With its myriad freshwater creeks, tidal, mangrove lined rivers, rocky headlands and abundant offshore reef complexes, who wouldn’t love the place?
There are not too many anglers who haven’t been to Hinchinbrook or who don’t dream of going there. For many years, this area has been especially captivating for anglers. Hinchinbrook is rich in natural wonders and the fishing can be exceptional. From the pure freshwater reaches of the rivers where jungle perch and sooty grunter are found, to the maze of mangrove creeks where barra, jacks and trevally are lurking, all the way out to the reef where coral trout, giant trevally, nannygai and mackerel live, Hinchinbrook is an angler’s paradise.
Just about everyone who has visited Hinchinbrook and fishes comes away with a special memory or two and it is this fact alone that makes Hinchinbrook such a must visit location. It is a memory maker for anglers.
But it’s not just the fishing that attracts people to Hinchinbrook. The natural beauty of the area, the walking tracks, the sightseeing and the chance to meet dugong and crocodiles up close are just some of the attractions for those not single-mindedly blinded by the fishing.
Stephen Booth with Hinchinbrook barra
The Hinchinbrook area was originally occupied by the Bandyin Aboriginal people who lived on Hinchinbrook Island and Europeans didn’t start exploring the area until 1845. The first settler in the Herbert River valley is considered to be Henry Stone, who started a pastoral station in 1865. However by the early 1870s, sugar caners had discovered the rich soils and this is when the area truly took off. Sugar cane quickly dominated the economics of the area and to this day remains a very important part of the Hinchinbrook economy. Tourism and support industries to the sugar industry sprang up and today the Hinchinbrook Shire is a diverse community of many industries.
These days Hinchinbrook Shire has a population of around 13,000 and is spread over 2,600 square kilometres. The major industries are sugar cane cultivation and milling, fishing, tourism, cattle raising, small cropping, prawning, crabbing, production of watermelons and pumpkins and the production of rare and exotic fruits.
The commercial centre for the area is Ingham, located 110km north of Townsville and 245km south of Cairns. However there are many other small towns that are important to the area and these include Cardwell, Lucinda, Halifax, Dungeness, Allingham (Forrest Beach), Taylors Beach, Abergowrie, Toobanna, Macknade, Bemerside, Long Pocket, Stone River, Hawkins Creek, Braemeadows and Forest Home.