Linking the Cape with the Torres Strait

Ferry to Thursday Island

“Fantastic crew and large comfortable ferry, made the crossing all the more enjoyable.” Anna & Rob

Peddells Thursday Island Tours is a local indigenous family owned company based on Thursday Island in Torres Strait.  Peddells provide a year round scheduled passenger ferry service connecting the little port of SEISIA at the top of Cape York with the  commercial and administrative hub of Torres Strait, Thursday Island ( known as Waibene, also locally as T.I.).

Perched on an international shipping lane, the island is steeped in history.  Once known as a Port of Pearls during the heady days of the  pearling industry, later playing a pivotal role during WWII and today continuing to develop as a busy trading port and regional administrative centre.  The island’s story is intertwined with the rich cultural history of Torres Strait, a place that has to be experienced first hand, an  essential experience and must see for visitors, an island township a close knit community showcasing the region’s traditions and culture through art and dance at local cafes, public art, galleries and private studios, here are a few recommendations to get you started:

If you are a Cape York 4WD visitor then make sure you go beyond the Tip of Australia and catch Peddells ferry to T.I. making the most of your trip north! The ferry trip to T.I. i s just over an hour!  For those with a valid Concession Card the ferry fare offers a significant discount! Click on the link below to check your concession card is accepted under the QGovt-non-translink operator concession card list (2023 concession card list valid 2024). Some thrifty Cape York campers have opted to visit T.I. across two days as two daytrips, the other option is to overnight, while there is various accommodation on the island it is popular so best to book a hotel in advance.

CONCESSION CARDS QGovt valid to 2023 peddells ferry service thursday-island-approved-concession

Waibene, T.I. is a township of around 3000 and most employment is within the many government agencies due the island’s strategic location.  Being a small remote town where business hours may vary from time to time, it’s best to keep an open mind, open heart and adopt the lifestyle of the island’s and go with the flow.  If you have the time and budget, plan ahead and overnight.

The origin story; Peddells Thursday Island Tours has it’s roots in the boat building and pearling industry, working for local pearling companies as shipwrights, lugger crew and exporters, keen to establish their own business they established Peddells Boatbuilding Enterprises in the 1970’s which eventually morphed into charter boats, passenger ferries and tour business, most recently adding a ticketing office and gift store on Thursday Island Jetty, the curated offerings in the store promoting the works of Torres Strait and PNG artisans.

The vision to establish a regular passenger ferry connecting T.I. to Cape York, focused on improving life for community members by replacing  the need to cross the expanse of ocean in small open dinghies with large comfortable, purpose built ferries. With a wealth of knowledge of these seaways Peddells put to work their generations of maritime experience to design and build large modern passenger vessels specifically suited to variable local conditions and able to service the region year round, the latest two vessels being MV Torres Magic and MV Strait Magic.

Peddells Ferry Service has over 85 000 ocean crossings between Thursday Island and Seisia and continues to train local crew promoting them to their own command.  With generations of local maritime knowledge and traditional roots in Torres Strait, Peddells have an enduring commitment to providing the best possible service now and into the future.  For the most comfortable and enjoyable way to cross from Cape York with Thursday Island,  make Peddells ferry and Thursday Island guided T.I. tour your first choice.

“Essentially ocean crossings are at the heart of Peddells TI Tours DNA, family ancestry spanning from Inner, Western and Central Islands of Torres Strait.”

RESERVATIONS ESSENTIAL! Please ticket online. 

Departure Points : Engineers Jetty, Thursday Island and Seisia Jetty on Cape York.

Distance : Thursday Island to Seisia 30 km

Trip Duration : 1 hr 10 mins approx

Luggage limit: 1 x 15 kg per passenger WH&S measure – No Glass Bottles allowed onboard

The schedule may vary and ferries may depart once full and prior to the advertised departure time.

We recommend you visit our Book Online facility to check availability on the day you wish to travel and arrive 15 mins prior to departure.

Off peak Season Ferry Schedule Indicative only: October to May – Mon/Wed/Fri

Peak Season Ferry Schedule Indicative only: June 6 to end of September – Mon to Sat

There is no ferry on Public Holiday Monday 7th October 2024.

Board 15 mins prior to departure

Please Book and Pay Online



Additional Information and Condition

  • Animal Carriage Policy

    • Except in the case of a person travelling with a guide dog, all other animals (e.g. dogs and cats) must be appropriately in your own suitable cage and a carriage fee is applicable.
    • You will be required by D.O.A. (quarantine) regulations to obtain the necessary paperwork for any animal travelling south from Thursday Island to Seisia.

    Terms and Conditions
    By purchasing a ticket, Sea-Cat Charters Pty Ltd ACN 010 551 925 (trading as Peddells Thursday Island Tours) passengers agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions of travel.

