Strait Islands is the northernmost area in Australia.
There are about 300
islands, all the way up
to the border of Papua New Guinea.
But the southernmost ones, what we call the 'inner' islands,
Hammond, Prince of
Wales, Friday, Wednesday, Goods, Possession and Roko.
are not easy to get
to, you've done well if on your trip you visit
Thursday, and very well if you add Horn Island.
If you want to visit a
pearl farm, there are Friday (from TI), Turtle Head and Roko (from the
The Inner Torres Strait Islands
The inner islands group is the only one that you are likely to visit on your Cape York trip.
Island - Waibene Thursday
administrative centre of Torres Strait. It
is far from the largest one, but is the most visited and the most
populated one. It is known for its
multiculturalism and interesting history. With a
population of 2,500, it is really like a small town, lively
restaurants. It has some
great views and blue waters around it, and there are a few things
to see and do.
Island - Ngurupai Horn
Island is the
second largest of the 'inner' islands of the Torres Strait, with a
population of 700. While it's much larger than TI, there is less for
There is the town of Wasaga with its museum, resort and
hotel, and outside are some nice beaches, the airport and the island's
Second World War history.
Island - Keriri
The third largest, and the third most populated of the inner Torres
Strait islands is
It is a hilly island
with some good views
rock formations. There
is a small township with
a beautiful beachfront, and there is the famous Hammond Island Church.
of Wales - Muralug
The rest of the islands have hardly any population or
facilities. Prince of Wales - by far the largest one of all the inner Torres Strait
few coastal inhabitants in the 'village' in the northern end of the
island, but no jetty, and nothing else except wilderness. In the southern end is Port Lihou Island.
Island - Gealug Friday
Island is a working pearl farm - called Kazu Pearls, and
the Japanese owner Kazuyoshi Takami and a crew of backpackers who help
with different tasks.
pearl farm tour includes the shop, a
farm operation presentation, and a seafood lunch.
Island - Palilug
Between Hammond and Friday, the little Goods Island
has a jetty, a
couple of old forts from the time of a feared Russian invasion, a few
Second World War relics (battery site with gun emplacements, semi
underground operation rooms) and shipwrecks, a boat ramp, and a
lighthouse at its highest point, to which you can walk.
Island - Maururra
Wednesday Island is a little bit away from Hammond, Goods, Friday, TI
and POW - as you cross the Flinders Passage, the sea gets a little
Just like the near-by Tuesday Islets, Wednesday
Island is uninhabited, and the only thing to see is a lighthouse.
Inner Torres Strait Islands
There are also the ones close to the mainland, and there are many more of these than listed here.
Island - Bedanug
But probably the most interesting one when it comes to European history
is Possession Island - in the northern end of which Captain James Cook
claimed the eastern coast of Australia to England in 1770.
There is a
monument to mark the event; and on the other side of the island there
is also some gold history.
Island has a working pearl farm, like Friday. Roko is the closest one to
the mainland so handiest to visit if you don't go to Thursday or any
other Torres Strait Islands.
Like Friday it has a tour, and the Roko
Island tour includes a pearl farm operation demonstration, and a stroll
around the island.
Island Turtle Head Island is another pearl farm, a little more remote and less visited but that only makes it even more interesting.
The hosts are super friendly and show you around, they put on a pearling
show and have a shop with some very beautiful pearly creations.
Albany Island Albany Island is the one north of Somerset Beach, it used to be a pearl farm but is now a base for some great fishing trips.
There is also a walk to the other, northern side of the island, past
some historical graves to some beautiful white sand beaches.
Crab Island Crab Island is far west, past Mutee Head and Jardine River mouth, almost half way between Seisia and Vrilya Point (waterways).
There is nobody there, but at certain times of the year you can see turtles, large flocks of pelicans, and crocodiles.
Outer Torres Strait Islands
Away from the coastline and
the inner Torres Strait islands, there are the outer ones. There are four different
groups, and each one differ a little bit from the others: the western, the
northern, the central, and the eastern group (while the inner islands are also called the southern group).
