This page has some of my tips for walking the Thorsborne trail. Please read my general backpacking page first.
Q - How many days should I book to walk the trail?
I'm sure the super fit could do it in a day or two but the average reasonably fit person can expect to need at least three nights.
I'm a slightly overweight 49 year old male who walks a few hours three times a week and mainly sits at a PC. I think I could do it in three days but not if I took detours.
Both my trips have been planned for five nights on the island and I'd like to add an extra day next time to allow more time to explore and take photos.
Q - Which direction should I take? North to South or South to North.
I walk North to South but lots of people do it the other way. The reason I do it that way is you have more options if you find walking difficult.
If you start from the south you would normally have a short walk to Mulligan falls. You aren't supposed to stay more than one night there so day two is a long walk to Zoe bay.
Also on the last day you may not have the option of climbing Nina peak. You probably could but most people are too worried about missing the boat.
By starting at the north you can either walk to Nina bay, little Ramsay or Banksia bay. You can drop your pack and climb Nina peak. In effect you have a choice of six different walks depending on how you are coping.
If you have the time you are allowed to stay an extra night at any of these camping grounds.
At the start of the walk your pack is the heaviest so it is nice to have a few easy walks and a rest day before doing the longer hillier sections.
For example if you have booked five nights and are unfit you can walk to Nina on day one, to Ramsay or Banksia on day two and rest on day three. By day four you have eaten a lot of your food and can walk to Zoe well rested and with a lighter pack than you started with.
Q - Do I have to do the whole trail?
No, you can certainly arrange to be picked up or dropped off at Zoe bay. There may be other ferry options I don't know about. Zoe has a creek that small boats can access. Other bays would probably require a beach landing.
Q - Is the walk dangerous.
Yes, there are some risks. People have been seriously hurt and I believe there have been fatalities.
The biggest danger that I know off is slipping on rocks. In particular the beach rocks in the tidal zone can be very slimy. It pays to avoid this area as much as possible.
The rocks in the creeks can also be quite slippery. After rain the creeks can be quite dangerous to cross.
I've observed at least five creek crossing techniques.
1. Just walk through (my style).
2. Rock hop to keep their shoes/boots dry.
3. Remove boots and walk barefoot.
4. Remove boots and wear diving boots.
5. Remove boots and wear socks.
One extra variation is to use walking pole(s) as well.
Q - Can I walk alone?
You are allowed to walk alone and people do. I don't really recommend it. If you must then make sure you take an EPIRB. The analog EPIRBs are being phased out and I don't know if the new one will be supplied for free again.