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Mark @ Hinchinbrook Island

Written by Mark Burgess

Ask me if I want to walk around the block and my answer is no. Ask me if I want to walk 5 kilometres to find a box in the bush full of stuff I don’t want and I’m ready to go.

As usual that’s the premise of my adventure to Hinchinbrook…. To find a geocache. 
For the uninitiated Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor adventure that is happening all the time, all around the world. To play, participants use a smartphone app and/or a GPS device to navigate to cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered—there are probably even some near you right now.
With Aussie geocaching reviewers posting that new caches would not be published until the COVID-19 situation improves I was resigned to ending my 48 month first to find streak. Last week however I spotted a new listing at Zoe Falls, a rare virtual geocache (one that does not have a container or logbook to sign as it’s in National Park but asks you to complete a task – a photo in this case). 

So BenM70 (geocaching user name) and I planned to launch my Quintrex Freedom Sport from Lucinda and the winds and tides looked favorable for our attempt only for the government to state on the eve of the adventure that boating was banned 🤦🏻‍♂️. Cue the obscenities and dejection.

Thankfully however a few hours later the Transport Minister backflipped and advised that boating in pairs was OK providing social distancing rules were applied. A logical decision in my opinion as being out in the middle of the ocean and then on a remote trail is about as isolated as you can get and so beneficial for both mental and physical health. 

Up early with the green light, we made the nervous drive to the ramp and were relieved to be out on the water without incident. It was a choppy ride over to the Jurassic Parkesque, tropical paradise that awaited us. We moored up at Zoe Bay, waded into the shore and made the pleasant, easy walk up to the waterfall. 

After briefly checking out the bottom of the falls we continued upwards to our destination. The short rope section adding to the Indiana Jones feel. As we emerged from the lush rainforest we marvelled at the view before getting the snaps required for our mission. With the ‘formal duties‘ complete we could relax, spending the next couple of hours exploring the area and swimming in the pools at the top and the bottom. 

An amazing destination that deserves all the accolades it receives. They are justified. 
Zoe Falls has been on my radar for a while but it was the lure of a geocache that brought me to this spectacular spot. Just as it had been with the Hervey Range Tunnels, South Sentinel, Wolfram Creek, the Town Common and Cape Pallarenda to name a few. 

If you’re intrigued check out geocaching.com and the Townsville Geocaching Facebook group. 
If you’d like to see more of our day I’ve made a short video which can be viewed here https://youtu.be/AAJGV3GGsK4

Cheers Mark

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