Map - Saibai Island

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Saibai Island

Saibai Island is an island of the Torres Strait Islands archipelago, located in the Torres Strait of Queensland, Australia. The island is situated north of the Australian mainland and south of the island of New Guinea.

Most of the island is held under native title, apart from some government infrastructure and historic buildings.

The island was formed by alluvial deposits from Papua New Guinean rivers.

Saibai Island is a fairly large low-lying island located 8 km south of the Papua New Guinea mainland. Close to the north of Saibai is the uninhabited Kauamag Island, separated from Saibai by a channel that is 7 km long, between 180 and 650 m wide, and nearly blocked at its east end.

The island is about 21.8 km in length by 5.2 km in width, and is flat, predominantly mangrove swamplands, with the highest point being 1.7 m above mean sea level, and prone to flooding during the wet season, which coincides with king tides. A bitumen airstrip allows year-round access.

Saibai is part of the north-western island group of Torres Strait, which consists of Saibai, Dauan and Boigu islands. Saibai lies approximately 5 km off the coast of New Guinea and is approximately 20 km long and 6 km wide. The island is an average of 1 m above sea level and consists largely of mangrove fringe, flood plain and brackish swamps. The island is vulnerable to flooding and rising sea levels, particularly during the wet season when around 2 m of water regularly falls onto the island. During the dry season however, the island experiences drought-like conditions.

The main village of Saibai, in the northwest, has a population of 171. The second village, Churum [Surum White Sand], in the southwest, numbers 128.


Map - Saibai Island

Latitude / Longitude : 9° 24' 27" S / 142° 41' 19" E | Time zone : UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  


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Saibai Island-European contact-StateLibQld 2 394325 Saibai women help unload produce for the general store on Saibai Island, 1952
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StateLibQld 2 394325 Saibai women help unload produce for the general store on Saibai Island, 1952
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Saibai Island
Saibai Island

Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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