Starting from Christmas Creek Road, Lamington, this return hike takes you to the Stinson Crash Site, visiting Westray’s Grave midway through. The walk also features lots of creek crossings along with a couple of waterfalls, and involves a decent amount of rock scrambling/hopping. In February 1937 a Stinson Model A airliner disappeared after taking off from Brisbane. It had set course for Sydney, but was nowhere to be found as the people of Australia remained shocked. The news made it to Lamington after a week, and Herb O'Reilly told his brother Bernard about it, along with where he thought it could be. Bernard climbed to the summit of Mount Throakban after spending a long night in the dense rainforest, and luckily spotted a burnt tree in the distance. He hastily made his way to the area in 3 hours, and heard a ‘Cooee’(a shout originated in Australia to attract attention) that alarmed him. He found Joe Binstead and John Proud, surprisingly alive after 10 days of being stranded. Four other men were there, lying dead on the ground. The surviving two told Bernard that Jim Westray - the englishman which was also on the plane with them - had gone to get help. Bernard left the men to seek aid. As he was making his way along Christmas Creek, he unfortunately found James Guthrie Westray’s lifeless body. He had fallen over a waterfall. He was buried by Christmas Creek, and the memorial commemorating him is still there to this day. Explore the gorgeous scenery as you delve into the saddening story of these people. The journey may be challenging, but the experience is well worth the hassle. Keep in mind that you can stay at the campsite near the wreckage and make this a multiday hike. Grippy trekking shoes are a must. Long sleeves and pants may also come in handy, as the track can be overgrown in parts. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Warning This journey requires significant bushwalking experience, specialised equipment and navigation skills. Please ensure you and your group well prepared and equiped for this journey.
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
Turn sharp left onto Oaky Creek Road and drive for another 9.5 km
Turn right onto Christmas Creek Road and drive for another 22.6 km
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started From Christmas Creek Road(1.77km east of Wongari Eco Retreat), head towards the signposted metal gate along the dirt road. Pass through the gap next to the gate and head along the dirt trail. After about 190 metres(from the gate), veer right and pass the Christmas Creek to continue along The Stinson Wreckage Track.....
Directions & comments
After 50 m head through/around the gate.
After another 175 m veer right.
After another 1.3 km pass the waterfall (15 m on your left).
After another 910 m pass the waterfall (15 m on your left).
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. This little side trip takes you to the creekside grave of James Guthrie Westray. May he rest in peace. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip veer left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 265 m veer right, to head along Stinson Track.
After another 1.7 km turn left.
Then come to the camp site (6 m on your right).
(Stinson Memorial) Continue another 145 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 4.6 km to get back to the start.
This little side trip takes you to the creekside grave of James Guthrie Westray. May he rest in peace.
Directions & comments
After another 120 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 120 m to the main route.
Know the Hills, grading & facilities
The Stinson Wreckage
6 h 30 min, 9 h to 2 days
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Very steep and difficult rock scrambles (5/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
High level of bushwalking experience recommended (5/6)