Saibai Island


Saibai Island is one of the northernmost Torres Strait islands.

While it is not the northernmost inhabited one (Boigu is),



... it is the one that is the closest to the PNG coast.


After Badu, it is the fourth largest of all of the Torres Strait islands.

Council to the Pier

Like Boigu, Saibai is a low lying island formed by PNG river sediments deposited in the bottom of the sea.

saibai island council

Like Boigu, most of the island is coastal mangroves and inland swamps, with the community in the north western end.

Being low, it is prone to floods, so there is a seawall on the beach front.
 
saibai island esplanade

Like on some other islands in the Torres Strait, the floods happen during the wet season king tides,

saibai island waterfront low tide

... but on Saibai the floods and the fresh water shortage at the same time, changed the history ...

saibai island queensland

... when the first Torres Stait islander people decided to come and settle in the Northern Peninsula Area.

saibai island waterfront

It is a beautiful stroll along the Main Road,

saibai island weather

... past the community centre,

saibai island community centre

... the church,

saibai island church

... boats parked in the front of the homes,

saibai island seawall

... and the mudflats at the low tide.

saibai island low tide

Most of the time along the beach front,


saibai island street

... sometimes not,

saibai island main street

... and there is some interesting fishing gear,

saibai fishing gear

... and then you get to the pier.

saibai jetty

The piers on these islands are beautiful,

saibai pier

... and are always a busy place.

Pier to the End

Like on Boigu Island, you see the neighbouring Papuans coming across from PNG.

saibai boat ramp

While there are Papuans also living (in the western half of the community) on Saibai Island,

saibai island barge ramp

... the ones coming on the boats are from Papua New Guinea - they can get permits to come over if they live in the so called Treaty Villages.

png treaty villages

And you can see on the above photo just how close the PNG coast is - just 4km from Saibai Island.

saibai sunset

West of the pier, the Main Road continues past more boats,

saibai low tide

... the Mt Cornwallis in the background which is Dauan Island (part of Great Dividing Range as opposed to Saibai);

saibai dauan mt cornwall

... and finally, a creek with mangroves and a track that goes to the cemetery.

saibai mangroves


Other Side of the Council

Back at the council building,
 
saibai council

... the Main Road also goes to the eastern side.

saibai monument

Past some monuments,

saibai picnic shelters

... some picnic shelters,

saibai seawall

... another boat ramp, and another creek with mangroves.

saibai boatramp

The neighbouring, uninhabited Kauamag is a mangrove island that is separated from Saibai by a narrow channel.





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