How long would you recommend I plan for to see the highlights of the Torres Strait?
A common question and very difficult to answer, this really depends on which Island you want to visit and what experiences you want to do. As an ease of reference, to see each island you should allocate 1-2 night, you could reasonably do 1-3 experiences a day depending on availability but it is also important to have relax/free time to unwind.
Our packages are built around a balance of what we think best suits most travellers and take the hassle out of trying to arrange permission to enter. We can also tailor packages to include longer down times and additional islands and Experience.
Feel free to use our Contact Us page for further information.
Do you need pre-approved permission to enter the Torres Straits?
Short answer is, yes and no.
The following islands currently require a pre-approved permission to enter: Boigu, Dauan, Saibai, Badu, Mabuaig, Moa Island (including Kubin and St Pauls communities), Iama (Yam Island), Masig (Yorke Island), Poruma (Coconut Island), Warraber (Sue Island), Mer (Murray Island), Ugar (Stephen Island) and Erub (Darnley Island).
Due to the logistics of arranging so many moving parts we don’t recommend travelling to the above listed islands unless through one of Packages.
What clothing and footwear would you recommend?
Clothes: Torres Strait is known for its ever-changing weather. Therefore making sure you look up the weather prior to packing will help you grab the right gear for your journey. If its on the hotter side, lightweight gear such as t-shirts, pants, or shorts will work best. Whereas if on the colder side, a thick jacket and even a raincoat are recommended. Especially if you are planning on camping, as even in the hotter months, Torres Strait can get quite cold after dusk.
Shoes: Make sure you wear a good pair of walking shoes is an essential tip, uncomfortable shoes that can’t handle rocky terrain and thick sand is asking for a disaster. We suggest opting for runners, walking sandals, or even hiking shoes if you are going rougher. Making sure you wear in these shoes is also suggested.
Sun Gear: No matter what time of year it is, you are likely to get sunburnt while being outside. Making sure you follow the classic Australian phrase ‘slip, slop, slap’ which translates to slipping on a t-shirt, slopping on some sunscreen, and slipping on a hat, you should be fine while trekking about. Polaroid sunglasses will also help limit the glare from the water.
Food & Drinks: Drinking water is essential in the Torres Strait. Make sure to bring a backpack or travel bag with a large water bottle. Even bringing a couple of easy snacks is a good idea, such as nut bars or fruit, but make sure you don’t leave behind any wrappings or leftover food for the animals to discover
I’ve heard The Torres Strait has two distinct seasons. When is the best time of year to visit?
The traditional tourist season aligns with the cooler months from April to September.
From approximately April the roads from the Cape will begin to open and travellers can begin to access the region from the Northern Peninsula Area.
From January to May most rivers will be running and this makes creeks swimming and waterfalls a stunning option to your travels, but you need to be flexible with your time as the wet-season is subject to heavy rain with limited notice.
We love November and December, although very hot the winds drops and create beautifully clear water and amazing fishing, island hopping and camping opportunities.
Should I be concerned about insects or wildlife in the Torres Strait?
It shouldn’t be worrying you but it should be something you are aware of.
The massive mangrove system of PNG and Cape York mean all areas have the potential to have crocodiles. Sharks are common on reefs including larger sharks such as Tiger, Bull and Hammerhead.
Never swim in estuaries, check signs or ask locals about crocodiles or stingers. Always walk with a torch at night, shake out your shoes before you put them on if you’ve left them for a while.
Insect borne diseases such as Dengue, Ross Rover Fever, Barmah Forest Virus all occur in Queensland. A small number of cases of Japanese encephalitis have previously occurred in Torres Strait and Cape York. More information mosquito borne disease can be found here: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/diseases/mosquito-borne
Is it safe to drink the water from taps?
In most cases water is collected from rainwater, weirs, wells, bores and the ocean and is conveyed to water treatment plants. Chlorine is added to most drinking water in the Torres Strait to kill harmful germs but you should check this to be sure.
The outer islands of the Torres Strait have limited water supplies, which are highly dependent on annual rainfall and underground stores. When reserves are low, the option available to communities is water provided through portable desalination units.
If in doubt we recommend drinking bottle water which is readily available across the region.
I’m interested in the ancestral history and heritage of the area. Can you connect me with an indigenous guide?
Yes! We are regional leaders in this area and work extensively with our tour and experience base to tailor the best options available to your specific requirements.
We are proud that the majority of our network is indigenous owned and operated. The stories, customs and traditions in the region are incredible and a trip to the Torres Strait would not be complete without experiencing these stories and journeys.
What essential items should I bring on my Torres Strait adventure?
This is based on the Experiences you wish to undertake but the region has is only 9 degrees from the equator so broad brimmed hat, water bottle/s, sunscreen, it is also recommended to wear light weight clothing which is designed to keep you cool.
Walking shoes, bathers, sarong, camera, torch, towel and normal travel items for a trip to a tropical remote location are all good ideas. A small day pack for carry the above and enabling hands free walking is also a great idea.
What is the Torres Strait Biosecurity Zones and what does it mean for my travel?
Torres Strait islands are a potential pathway for the movement of exotic pests, weeds and diseases present in countries very close to Australia. This poses a major threat to the economic, environmental, social and cultural assets and values throughout the Torres Strait and potentially to adjoining regions (including Cape York Peninsula) should they make their way through the Torres Strait.
The Torres Strait Biosecurity Zones is several zones throughout the region which controls the movement of goods to ensure biosecurity risks are managed. For tourists, an example of what this means for you is that if you purchase a drum on an Outer Island you need to have it cleared by an Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) QIS Officers prior to leaving. AQIS Officers are found on most islands and this is a fairly easy process.
Further information can be found at http://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/australia/naqs/moving-goods-torres-strait
If i am arriving by vessels what are my pre-arrival obligations?
If you have operated a vessel over seven metres, in either the Torres Strait protected zone or the Torres Strait permanent biosecurity monitoring zone, you must report to the department.
This report must be submitted no more than 96 hours and no less than 12 hours prior to arriving at your first mainland destination. For further information please visit the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment information page on Shipping and Yachting in the Torres Strait.