Ferry to Thorsborne Trail۔ Thorsborne trail is famous for its unparalleled natural beauty. Running along the east coast of Hinchinbrook Island, every year avid nature lovers and hikers from around the country flock around the island to hike down the trail.

Declared as a natural heritage site, the island is home to varied flora and fauna with some specific to the island. The trek through Thorsborne Trail provides a unique opportunity for hikers to experience this rugged beauty. The 32 km trail is narrow, rough, and rocky in places with many open stretches of bright sunlight. Situated between the island and the mainland is the beautiful Hinchinbrook Channel.


Now, the only way to reach the trail is to take a ferry to Hinchinbrook Island. On the mainland, Cardwell is situated to the north of the island, while Lucinda resides on the southern side. These two towns function as the primary base for taking the ferry to Thorsborne Trail. So, you need to reach either of the towns via Bruce Highway from the nearby airports and make sure we have our accommodation booked on the mainland the previous day, since the ferry leaves early.

Various Ways to Ferry to Thorsborne Trail

From either town, we can connect you to Ramsay Bay (north end of the trail) and George Point (south end) on the island. It comes down to how you want to hike on the trail – from north to south like most of the hikers do, or you prefer going south to north.

If your choice is north to south then you need to get to Ramsay Bay first and transfer from George Point at the end of the hike and vice versa for the reverse route.

Absolute North Charters does the ferry service from both towns and to both ends of the trail. However, years of experience charting through the waters and hiking on the island has given us deep insight. And we have come up with a ferry plan that is logistically the most practical and makes your trip most enjoyable.

Now, let’s talk about the ins and outs of ferrying to the trail.

The Traditional Choice – Cardwell to Ramsay Bay and Back

You can take the ferry from Cardwell in the morning to land on Ramsay Bay covering a 35 km long distance. The hike down the trail takes between 4 days to 6 days as per your choice. In the end, you reach George Point to get picked up from there. Covering a 43.73 km distance, the return ferry will cross the Hinchinbrook channel to drop you off at Cardwell.

Or , if you prefer you can reach George Point first and transfer from Ramsay Bay to Cardwell after finishing the hike.

Both ways it takes nearly the same time. This (the former) is the traditional route people used to take and there’s nothing wrong with it. Except for one thing maybe. The water level at Cardwell varies due to low tide and ferry operator have to factor that in while planning for a pickup or drop.

The Absolute North Charters Way – Lucinda to Ramsay Bay and Back

Absolute North Charters is based in Lucinda and likes to operate from here due to the various logistical advantages it offers.

Our ferry will pick you up from Dungeness near Lucinda at 8:30 a.m and drop you off at Ramsay Bay. This is a 74.34 km route through the scenic Hinchinbrook Channel, taking about 1.48 hours to drop you off at your starting point of Thorsborne Trail. After you finish your hike, our boat will pick you up from George Point and transfer you back to Lucinda. This route is only 4.7 km taking only 7 minutes to get back to the mainland.

There are several advantages to this plan –

  • Taking the longest route first when you are fresh and full of energy leaves you with just an ultra-short trip at the end of the hike. You will thank us when you are tired from tracking the Thorsborne Trail. And you”ll be back at your accommodation in about 10-15 minutes where you can refresh and recuperate.
  • The boat ride through Hinchinbrook Island offers a serene view of both the mainland and the island and waters in between.
  • The water level at Lucinda port is not affected by low tide. Therefore, operating from Lucinda port is more flexible than Cardwell. This allows us to plan our drop-in and pick-ups with greater ease.
  • This also means after dropping hikers off at Ramsay Bay, our boat can pick up hikers reaching the end of the trail from George Point on the return journey. This allows Absolute North charters to maintain a regular pick up from George Pint. This saves our expenses which we can then pass on to our hikers.

All of these points will make your trip more smooth and relaxing making it easier for you to enjoy the hike. This is also why we can offer you a great price for the round trip. Check out our Prices, book & pay page.
At this point, you understand that there’s no value in going to George Point first if you’re going to hike to Ramsay Bay. However, you still want to do this we will cover you still.

About the Hike

The hike can be done in 4 days and 3 nights, however, considering the challenging trail we would suggest you take your time. Therefore planning to camp and finish the trek in 6 days and 5 nights you will have the luxury to drink in more moments.

at George Point rights hikers, it means covering 15 km from Zoe Bay to George Point. Instead, the extra night at Mulligan falls means you need to trek for 2 hours the next morning to catch the return ferry at George Point.

at night to catch early pickup times is not viable since there’s no water staying for 4days/3nTo find out more about what it likes to hike down Thorsborne Trail, read the wonderful blog post of Robert De Rooy.

Lastly, book your ferry early as the trail is popular during winter months i.e. April to September, and this way you can avoid the rush. Ferry to Thorsborne Trail

For more information connect with John Smith of Absolute North Charters on 0419 712 577.

Please see all our boat trips and prices on our Prices, Book & Pay page.