Horn Island

Horn Island is one of the populated Torres Strait Islands. with nearly 600 residents and an area of 53 km2.


Gold mining in the 19th Century lead to an influx of the British. In the 20th century the area prospered due to the pearling industry. Horn was a military base during the World War II and heavily attacked by the Japanese. All islander were evacuated. Today the islanders are back.

Horn is the air gateway to the area, especially to the neighbouring Thursday Island - the major administrative centre of the island group.

Get in

Horn Island Airport (IATA: HID) has a small terminal, with indoor and outdoor waiting areas. There is a free phone there to contact both accommodation options, both ferry operators, and the island taxi. There is a small kiosk that sells confectionery and drinks.

From Thursday Island, there are two scheduled ferry operators with regular daytime passenger services. You can take a tour of Horn and Thursday Islands from the mainland at Seisia.

Get around

Car rental is available from the Wongai Beach Hotel, they charge $132/day plus 20c per km travelled.



There are ATMs in the supermarket and the Wongai Hotel. The supermarket and the hotels both accept credit cards with no surcharge. The ferry accepts cash on board, but you can book on their website 24 hours in advance and pay by credit card.

There are very few other places to spend your money.


There is a cafe (of sorts) in the supermarket, that sells breakfast, lunch and coffee.

The Wongai Hotel serves lunch and dinner every day, with a limited range on any day, but specials depending on the day.

If you let the time go past 8pm without organising dinner, your choice will be limited to chips or peanuts from behind the bar.


There are two accommodation options on the island. Both offer motel style rooms, air conditioning, swimming pool, and are within 5 minutes walk of the wharf. The Wongai has nice gardens, with the owner an avid gardener. The attached pub is the centre of a small social scene on the island. The Gateway hosts the museum, and has an open air bar area surrounding the pool.


There is good 3G reception in all settled areas of the island and the airport. Wi-Fi is offered at the Wongai Beach hotel for a charge.

Go next

Horn Island is a hub for aviation in the Torres Strait Islands. Easiest next hop is the ferry over to Thursday Island. To head off the beaten track, get your permit from the Aboriginal Lands Council, and contact West Wing for your flight.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.