The Stinson Wreckage
6 h 30 min, 9 h to 2 days
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.