The Western Group
The western group is mostly more like the inner islands, with two very large ones.
Badu - Mulgrave Island Badu is the third largest of all the Torres
Strait Islands, and is most similar to the inner islands in many ways.
The people are very friendly, the community is large (compared to the other outer islands), and after all - there is a pub!
The community is in the south eastern end of the island and is home for 1,000 people.
Moa - Banks, or Mua Island Moa is a little larger - the second largest of all of the
Torres Strait Islands after Prince of Wales. Right next to Badu, it is also a similar one to the inner islands in many ways. There are two communities - the eastern Kubin, and the southern St Pauls, with a population of 450 in total.
Mabuiag - Jervis
Island, Gumu Mabuiag - a smaller island north of Moa and Badu, is a very restricted one where you are not allowed to go to a lot of places.
The community is in the southern end and has a population of 250. In the north of the fairly hilly island is a national park but you are not allowed outside the community.
The Northern Group
The northern group is right next to
the Papua New Guinea coastline, and these are large mangrove islands
that have some PNG influence.
Saibai Island Saibai, famously the island where the first NPA islander settlers came from, is the one (out of the Australian islands) that is closest to the PNG coast. With
a population of 500, the community has a beautiful long beach, narrow
streets and the pier and a boat ramp where the PNG boats arrive.
Just west of Saibai is the hilly Dauan - you can see its peak, Mt Cornwallis, from the Saibai streets.
Boigu Island Boigu
is the northernmost inhabited Australian island, but because of the
shape of the PNG coast, is not as close to Papua New Guinea as Saibai
You can still see the mainland, and like on Saibai there are close ties
and regular trading with the coastal Papua New Guinea villages. With a
population of 300, it is a friendly island and so are the people from
the PNG Treaty Villages.
The Central Group
The central group are mostly coral cay islands, and they are very friendly ones.
Iama - Yam Island Yam Island is the only one in this group to not
to be a real coral cay, meaning you cannot walk all the way around it along the beach like on Warraber and Poruma.
It has thicker vegetation and is partly rocky, more like Erub and Mer,
but in the western side is a beach and the 350-people community.
Poruma - Coconut Island Poruma - a real coral cay, and super friendly - just like Yam and Warraber (and others by the way).
You can walk around the whole island along the beach, and the waters
are probably the brightest blue that I saw (but then that can depend on
the weather). The 250-people community is one of the smaller, located
in the western end of the island.
Warraber - Sue Island Warraber is another friendly coral cay, which you can walk all the way around on the beaches.
It has super cute small streets and street signs, and a bunch of very friendly people.
The 250 people community is in the eastern end, while the western side of the island is uninhabited.
The Eastern Group
The eastern group are mostly hilly volcanic islands (except Masig which is a coral cay).
Masig - Yorke Island Yorke Island
is also said to be the easternmost one of the central group, mainly
because it's a coral cay (its location really is in the
east and not in the centre). It is larger than Poruma and Warraber, has a teardrop shape, and
has another island - Kondall -
in its eastern, pointy end. The 250 people community is in the eastern
side of the island, and the western half is uninhabited.
Erub - Darnley Island Erub, Ugar and Mer are the volcanic group of the islands, all hilly and larger than the above coral cays. Ugar
has the smallest population in the Torres Strait, with only 80 people -
while Darnley and Mer have some of the larger, with 400-450 residents.
Erub, aka Darnley Island, is most famous for its art and has
communities in the southern end.
Mer - Murray Island Mer is by many considered the most special
one - with its dugong shape, the most easterly location and the fact
that it consists of a little island chain that also includes Daua and
It's hilly, quite densely vegetated with lush, green rainforest in places, and the beach community is in the northern end.
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Thursday and Horn Island Not rated yet Done both Horn and Thursday Island - stayed 2 nights at Horn.
The WW 2 tour by Vanessa was very special she is an exceptional person with all the research, …
this 50 pages
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contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
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to stay (general info), what
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and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
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swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
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