Australia Papua New Guinea Protected Zone - QLD

  National Parks,Reserves


DEG: -10.233107 141.917496
DMS: 10º 13' 59.18" S 141º 55' 2.98" E
UTM: 54 L 8868671mN 600485mE
Altitude: -4.6m


Place Type

Reserves - National Parks,Reserves


760.91kms NorthWest of Daintree

Address & Contact

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The Torres Strait lies off the far north-eastern tip of Australia and is a 150 kilometre wide passage between Cape York Peninsula and the southwest coast of Papua New Guinea. It comprises a series of 100 islands, reefs and cays with approximately 22 inhabited by about 8000 people. Thirteen of these inhabited islands are located within the Protected Zone. Thursday Island, which is about 25 kilometres from the Australian mainland, is the government administrative centre for the Torres Strait.

The Torres Strait Treaty (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 1984 gave effect to the Torres Strait Treaty (the treaty) in Australian domestic law. The treaty sets out the agreed position of Australia and Papua New Guinea in relation to sovereignty and maritime boundaries in the Torres Strait. The islands over which Australia has sovereignty continue to be regarded as part of Queensland.
The treaty is administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and recognises that Australia is obliged to allow certain persons movement into and around the Torres Strait area (passport and visa free). Specifically, Article 16 of the treaty seeks to ensure that both signatories in the administration of their respective immigration, customs, quarantine and health laws, do not ‘prevent or hinder free movement or performance of traditional activities in and in the vicinity of the Protected Zone by the traditional inhabitants.’

In this context, the treaty established an area of the Torres Strait known as the Protected Zone (PZ) to acknowledge and protect the traditional way of life and livelihood of the traditional inhabitants. The PZ covers the majority of the islands in the Torres Strait; however it excludes the Thursday Island group of islands.
'Traditional inhabitants' as defined in the treaty are people who live in the protected zone or 13 prescribed villages in the adjacent coastal areas of PNG and are citizens of either Australia or Papua New Guinea. These people maintain traditional customary associations with the areas or features in and around the protected zone, in relation to their subsistence and or livelihood or social, cultural or religious activities. Traditional activities, as defined by the treaty, include activities on the land (such as gardening, collecting food and hunting), activities on water (such as fishing), ceremonies or social gatherings (such as marriage and funerals) and traditional trade and are consistently reviewed to allow for the changes that naturally occur in cultural activities.
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Closest Weather Station

TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Horn Island
Distance from Australia Papua New Guinea Protected Zone 56.4km SE
Mean Max. °C30.930.530.430.429.929.328.829.
Mean Min. °C25.
Mean Rain mm387.5467.0358.2228.071.315.

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