Nature Hike in Paradise: 5 Must-Do Nature-Based Activities on Orpheus Island

Morris EscapesTeam 3·1 Jun, 2024

At 11 kilometres long, and built on volcanic rock, Orpheus Island rises from the Great Barrier Reef in a symphony of granite-studded headlands and sandy arcs. Moreton Bay ash and wattles proliferate across the island while there are also pockets of rainforest, sheltered bays and grasslands.

Part of the Palm Islands group, Orpheus Island was gazetted as a national park in 1960 and during your stay at Orpheus Island Lodge, nature-based experiences co-exist with luxurious accommodation, degustation dinners, and pampering spa treatments.

Make these five nature hikes part of your stay.

#1 – Low-Tide Walk
With the Great Barrier Reef just offshore, you don’t even need to slip into your swimmers to have an encounter with its marine residents. When the tide is low, don a pair of rubber booties to explore the flats and keep an eye out for stingrays and crabs.

Low-Tide on the island

#2 – Nature Hike at Pioneer Bay
A short boat ride away from Orpheus Island Lodge, you can join a guided nature hike from Pioneer Bay (tide dependent) up to a viewpoint on the northern end of the island.

#3 – Self-Guided Lookout Nature Hike
Choose your own adventure with an early morning nature hike – climb to a vantage point that looks out over Hazard Bay and the mainland, or to the southeast where you can see the entire Palm Island Group. Look up and you’ll likely spy ospreys and egrets dancing on the breeze.

You’ll also spy the lodge’s 810 glistening solar panels – the eco power source that can save up to 450 litres of diesel fuel in a day.

Orpheus Island Lodge’s 810 glistening solar panels

#4 – Hinchinbrook Island Rainforest Nature Hike
Looking like something out of Jurassic Park, Hinchinbrook Island is known as Munamudanamy by the Bandjin and Girramay peoples – a rugged land of cloud-covered mountains cloaked in rainforest and eucalypt forest.

In its entirety, the 32-kilometre Thorsborne Trail is a challenging hike with only 40 permits handed out at one time. But organise a boat charter from Orpheus Island to Hinchinbrook Island and you can spend half a day on one of Australia’s most renowned nature hikes without lugging all your gear.

Usually guided by Orpheus Island horticulturist, Jen Truasheim (who has lived on the island for 22 years), you’ll experience the diverse topography as you move between lush rainforest, wild swimming holes, waterfalls and lookouts – like the popular Zoe Falls.

#5 – Picnic Bay Beach Clean Up
Combine a nature hike with protecting the Great Barrier Reef when you take part in a beach clean up at Picnic Bay. With over 40,000 pieces of plastic estimated to be floating in every square kilometre of ocean, it’s one of the easiest ways to play your part in preventing injury to marine life.

Occasionally staff will lead group clean ups but you’ll also find a Tangaroa Blue container set up at Picnic Bay for you to pop in any plastics found during your island ambles.

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