The Torres Strait, separating Australia’s Cape York Peninsula from New Guinea, contains at least 274 small islands, most of which are part of Queensland, Australia.
The islands can be divided into several different groups. Here, the Near Western Islands can be seen at the top center. The islands in this cluster lie south of the strait’s midway point, and are also largely high granite hills with mounds of basaltic outcrops, formed from old peaks of the now submerged land bridge.
This group includes Moa (Banks Island), the second-largest island in the Torres Strait, and Badu (Mulgrave Island), which is slightly smaller and fringed with extensive mangrove swamps.
Moving southward, the Inner Islands (or the Thursday Island group), lie closest to Cape York Peninsula, and their topography and geological history is very similar. Muralag (Prince of Wales Island) is the largest of the strait’s islands, and forms the centre of this closely grouped cluster.