In fact it's one of the smallest ones.
But thanks to its sheltered location between other islands it has been inhabited for a long time and today it is the most populated and most visited one of all Australian Torres Strait Islands.
It is a lively place well known for its multiculturalism and colourful history. And there are a few interesting things to see and do.
It was first inhabited by Torres Strait Islander People, who are thought to have arrived in the area about 2000 years ago. The first Europeans arrived a few centuries ago, and pearling, which brought in Asians, particularly Japanese, started in the 1960s.
Gab Titui Cultural Centre
This Torres Strait Islanders cultural centre gives you an insight to their vibrant culture, mainly expressed in art. There are exhibitons that illustrate their legends and myths, and performances where you can enjoy the region’s songs, music and dance.
Quetta Memorial Church
There are many churches on this island, but this one was built to commemorate the disaster in 1890 when 133 people were killed after the 380-foot ship Quetta sank when it struck coral reef. There are a few items from the ship and the whole story to read.
Green Hill Fort and Museum
Green Hill is a beautiful hill with some great views over the rest of the island, and the blue waters that surround it. In the late 1800s, the fort was built here in fear of a Russian invasion. It is very well preserved, and under the steps there is an interesting museum with local and military history displays.
Thursday Island Cemetery
This is one of the most interesting cemeteries in the whole Australia. Just like Broome's famous pearlers' cemetery, this one also has a lot of Japanese graves, as well as Anglican, Roman Catholics’, Indonesian, Malaysian and Torres Strait Islanders’ graves.
It is large enough an island to have a town-like centre with a supermarket, shops, a shire council, a tourist information centre, a hospital, a bank, a post office, a few restaurants, cafés, art galleries, a boat club, a bowls club, and a few motels and hotels. Like elsewhere in Australia, hotels are pubs.
Accommodation includes Federal Hotel,
Grand Hotel, Jardine Motel, Rainbow Motel, Royal Hotel, Thursday Island Motel and Torres Strait Hotel. There is no camping on the island, which is doable on a day trip if you don't want to stay in hotels.
You can get to the island by Peddell's Ferry from Seisia. It is not cheap at $55 one way (2010), but it's worth it. The ferry departs Seisia Jetty every second morning during the low season, and every morning during the high season. The trip takes 30 minutes and passes by other Torres Strait Islands.
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