Torres Strait

Clustered above Cape York, the virtually untouched 274 Torres Strait Islands, including Thursday and Horn Islands are home to thriving Aboriginal and Torres Strait cultures and a rich World War II and pearl diving history.

Things to do

Visit the Gab Titui Art Gallery on Thursday Island to admire the vibrant headdresses and artwork of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Or, tour the islands by boat with a private charter.

Visit the community markets or pick up a souvenir from the local shops on Thursday Island. You can also buy artwork and traditional trinkets from Bayo Blue Gallery.

Taste authentic Japanese cuisine and take a grand tour of a working pearl farm on Friday Island or join an emotive and history-soaked walking tour on Horn Island to explore a WWII airbase and retrace the veteran’s steps.

You can also visit a local crayfish factory and see one of the Torres Strait’s largest exports industries in action. And, if you’re looking for more adventure ideas, check out this must-do list or follow this local’s guide.

Plan your holiday

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Holmes Reef Dive Site

Horn Island, Torres Area
Holmes Reef is the closest Coral Sea Reef to Cairns and often visited on special expeditions to the Northern Coral Sea. The reef is actually split into two sections, known as East Holmes and West Holmes, and both have large lagoons with safe anchorages.

RMS Quetta

Punsand, Torres Area
One of Queensland’s most spectacular and least dived shipwrecks is the RMS Quetta. In 1890 the RMS Quetta, 120 metre passenger and cargo ship, was on a voyage from Brisbane to London when the vessel hit an uncharted rock north of Cape York.
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How to get there

Flights depart daily from Cairns to Horn Island and will have you touching down in less than two hours. From there it’s just a 10 minute boat ride to the capital, Thursday Island.

But if you’ve got time to spare (and a sense of adventure!) grab the keys to your 4WD, tee up your favourite driving playlist and hit the open road. Check out this 7-day drive itinerary from Cairns to Cape York for inspiration. Once you reach the tip, catch a ferry from Bamaga to Thursday Island.

Where to stay

Choose from three accommodation providers on Thursday Island, all boasting waterfront views of the harbour. These are the Grand Hotel, Jardine Motel and the Torres Strait Motel.