Cairns Visitors Information Guide
Tropical Far North Queensland

Thursday Island

Thursday Island situated approximately 39 kilometres off the top of Cape York. T.I, as the islands' more affectionately known by the locals, is nestled in the protective embrace of the Prince of Wales group of Islands in the Torres Strait and is a hilly Island of almost 5 kilometres, it's multi-cultural population numbers around 4000.

Thursday Island holds some great Australian History from playing an important role in WW II, acting as the defence centre for Australia and the near-by Horn Island being a strategic air-base to the traditional inhabitants of this group of Islands that stretch from Cape York to the PNG coastline. These Torres Strait Islanders (being the correct name for this culturally unique group) lived, fished, traded and where possible on the islands tended vegetable gardens, all for them and their families to survive by. They were masters of the sea and it's many products. The first ever contact between the Islanders and Europeans wasn't until 1606 when the Spanish navigator, "Torres" sailed through the Strait which was subsequently then named after him.

Thursday Island Markets

Today Thursday Island owes its present day identity to the rough and tumble of the early pearling industry (now declining), (although some pearls are still produced from seeded culture farms) which turned this quiet administrative centre into a cosmopolitan township. An interesting blend of Torres Strait culture, European modernisation and a strong indo-pacific influence has now shaped this remote pearl into a fascinating destination. The main industry now is Fishing, Cray-fishing, Prawning and Trochus.

Rich cultural history of the islands

Thursday Island is an Island that sets it's own pace, allowing you to relax without the constant demands of 'City Living'. Here you can enjoy some of the comforts of home but on a much smaller scale and with some real culture thrown in. There is an Art Gallery, Museums,Markets, Restaurants where you can sample the local delicacies including the famous 'Painted Cray', Cafes, Bakeries, Shopping Facilities, Hotels, Motels, Seafood Factories, Tackle stores for the anglers and much, much more.


home | top | back