Friday 17 July 2015

Zoe Bay

Orpheus Island to Hinchinbrook Island - Zoe Bay

We made very good time on our crossing to Hinchinbrook Island and got to Lucinda Jetty within an hour of taking off from Orpheus.  We had a short break before heading towards Sunken Reef Bay which was supposed to be our first campsite.

We had 1.5 meters of easterly swell with 20 knots of SE tailwind giving us some great runs as we made out way past the Lucinda Sugar Jetty.  We could see Mulligan Falls from the water giving us a target as we headed into Sunken Reef Bay.

Unfortunately the bay is exposed to the Easterly swell and that 1.5 meters was dumping onto the rocky shoreline so after bouncing around in the bay for a while we made the decision to keep on going to Zoe Bay to shelter from a few days of strong winds and unsettled weather.

After surfing around the corner of the headland into Zoe Bay, you wouldn't have realised how much wind and swell was running as the bay is very protected and the wine glass shape ensures one corner or the other will offer an easy landing, noting of course that both corners have mangrove inlets.

The beach itself is all sand (very fine sand that gets into everything) and it is very shallow for a long way out so high tide access is best or you will have a long carry to the campsite.  We choose the second campsite and made use of the two tables given we were a few days ahead of schedule and were due for a day or so of rain so we setup the tarps in preparation before heading up Zoe Creek to refresh our dwindling water supply.

The next morning we were off to explore the swimming hole at the base of Zoe Falls before climbing the falls and walking the trail across to Mulligans Falls.  Just a note to say you need to bring some good hiking boots as the trail is rough and I was pretty footsore by the time I got to the creek crossing before Mulligans Falls.  Gary and April persevered and made Mulligans to turn around after a swim and make the 2+hr trek back to Zoe Bay.

After a swim at the base of Zoe Falls we climbed up to the swimming holes at the top of the falls for another swim. Gotta love winter in the tropics!

The track to Mulligans Falls is rough but it takes you through a range of different vegetation types and you get some views of Sunken Reef Bay and mountain ranges of Hinchinbrook Island.  Try for mobile phone signal when you get a view of Lucinda from the top of the pass.

These fresh water crayfish are in the swimming hole at the top of Zoe Falls. They aren't shy of having a nibble on you if stay in one place too long!

The rain was set in by that afternoon and stayed around for most of the next day as well.  We ended up hiking in the rain to see how flooded the creeks were.

It didn't take long for the creeks to rise after the rain set in.

Swimming under Zoe Falls was a bit of fun once the rain had eased up. The next day was a wash and dry day and to try and get some fish interested in dehy bait.  No, fish were not on the menu as they were about as interested in dehy as we were. There was some nice scenery to enjoy whilst the sand flies enjoyed their meal and we waited for a suicidal fish.

The sun finally came out and stayed that way for the rest of the trip.

Phone Reception: No (Some on the way to Mulligans Falls)
Fresh Water Available: Yes (running creeks)
Best Campsite:  2nd campsite north of the campsite/walking track sign
Toilet: Yes (1st campsite near walking track to Zoe Falls)
Table: Yes (2 in the 2nd campsite)
Green Ants: Yes
Sand Fly's: Yes
Mosquitoes: Yes
Reef: No

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