Hinchinbrook: Stop Off Here for Boating, Fishing and Bushwalking Wilderness
The stunning scenery across mangroves and estuaries towards Hinchinbrook Island is pretty spectacular, and yet most people drive right past it.
The environment around the Hinchinbrook area is so unique that much of it is protected by National Park status. The island itself is Australia’s largest national park island and the narrow channel between the island and the mainland is renowned as a fishing enthusiast’s heaven.
It’s also an important habitat for crocodiles, turtles and dugongs.
Yet few people except anglers and bushwalkers stop to explore beyond the main highway.
I have to admit that I have driven through the Hinchinbrook area several times without ever bothering to stop either.
However, on a recent visit to Orpheus Island Research Station we took the opportunity to go a day early and spend a night in the small town of Lucinda, where we were due to catch the ferry to Orpheus Island the following morning.
accommodation in lucinda
However, after a little investigation we were recommended to stay at the Hinchinbrook Marine Cove Resort, which is close to the water in Dungeness (right next door to where we caught our ferry).
We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. Lucinda is a tiny and very quiet little town with not much there at all, but the resort is modern and really well maintained.
In fact it is a great place to stay with kids as they have an enormous swimming pool, which all the two-storey townhouses overlook.
It came with bedding, kitchen crockery and utensils, a television and dvd player and bedrooms and bathroom were upstairs with an extra toilet downstairs.
The kids loved the townhouse, especially the cupboard under the stairs which became a kid’s only cubby while we were there.
The resort does have a really good bar and restaurant called The Channel Inn, which caters for lunch and dinner and is one of the few eateries in the town. It is also open from 6am for those who want an early breakfast before heading out on the water.
You can also buy supplies from the convenience store.
We enjoyed a glass of wine here while the kids shared some hot chips after their swim, which was great as it is located beside the resort.
things to do in Hinchinbrook area:
- Take at least one look at the Lucinda Jetty
It is the longest one in the southern hemisphere. Seriously, it is so huge (5.76 kms) that it follows the curved contour of the earth.
- Daytrip to Hinchinbrook Island
Hinchinbrook Island is the largest island in the Great Barrier Reef and location for some of the scenes in movie Nim’s Island. Since the closure of the resort a few years ago, the only accommodation option on the island is camping. It is a haven for bushwalkers with the Thorsborne Track being the most well known walking trail. Guided daytrips are available through Absolute North Charters.
This is fishing heaven with several species available in the local waters although barramundi is a firm favourite. Boat charters are available or beach and wharf fishing.
- Volunteer at the Orpheus Island Research Station for a few days, with a ferry leaving normally every 4 days
- Take a trip on a houseboat
There are a couple of businesses operating houseboats in the Hinchinbrook Channel.
- Island daytrips
While Hinchinbrook is the main island just across the channel there are also other national park islands nearby. However be aware that daily tidal times dictate the times any boats, ferries, houseboats or charter tours leave the marina, so make sure you check beforehand the time of your departure when booking any activities on the water
travel nq fast facts:
- Hinchinbrook is located on the Great Green Way between Cairns and Townsville.
- To save confusion – there is a motel next door to the resort with almost the same name. They used to be under the same management but they are now separate businesses.
- If you are self-driving or camping, there is also a campground in Lucinda called Wanderers Holiday Village which has a large amenity block, a pool, is next door to a huge children’s playground and is over the road from the Lucinda Jetty
- Take insect repellent – this is a mangrove area so sand flies come with the territory, especially at dusk