Book your campsites well in advance; online at nprsr.qld.gov.au (where you can also read current warnings and download a trail map) or over the phone. Only forty walkers are permitted on the trail at a time, and it’s usually booked solid, especially during school holidays. Once you’ve got this sorted, book your ferry transfers.
The drier winter months (June–Oct) provide optimum hiking conditions, though it can rain throughout the year.
Hiking essentials include water-resistant footgear, pack and tent, a lightweight raincoat and insect repellent. Wood fires are prohibited, so bring a fuel stove. Kookaburra Holiday Park in Cardwell rents out camping gear. You’ll need to be completely self-sufficient and carry four litres of water with you per day. Although streams with drinking water are fairly evenly distributed, they might be dry by the end of winter, or only flowing upstream from the beach – collect from flowing sources only.
As for wildlife, you need to beware of crocodiles in lowland creek systems. Less worrying are the white-tailed rats and marsupial mice that will gnaw through tents to reach food; there are metal food-stores at campsites, though hanging anything edible from a branch may foil their attempts.