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Thursday Island

The magical Thursday Island lies 39 kilometres from the northern Cape York side. This small island, with an area of just three square kilometres, serves as the government and industrial capital of the notable Torres Strait Group of Islands. TI, as most locals call it, is composed of hill ranges extending to about five kilometers. The tiny island is populated by about 35,500 people who are mostly descending from the Melanesian tribe.

The position of TI in the map accounts for the tropical climate that the island experiences all year round. The daily temperature would average to about 29 degree Celsius, which would normally peak at 31.4 degree Celsius in November and drop at 27.6 degree Celsius in July. TI experiences occasional rainfall, which would peak every January and drop every September and October.

TI has a rich history dating back millenniums ago during the Melanesian Torres Strait Islanders civilization.  The place was then called by the natives as "Waiben" when they thought the island to be a "dry place" because of the lack in fresh water. In 1887, Thursday Island acted as the Torres Strait Islands' administrative center.  The island then developed a township in the following decade because of the appointment of the government of Queensland.

In 1885, Thursday Island pearling industry was born. Workers arrived at TI coming from different Asian countries like India, Malaya and Japan. Looking for better fortune, these migrants started working on pearl farms. It was also believed that there were workers coming from the south Pacific who were forced to dive for pearls. This particular job was so complicated and dangerous that there were reports of death because of drowning and animal attacks. The pearling industry at TI still continues even at present, though not as lucrative as before.

In the meantime, Thursday Island fishing business gives a big boost to the place's economy. TI waters are gifted with a very diverse marine life, composed of various fishes and other delectable seafood’s. TI fishermen trade their catches to different islands and other regions in Australia, thereby supporting the livelihood of many locals.

Thursday Island tourism is the new industry that the government of Queensland is currently developing. The small island exhibits potentials in becoming one of the major tourist destinations among the Torres Strait Islands. The island can be easily visited by taking a short flight coming from Cairns going to either Weipa or Bamaga. From these two islands, tourists will only take a short ferry ride going to Thursday Island. But for a more direct trip, Thursday Island may provide a flight aboard their local helicopter.

All in all, despite its small size, Thursday Island promises several enjoyable activities to its visitors. Sport festivals and carnivals are frequently held by the locals. The island also has many sporting facilities for those who want some action and excitement. There are playing courts for sports like basketball, netball, football, tennis, aerobics, hash house harriers and even pistol shooting. Swimming on the beach is allowed, although a commercial resort on TI is yet to be established.  Nevertheless, there is one Olympic size pool where guests may take a dip.