31/7/13 – Up early to be in Seisa for 7.30am ready for the boat trip to the Island. We went on the Peddlers boat which apparently was only 6 mths old. Trip takes just over an hour and was a pretty smooth ride going over and was also fairly full. We were divided into 2 groups, some with pink stickers others with green stickers to show which bus time tour you were on. As it turned out all the pink ones were the ones who were doing the 2 island tour, which included Horn island, had the morning run at 9.30am. We were doing the 11.15am one which gave us time to look around the town area.
There were more shops here than we have seen in over a week, but still not a lot. Petrol was cheaper here than at Seisa. Place was clean and the people friendly giving you big smiles and waves. The place has a big history of pearl trade and diving but there isn’t a lot we saw for sale.
The bus tour lasts for around 1.5hrs in an air conditioned bus 🙂 the driver gives a bit of a history lesson about the place as he drives around the island before we went to Green Hill Fort. Green Hill Fort was built as part of Australia’s defence to protect Thursday Island and Australia from the north. It was eventually decommissioned in 1927. Green Hill is a small grassy hill at the western end of Thursday Island. There are some amazing views to be had up here.
Underground are several buildings with many displays and a museum. It was very interesting and well worth stopping to explore the fort.
Pearl Diving was very big in the past. Divers risked their lives every time they went down to look for pearls. On board the boat we watched a short movie on the diving history of the area, it was informative and moving.
Next stop was the cemetery where many of the early pearl divers are buried, including a memorial to the Japanese. Hard way to earn a living.
We had an hour or so to fill in after the tour so had lunch, checked out the air conditioned arts and cultural centre, well worth a look. Another walk down the street, found the laundry that sold Chinese food.
Back to the boat with a rough trip home as the water was choppy, with some large swells.
We finally got a bit of a sunset. Yeah.
Click on the link above for a larger version in Google Maps of the days travels.