Today after a long sea voyage from West Papua we finally arrived in Australian waters for our first Australian destination, Thursday Island. After a quick passport check by the Australian officials we boarded the Zodiacs to head ashore and see what we could find on this sleepy little island nestled in the Torres Strait.
Our first stop on our walk was the local culture center, which had many interesting exhibits, including artworks by the local Torres Straight Islanders and some fascinating displays on the rich WWII history of the area.
Next we stopped briefly at the Quetta Memorial Cathedral and admired the brilliant stain-glass artworks and the assortment of relics from this tragic shipwreck that foundered only a few miles away.
We then ascended the road to Green Hill Fort where we were rewarded with spectacular panoramas of the surrounding islands and took many photos of the six-inch guns that were still standing guard over the surrounding seas. Some of us took the opportunity to go deep into the fort and were rewarded with a fascinating museum full of old pearling memorabilia.
All too soon our time on the island had expired and we caught a Zodiac back to the ship to enjoy another delicious lunch from Chef Lothar and his galley team.
In the afternoon we headed back ashore to the northernmost tip of mainland Australia, where we all had the opportunity to get a photo proving our visit. For some this was a momentous occasion as it was their seventh and final continent to visit on their travels around the world.
Many of us also took this opportunity to stretch our legs and a long walk along the pristine beach was a beautiful way to end our first day in Australia.