the creek at Blacksand Beach.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: read things to know before you go.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter or by phone.

Mobile phone coverage: poor.

Little Ramsay Bay camping area

Camping area features: under trees on and near the beach.

Location: at the southern side of the lagoon area at Little Ramsay Bay. This is the second camping area from the northern end of the Thorsborne Trail.

Access: the camping area can be reached on foot from the Thorsborne Trail.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: trail hikers only.

Camp site surface: sand and dirt.

Facilities: composting toilets. Collect water from the creek upstream from the lagoon area.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: read things to know before you go.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter or by phone.

Mobile phone coverage: poor.

Banksia Bay camping area

Camping area features: under trees and in the open near the beach setting

Location: 300 m off the main Thorsborne Trail, this small camping area is on the beach at Banksia Bay. It is the third camping area from the northern end of the Thorsborne Trail.

Access: the camping area can be reached on foot from the Thorsborne Trail or by boat.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: trail hikers, boat-based camping and sea kayak-based camping.

Camp site surface: sand and dirt.

Facilities: none. Collect water from Banksia Creek, 100 m upstream from the beach.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: read things to know before you go.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter or by phone.

Mobile phone coverage: poor.

Zoe Bay camping area

At low tide look for armies of small, blue soldier crabs on the sand flats near the mouth of South Zoe Creek. Photo: NPRSR.

At low tide look for armies of small, blue soldier crabs on the sand flats near the mouth of South Zoe Creek. Photo: NPRSR.

Camping area features: under trees on and near the beach.

Location: at the southern end of Zoe Bay. This is the fourth camping area from the northern end of the Thorsborne Trail.

Access: the camping area can be reached on foot from the Thorsborne Trail or by boat.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: trail hikers and boat-based camping.

Camp site surface: sand and dirt.

Facilities: composting toilets and picnic tables. Collect water from Zoe Creek, 600 m upstream from the camping area.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: read things to know before you go.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter or by phone.

Mobile phone coverage: poor.

Sunken Reef Bay camping area

Green turtles occasionally nest on the beach at Sunken Reef Bay. Photo: NPRSR.

Green turtles occasionally nest on the beach at Sunken Reef Bay. Photo: NPRSR.

Camping area features: under trees near the beach and on the beach. Between October and March beach stone-curlews Esacus neglectus and the occasional green turtle Chelonia mydas nest here.

Location: 30 mins off the main Thorsborne Trail, the camping area is behind the foredune at Sunken Reef Bay. This is the fifth camping area from the northern end of the trail.

Access: the camping area can be reached on foot from the Thorsborne Trail.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: trail hikers and sea kayak-based camping.

Camp site surface: sand.

Facilities: none. Collect water from the creek at northern end of beach and Diamantina Creek.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: read things to know before you go.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter or by phone.

Mobile phone coverage: poor.

Mulligan Falls camping area

Camping area features: in the rainforest near Mulligan Falls.

Do not enter the restricted access area (PDF, 341K)* at the falls. Death and serious injuries have occurred when people have entered this area. Rock pavements, including those well back from the falls, are extremely slippery and dangerous.

Location: near the base of Mulligan Falls. This is the sixth camping area from the northern end of the Thorsborne Trail.

Access: the camping area can be reached on foot from the Thorsborne Trail.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: trail hikers only.

Camp site surface: dirt.

Facilities: composting toilets. Collect water from the creek at the base of the falls.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: read things to know before you go.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter or by phone.

Mobile phone coverage: poor.

George Point camping area

Camping area features: under trees on and near the beach.

Location: at the southern end of Mulligan Bay, this is the southern exit/entrance of the Thorsborne Trail.

Access: the camping area can be reached by boat and from the Thorsborne Trail.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: trail hikers and boat-based camping.

Camp site surface: sand and dirt.

Facilities: composting toilets and picnic table. There is no fresh water.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: read things to know before you go.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter or by phone.

Mobile phone coverage: poor.

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Last updated
16 June 2014