“I travel because seeing photos in books and brochures wasn’t good enough for me. To be there, that was everything.” - Wiremu Ratcliffe.
THE HINCINBROOK CHANNEL
A CHANNEL LIKE NO OTHER
There is not a body of water on the planet like it, the Hinchinbrook Channel is scenically, one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
The Hinchinbrook Channel is a bucket list destination for keen anglers and seasoned sightseers, who bounce from each corner of the globe to experience the sights, smells and noises of the worlds most untouched destinations.
‘The Channel’ as its commonly referred to as, is a channel between the mainland and Hinchinbrook Island. It runs for 50 km between Oyster Point, just south of Cardwell, and Lucinda. The Aboriginal name for ‘The Channel’ is Bolan Milbirmi.
Hinchinbrook is wild, untouched and rugged, Australia’s very own Jurassic Park!
“Take the time to put the camera away and gaze in wonder at what’s there in front of you.” – Erick Widman.
OUR HINCHINBROOK CHANNEL CRUISE
Hinchinbrook Island is one of Australia’s largest island national park and is quickly becoming increasingly popular with visitors through Australia and the world. However, the Island is only accessible to by boat. Meaning no boat, no Hinchinbrook!
After quite a few discussions with local accommodation suppliers and key tourism groups our Hinchinbrook Channel Cruise was established and become our first scenic experience to the island. This eventually prompted us to rebrand our business from Westofish to Wild Hinchinbrook Adventures.
Owner Ben has a very deep connection with the Hinchinbrook Channel, using it as a crouch while suffering with PSTD as a result of his service in the Australian Army. It provided him peace, solace and a place of mindfulness.
This experience is close to our heart and one with a mix of history, interactions with flora and fauna with the peace of being on the water. This place has a magic which can not be described, but only experienced.
Upon departing the mouth of Dungeness creek, your guide will take you to the beginning of the famous Lucinda jetty and give you a brief history lesson on Lucinda, its connection with the local sugar industry and Lucinda’s sugar terminal.
This will be followed by a quick familiarisation of the surrounding islands and landmarks before beginning your journey into the southern end of the Hinchinbrook Channel.
WHERE THE CANE MEETS THE OCEAN
As you enter the channel you will immediately see the rugged, rocky landscape and forever changing vegetation of Hinchinbrook Island and depending on what mood see is in, the large mountainous range which begins with Mt Diamantina and end at Mt Bowen.
After a short trip into the confines of the channel our guide will begin a small journey up the Herbert river where you’ll be shown fishing huts and where the cane meets the ocean.
Near Mona landing at Halifax, you’ll take a short stop where you’ll learn about the significance of the Herbert river and sugar industry to the region.
AN ISLAND ON IT'S OWN
After retreating from the Hertbert river mouth our guide will hit cruise control and point the vessel in the direction of Haycock Island, which is an island densely vegetated and perched midway up the channel.
During the trip you’ll be shown where the Cardwell Range overlooks the Seymour river, know for some of the most infamous photos of the channel.
upon arriving at Haycock you will circumnavigate the small island taking in the amazing cross section of flora on the island and be in ore of how they have grasped onto rocky outcrops with minimal soil to anchor themselves into.
THE HEART OF HINCHINBROOK
The next destination takes you deep into the heart of Hinchinbrook, where you will be surrounded by mountainous landscape at the western foot of Mt Diamantina.
Accessed by Deluge Inlet you will progressively begin to see a distinct change from salt to fresh water which will become so gin clear you can see juvenile mangrove jacks, bream and other species taking cover in the myriad of fallen timber.
Through the last part of the progression towards the top part of the creek the high bank will tower the vessel with the vegetation will constantly changing at every corner from Melaleuca forests, to mangrove and eventually to dense rainforest.
If the tide is right it is quite safe to cool off, take a quick dip behind the boat in waist deep. fresh, gin clear water.
LUNCH OF THE AGES
From the heart of Hinchinbrook you’ll kick you feet up and take in the scenery as you head towards your lunch destination. During the trip you will witness some of the mangrove devastation suffered as a result of TC Yasi and the amazing regrown as a result years later.
Keep your eyes peeled as through this part of the trip it is not uncommon to see Dugong foraging amongst the plentiful seagrass beds towards the northern end of the channel.
Your lunch venue awaits you! Your guide will quickly show you the remains of an aboriginal fish trap before positioning the vessel for you to disembark and enjoy lunch on the beach at The Haven.
BRUSHING SHOULDERS WITH LOCALS
After enjoying lunch with a first class view of the top end of the Hinchinbrook Channel its time to relax and make our way back to Lucinda through the mangrove islands which form the Benjamin Flats area.
During your cruise through Benji we may catch up with local commercial crabber Squid, feed a resident sea eagle or catch a BIG saltwater crocodile basking in the sun.
Usually the final destination prior to making our way back to the Dungeness Boat Ramp facility.
Flanked by two creek mouths, ‘The Bluff’ is an amazing natural masterpiece of thousands of year eroded rock formations shaped and moulded over time by high tidal currents and flood water.
Many caves which seamlessly lead to an abyss fill with a bed of mud form through the movement of silt.
There is also a amazing display of evolution as you’ll see trees clinging to the rock crevasses with external root systems normally imbedded into soil.
This is an amazing finish to a fascinating day cruising the Hinchinbrook Channel.