Your definitive guide to bushwalking and hiking around the Whitsundays (Part 2)
As per Part 1 of our bushwalking guide, if you enjoy a good walk in nature, the Whitsunday Islands are definitely the place for you.
There are over 40 tracks and trails of varying lengths and difficulties and this is your definitive guide when it comes to walking the region.
Part 1 covered the Whitsunday Islands National Park which includes Whitsunday Island, Langford Island, Hook Island, Haslewood Island and Border Island.
In Part 2, we will cover the Molle and Linderman Islands National Park including South Molle Island, Long Island and Linderman Island.
Part 3 will wrap it up with the Conway National Park showcasing walks around the Conway Ranges and Mount Rooper.
Before exploring the tracks, here are a few important safety tips and guidelines:
- When embarking on your bushwalking adventure, never walk alone and let family/friends know your planned trek.
- Make sure you plan your hike based on your own fitness levels.
- Ensure you have suitable footwear, insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat. Travel light, but ensure you have emergency supplies, snacks and especially plenty of water.
- Check tide-times and most importantly – have fun!
Walking Track Grade Meanings:
South Molle Island
Sandy Bay – 4.2km one way. Walking time: 2hr.
Set your anchor down in Bauer Bay and once ashore, you’ll find the entrance to this and other trails towards the right of the beach, near the new jetty. This walk is relatively smooth and easy and will take you through patches of native grasslands and scattered grasstrees. The beach part of this path is lined with coastal she-oaks and weeping casuarinas.
Mount Jeffreys – 4km one way from Sandy Bay. Walking time: 2hr.
– 3km one way from Bauer Bay. Walking time: 1–1.5hr.
If you’re looking for sensational views, this is the walk for you, as Mt Jeffrey’s is South Molle’s highest point! Take this gradual slope up to the top and you’ll be rewarded with amazing panoramic views of the Whitsunday islands and mainland.
Spion Kop – 4.2km one way from Sandy Bay. Walking time: 2hr.
– 2.3km one way from Bauer Bay. Walking time: 2hr.
Another track that provides incredible views, you’ll traverse rainforests, grasslands, an open eucalyptus forest and pass through an ancient Ngaro stone quarry (an area of shattered rock high on the hillside) on your way up to lookouts that overlook the old resort and Whitsunday Passage. Definitely one of South Molle’s must see’s!
Balancing Rock – 2km return. Walking time: 1hr.
While this walk isn’t too difficult, it’s worth noting that some of the rocky crevices can get slippery in the wet, so please be careful. Once you reach the top, you’ll realize why this is called Balancing Rock – as it’s effectively a huge balancing rock atop a rocky outcrop and, fun fact, this is the only place you can view South Molle’s only lake!
Lamond Hill – 4.4km one way from Sandy Bay. Walking time: 2hr.
– 3.3km one way from Bauer Bay. Walking time: 1.5hr.
Named after writer Henry Lamond, who’s articles helped publicise the island back in the 1920’s and 30’s. For this walk, enter from the western end of Bauer Bay and head uphill. The climb is moderately steep, but once atop the hill you see what Lamond was talking about when you see the view of the mainland’s ranges.
Paddle Bay – 2.2km return. Walking time: 1hr.
Meander down from Bauer Bay Beach to a coral beach, where, at low tide, you can walk to Mid Molle Island. It’s a good thing this walk only takes an hour, because you’ll only have about four hours (two hours before and after low tide) to complete the walk, otherwise, you might find yourself getting quite wet!
Long Island Circuit – 3.5km circuit. Walking time: 1.5hr.
Take some time to check out Happy Bay via the Long Island circuit. There are some spectacular views and, while you’re here, Happy Bay is also an excellent spot for kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding.
Pandanus Bay – 900m return from Palm Bay. Walking time: 30min.
– 1.5km return from Happy Bay. Walking time: 1hr.
Casually stroll across the narrow island neck to a rocky beach lined by native pandanus palms.
Humpy Point – 1.2km return from Happy Bay. Walking time: 30min.
– 2.6km return from Palm Bay. Walking time: 1hr.
This walk is a lovely meander through a dry, shady rainforest thicket where you will experience an intriguing plant community!
Sandy Bay – 5.8km return from Palm Bay. Walking time: 3hr.
– 8.2km return from Happy Bay. Walking time: 4hr.
The only thing better than going for a scenic hike is when it leads you to a secluded beach. Make a day of it and pack a lunch for this one so you can picnic and swim before heading back!
Mount Oldfield Track – 7.2km return. Walking time: 3.5hr.
Lindeman Islands National Park features a variety of vegetation types including rainforest in sheltered pockets, open forest in drier areas, eucalypt forests, thick vine forests, grasslands and wetlands – all of which you’ll get to see on this steady climb up from the jetty. And if plants aren’t your thing, you are also treated to magnificent views in all directions along the way.