CAIRNS | BAMAGA | PAJINKA | THURSDAY ISLAND | CAIRNS
An ancient, vibrant and living culture thrives in the Torres Strait. Immerse yourself in a 5 day visit to both the Torres Strait and the Northern Tip of Australia. From history to culture, to the stunning landscape, this tour offers an insight to this beautiful part of the world.
Begin the day with an early breakfast at the lodge. Embark on a cultural tour to Pajinka, guided by knowledgeable locals and Indigenous guides. • Learn about the history of Cape York Peninsula and the establishment of Bamaga as you travel through the region’s scenic landscapes. Explore historical sites including the ruins, graves, and memorial of Somerset, an early European settlement on the Peninsula. Visit a WWII wreckage site and learn about the area’s wartime history.
Continue your journey through the northern rainforest, home to unique plant and animal species. Enjoy insights and stories from Traditional Owners if available on the tour.
Arrive at Pajinka, the northernmost point of the Australian mainland. Embark on a 20-minute unpaved walk along a rocky outcrop, enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Keep an eye out for marine life like turtles and dolphins. Return from the walk and have a packed lunch at a nearby beach, soaking in the natural beauty of the area. Points of interest visited during the tour include Lockerbie Scrub, Pajinka (the Tip of mainland Australia), Somerset, Fly Point, Croc Tent (a souvenir shop), DC-3 WWII plane wreck, and Seisia Jetty.
After the tour, return to your accommodation in the late afternoon. Have the evening at your leisure. You can relax, reflect on the day’s experiences, and enjoy the lodge’s amenities. Your itinerary provides a perfect blend of relaxation, cultural exploration, and natural beauty. The Indigenous-led cultural tour to Pajinka promises to be an insightful and memorable experience, showcasing the rich history and diverse landscapes of Cape York Peninsula.
Begin your day with breakfast at the lodge. Prepare for a day of adventure as you depart for a day trip to Fruit Bat Falls. Leave the sealed roads behind and head south for a unique and invigorating experience. Along the way, make viewpoint stops at Umagico and Injinoo townships, offering insights into the local communities and culture. Visit the historical Mutee Head, where you can learn about the migration story of Saibai.
Cross the mighty Jardine River on a local ferry, with the option to stay in the coach during the crossing. Continue your journey on a 4WD path that includes the Old Telegraph Track, a historic route that takes you to the magnificent Fruit Bat Falls. Arrive at Fruit Bat Falls, a spectacular natural attraction. Enjoy a relaxing picnic in this pristine corner of the world and take a refreshing dip in the Falls’ crystal-clear waters. It’s the perfect opportunity to cool off after a dusty journey.
On the way back, you’ll have the chance to learn more about the traditional uses of plants and herbs from an Indigenous guide. Discover how these elements are integrated into traditional medicine, food, shelter, and customs. Points of interest visited during the tour include the Jardine River crossing, Fruit Bat Falls, Mutee Heads (story of Saibai migration), and Umagico and Injinoo viewpoints.
Return to your accommodation in the late afternoon. • Enjoy another delicious dinner at Cape York Peninsula Lodge. • Spend your evening reflecting on the day’s cultural and natural experiences.
Start the day with breakfast at your accommodation on Thursday Island. Participate in a ‘Welcome to Country’ given by an Elder in the community, offering a warm introduction to the local culture.
Afterward, take a ferry ride to Horn Island, a ten-minute journey. You’ll be met by Vanessa, your guide for the day. Explore the historical significance of Horn Island, a key location during WW2. Walk in the steps of those who served on the island during the war. Visit underground rooms, gun emplacements, magazines, the airstrip, aircraft, slit trenches, and more. Learn about Horn Island’s role as the second most attacked location in Australia during WW2, hosting approximately 5000 Australian, American soldiers, airmen, and Navy personnel stationed on Thursday Island.
Enjoy the informative and entertaining commentary provided by Vanessa or Liberty, your guides, who mix archival records and personal stories from veterans. Visit sites connected to Vanessa and Liberty’s WW2 Conservation Project, including the archaeological dig site and the newest addition at King Point. Receive a historical colour
book as a souvenir during the tour.
The tour also includes a visit to the Torres Strait Heritage Museum, either before or after the tour.
After the tour, return to the ferry for your trip back to Thursday Island. Experience a comprehensive and intimate guided tour of Thursday Island, learning about its rich history and culture from a born and bred local guide, Dirk Laifoo. Dirk provides a rich commentary that is both entertaining and enthralling, offering a deeper understanding of the Torres Strait’s history and Ailan (Island) Life. This part of your itinerary brings you closer to the historical significance of the region, particularly during WW2, and offers insights into the culture and heritage of the Torres Strait Islands. It’s an opportunity to learn from locals and experts, adding depth to your travel experience.
Start the day by visiting the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island. This contemporary art gallery and cultural keeping place showcases the rich cultures of the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area.
Explore a changing program of exhibitions featuring sculptures, headdresses, lino-cut prints, wood carvings, paintings, and jewellery made from local materials. • The artworks on display illustrate the unique Indigenous cultures of the surrounding communities, highlighting myths, legends, and the deep connection to the sea and land.
Afterward, visit Rosie Wares Art Studio on Thursday Island. Rosie Wares is a self-taught Textile Designer & Printer, renowned for her unique Lino-Block printing style. Her inspiration comes from her culture, the maritime history of the Torres Strait, and the stunning island environment.
Rosie’s artistic journey began as a hobby in 1986 and has evolved into a professional career, with her work featured in numerous exhibitions across Australia and overseas.
Island Stars offers a special cultural experience that explores the traditions of both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal cultures. Join their cultural dance and storytelling show to immerse yourself in an unforgettable journey through Ailan Kastom (Island Custom). The show brings together the world’s oldest living cultures, combining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions unique to the region. Experience traditional dance, storytelling, songs, and music that showcase the spiritual and historical aspects of the cultures.
Enjoy a traditional island lunch or dinner, including damper, along with hot tea, coffee, or water.
Following the show, take the ferry to Horn Island and then a coach to the airport for your departure. Your Day 5 offers a deep dive into the vibrant culture and art of the Torres Strait Islands.
From the Gab Titui Cultural Centre to Rosie Wares Art Studio and the Island Stars cultural experience, you’ll gain a profound appreciation for the history, traditions, and artistic expressions of the region.
This final day ensures your trip ends on a culturally enriching and memorable note
THE TORRES STRAIT, A TROPICAL ARCHIPELAGO
The Torres Strait sits above the Australian mainland. A tropical archipelago of 274 islands. Green gems in a vast blue sea – island stepping stones – scattered between Queensland and Papua New Guinea. Home to descendants of ancient seafarers, skilled navigators who keep their culture alive and maintain their ties to land and sea.
Only 17 of the islands are inhabited and on the 1 Strait Day tour, you visit two the most populated ones – Horn and Thursday Island. This provides those travellers short on time, the ability to engage with people and culture, enrich with experiences and leave with memories of vast blue seas, tropical islands, traditional dancing and our fiercely and proudly defended northern frontier.
If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, please contact us at [email protected].au, about creating the perfect bespoke tailor- made journey for you, or your own small group with family or friends.
The Straits is an incredible destination with so much to offer, from stunning natural beauty to rich cultural experiences. By signing up for our newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about exclusive deals, special offers, and upcoming packages and tours that will help shape the future of this incredible region.