Matthew & Lauren Conquer Mount Elliot!

Written by Matthew Dunnill

(Matthew and Lauren are valued members of our Townsville Hike & Explore Community!)

Having locked in a hike along the Thorsborne trail on Hinchinbrook for November 2020, Lauren and I decided we best do some decent prep.  So after doing every trail on Pallarenda multiple times and alligator creek falls many weekends in a row, it was time to have a crack at something slightly more challenging. 

So……summiting a little hill called Mt Elliot was our goal. 

After lots of prep,  we set off from alligator creek car park at 6am on Saturday morning and shortly after came across 4 brumbies – we had seen plenty of horse manure on our many walks to alligator creek but had never seen an actual horse ! 

We arrived at the top of the main falls at around 9.30 and after a rest and admiration of the amazing views which never get boring no matter how many times you see them, we headed up the creek to around the 700m elevation mark following Michaels pink ribbons before heading off to the right and spent the next many hours going up and up and up.  Luckily for us Michael and his group had summited that morning and they had kindly trimmed lots of vines and branches making the route a lot clearer and slightly easier to follow. 

At around 5pm we arrived at 1080m elevation and camped the night.  She was a wet and windy night and after a few malfunctions with my new hammock, and Lauren sleeping in her tent on slope, we managed to get a few hours sleep. 

Up and off the next morning we headed to the summit and after confirming the height on the gps and poking around a bit we were satisfied we had made it to the top.  

The rain the night before made for a slippery and muddy trip back down the mountain and when we hit the creek again we stopped to replenish the water supplies.  The legs were weary and the enthusiasm was waning but with no option than to keep going we started the long slow walk back to the car park arriving at around 5.30pm. 

Lots of bruises, cuts, and sore muscles and bones but a great sense of satisfaction knowing that we had achieved something many have not.

Stats for the walk:

4 horses

Only 1 snake

Approx 30kms

Max Elevation 1220m

Pack weights 15kg each including water and wine

Approx 22 hours walking less breaks.

Essentials carried to the top:

2L cask of red wine – it wasn’t great but after a couple of cups full became a useful alternative to water for washing up the jet boils!


Do not attempt this if you are not fit, well prepared, know how to navigate and carry the appropriate gear.  Whilst the pink ribbons are a god send, in spots they are fairly spread out and should not be relied upon as your sole navigation aid.  PLB essential as no mobile signal 90% of the time.

About Us:

Matthew:   Did plenty of hiking as a teenager, and after a 20 year break, Covid got me back on the trail.   

Lauren:  Completed the Camino trail in 2018. 

Next Big Hike:

We are doing Hinchinbrook November 2020.

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