WELCOME TO HORN ISLAND, TORRES STRAIT.
Welcome to Horn Island in Torres Strait. This island is waiting
for you to explore her natural beauty and her hidden stories. The
island is 53km2 with a population of 650, and is a relaxing 15 min
ferry ride away from Thursday Island. Horn Island has all the atmosphere
of an outer island village, whilst enjoying many and varied modern
Matthew Flinders gave the island its European name in 1802, when
he approached the island in his ship the 'Investigator' and spied
Horn Hill, 120m above sea level. He gave the hill and the island
its name based on the geographic shape of the hill. The Kaurareg
are the traditional owners of the island, and call their island
Gold was discovered on Horn Island in 1894 by John Smyth and party.
In the next 20 years, 6,000 ounces of gold was discovered, till
the gold became harder to extract, and the old miners moved on.
An open cut gold mine was established in 1988, however closed after
World War Two had a large impact on the island, as the closest advanced
operational airbase to New Guinea was built here in 1940. Approx
5000 servicemen / women served on the island between 1940-1945.
The Japanese bombed the island eight times and flew constant surveillance
missions over the area.