A lot smaller than most other islands in the Torres Strait, it is the administrative centre of the
Its only township covers almost all of the island, so practically the island is the town (by the
With a population of 2,500 it is by far the largest one in the area -
there is no other town of its size
between Weipa and Papua New Guinea.
All that also means it has a long history, and the kind of
history it has been, has lead to a
big mixture of many cultures.
You may feel that
there could be more things to see, but that's not
what this island is all about.
The thing I really like
about this island is its pace and its vibe, and the longer
you stay the more you have taken it in and realise what a great place
in the Kaurareg country, TI has been inhabited for a long
But its history is much the same as the surrounding islands' until thepearlingindustry.
Thanks to its
sheltered location, the population grew, and the administration of the
Strait was finally moved here from Somerset.
Originally it was a cruel head-hunting Kaurareg culture, but that
industry attracted people, so apart from Torres Strait Islanders today
there also is a
mixture of Aboriginals, Papuans, Japanese, Chinese, Malays, Filippinos,
Indians and many other nationalities.
Things to See on Thursday
Titui Cultural Centre
Torres Strait Islanders cultural centre is a relatively new building
that houses Islander art from all across the Torres Strait.
art from a lot of different islands, and some of it is up for sale.
Every now and again there are also song and dance performances.
There are many churches on Thursday Island, but this one was built in
memory of the disaster in 1890 when
the 380-foot mail ship Quetta sank near Albany Island, after it struck
a large rock not previously seen. 133 people were killed, the story is
inside the church.
Hill Fort and Museum
Hill is a beautiful hill with some great views over the rest of the
island, and the blue waters that surround it.
Up the hill is a big fort
with canons, built in fear of a Russian invasion in the late 1800s.
preserved, and under the steps there is a museum with
local and military history displays.
Island Cemetery is on a nice hill and great for a brief look and a
stroll, but even better if you have a closer look.
The oldest section
is the Japanese pearlers', and then there are the Anglican, Roman
Indonesian, Malaysian and others.
Along the main street, Douglas Street, there are some pearl and
souvenir shops, takeaway shops, and there is the Torres Strait Hotel - how
would you not have a beer in the northernmost
pub in Australia!
The other beauty is the Grand Hotel, up the hill
right opposite the jetty, more upmarket but beautiful.
Strait Cultural Festival
you happen to be around in late September, every second year there is
Strait Cultural Festival at the Ken Brown Oval in the south
western end of the town.
It lasts three days and is one of the greatest
events on and around the Cape York peninsula if you like indigenous
I lost my stormy weather photos - the skies of TI are not always
But late in the Dry season they often are, completely
cloudless, making the already blue waters looking
even more magnificent. Check out Thursday Island weather forecast that
is current day by day (page coming soon).
Thursday Island Walks to Other
the page were the typical touristic things to see on a day trip, but if you stay a bit longer, you can
Below is a round the
island walk that goes clock-wise around TI.
Starting from the Engineer's Jetty and Victoria Parade, you walk past
the Anzac Park.
After that you come to the churches
on Douglas Street - Quetta, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart,
and a few others.
To the western end of Douglas Street and past the hospital, you turn
onto Aubrey Parade and walk past the park on Bach Beach.
You walk past a mangrove area where flying foxes roost,
your way to Tamwoy.
In the southern end of Tamwoy you can take a side track to Green Hill - not the
way the tourists get there!
And the views are beautiful, over the surrounding waters and islands.
Another side track is the so-called Slaughter
... that takes you to the old Quarantine
... and the Cook
From there, along the Aplin Road, you come to the Thursday Island Cemetery.
It's famous for its graves of large amount of different nationalities,
including the section of the old Japanese
pearl divers' graves.
There is also the grave of Bernard
Namok, the designer of the Torres Strait Islander flag.
Continuing east along the coast you first come to the suburb of Rosehill,
then walk along the
beach to Waiben,
with the views of Hammond
In the eastern end of Waiben there is an unsealed track to Sadies Beach and Lions Lookout.
You could not drive through, but you can walk through all the way back
to the town, completing the circle around the island.
Up the hill is Lions
Lookout with views over Horn
Island from a WWII bunker,
... and down the hill is Sadies
Walking through takes you to the eastern end of the town,
... near Navy Wharf
and Bayo Beach,
... and the track to 'Milman
With its two windmills
always seen from most of TI and some neighbouring islands, Milman Hill
is two times higher than Green Hill.
While Green Hill
has a fort built in the late 1800s, Milman
Hill has a WWII defence facility.
There is no lookout point but you can always look for a spot to enjoy
the beautiful sunset of TI.
Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
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 the Cape), at least 40 best 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 Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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