Horn Island


Horn Island is the second largest island in the 'inner' Torres Strait.

It is a lot larger than Thursday Island and has a lot less population - only about 700 inhabitants.


A lot of people do visit it, but they are mostly locals - because it's the central airport for the Torres Strait, with regular flights between Cairns and all other Torres Strait Islands.


   horn island queensland

For a traveller, there is not a lot,
unless you are really into the local Second World War history.

   horn island

There is the township - Wasaga,

   horn island wasaga

... with its museum (with the WWII as well as some local Kaurareg history),

   horn island museum

... the Horn Island resort,

   horn island resort 

... and the Wongai hotel (also the only pub on Horn Island).


   horn island hotel

Outside, there are a few nice spots and beaches,

   horn island beach 

... and there are the Second World War sites.

   horn island wwii relics

They say it was the "forgotten isle" until the Second World War, when it became the most strategical site for an air base that would be close to Papua New Guinea, while large and flat enough for an airstrip, and still in Australian waters.

   horn island wwii gun pit

Japanese soon realised the importance of its location - if they could get hold on this air base they could attack locations in southern Australia.

   horn island wwii slit trench 

They attacked the island in seven raids, making Horn Island the second most attacked after Darwin.

   horn island wwii war bunker

Luckily they did not get it, and what we have today is some airplane wrecks, gun pits, fuel drums,
slit trenches and other relics and remnants sitting in the bush.

   horn island war bunker  


And more importantly than anything we have the airport, which probably wouldn't have been here if it wasn't for the WWII.

   horn island airport

It was built in 1940, and ended up having a runway too short for large American military aircraft, so they tried to extend it, but with no luck built another airport in Bamaga (which is still there but not in use for passenger flights).





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