  • Fare Conditions

    • Pre-payment is required to confirm a seat on these services. Reservations are essential.
    • In the event of a cancellation 24 hrs notice is required, the 30% administration fee will be incurred. Fares cancelled after this time are non-refundable (no changes permitted, fare is forfeited due to late notice).  Group bookings are required to provide 72 hrs notice in case of cancellation.
    • Special and Discounted Ferry and or Bus Tour Fares have special conditions, these fares can not be cancelled, changed or refunded.  Name changes not permitted.
    • Boarding is strictly 15 minutes prior to departure late arrivals may not be permitted.
    • If you are travelling as a group or with other travellers please indicate this to us well in advance in order for us to endeavour to place you together.  This is not always possible due to logistics but every attempt will be made. 
    • In the case of postponed travel, a new date and time must be nominated by the customer no less than 24 hrs prior to travel so that the reservation and credit may be recorded in the booking system and on the ticket, the new date must be within 6 months of the original booking date.  Fees apply.
    • The fare for a passenger no-show, (a passenger who neither changes nor cancels the reservation and fails to make his scheduled departure) is deemed forfeited at the time of the no-show and is non-refundable.
    • Changes and cancellations should be emailed
    • Passengers who have booked return travel, yet are deemed to be no-show on one leg of their journey, will automatically have the return leg of the journey cancelled unless they contact Peddells office in 24 hrs in advance of no show on the first leg or a return journey
    • Card Payment Fees.  A card payment fee applies per passenger per booking when you pay by Credit Card. The current Card Payment Fee, applicable per passenger per booking is payment card transaction fee 2.0 %. Should this booking be made manually (email or phone) a booking fee of $15 pp also applies.
    • Booking Changes, Cancellation, Refunds. If you have booked and paid via a third party ie. authorized agent and the payment of your fare has not yet been forwarded on to us, please note that you will be directed to deal direct with the agent. Please initially contact us so we may check the payment status of your booking.
    • To comply with Queensland Transport regulations, all concession card holders will be asked to present their card either when purchasing their ticket at our office or, alternatively, upon boarding the vessel. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in Peddells securing the balance of payment prior to departure. Concession fares from 1/4/14 yet to be validated.
  • Travel Conditions

    • The passenger shall present themselves at the ferry a minimum of fifteen (15) minutes prior to their service’s scheduled departure time. The master and crew reserve the right to refuse carriage to person arriving after this time. The gangway is withdrawn 5 minutes prior to departure in preparation for steaming away at the departure time.  This may vary due to tides and weather and other circumstances. The ferry is under no requirement to wait for late arrivals, late being later than 15 mins prior to departure.
    • Peddells staff reserve the right to refuse travel to any passenger with an invalid or illegible ticket.
    • The passenger shall not board, or alight from, or attempt to board or alight from the ferry whilst it is in motion, or without permission from the crew. Civil penalties may apply.
    • Department of Agriculture restricts the carriage of certain items from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait to Seisia and mainland Australia. It is the passenger’s responsibility to contact D.O.A. to check that the items they are carrying are not prohibited.
    • Please check carriage of goods on south bound travel direct with Biosecurity as this is an evolving situation.
    • Luggage and freight will be carried in accordance with Peddells Luggage Policy and Peddells Dangerous Goods Policy.
    • Animals and pets are carried in accordance with the Peddells Animal Carriage Policy and Australian Quarantine regulations.
    • Children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult throughout the journey.
    • Passengers travelling with children under 5 years of age for whom a fare has not been paid may be required to seat the child on the passenger’s lap during the voyage.
    • To protect the privacy of fellow passengers, passengers are required to seek consent before filming or photographing Peddells Ferry or Tour staff / crew, contractors or other customers/passengers. Should a passenger fail to follow this rule, the operator may confiscate and retain devices such as phones or cameras.
    • Activities such as cycling, roller-skating, skateboarding and other such potentially hazardous behavior are strictly prohibited within the boarding area or onboard the ferry. Criminal charges may apply.
    • It is illegal to consume alcohol on public transport in Queensland.
    • Spot checks are carried out by Police and Biosecurity You risk a fine if restricted items are found in your luggage or freight. The ferry company reserve the right to search luggage should the need arise.
    • Smoking is prohibited on public transport in Queensland.
    • Verbally or physically abusive or threatening behaviour of any nature is strictly prohibited onboard the ferry. Criminal charges may apply.
    • Bus departure times for passengers also travelling Seisia to TI on the ferry that morning, will be advised enroute to Thursday Island. Others should contact Peddells during office hours of Mon to Fri 9am to12 noon and 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm and no later than 24 hrs prior to confirm their departure time.  Or email
    • Please note TI BUS TOUR time on on tickets is indicative and we reserve the right to change any Tour departure time prior or on the day of travel.
    • The passenger shall not perform upon any musical instrument, distribute any advertising materials or offer any product for sale within the onboard the ferry or tour.
  • Schedule Alterations, Disruptions and Cancellations

    • Services are subject to weather conditions.
    • Minimum numbers apply to some tour services.
    • Connections with other services are not guaranteed.
    • Peddells reserve the right to alter schedules, rates and/or substitute vessels/vehicles and utilise the services of external operators and contractors at any time without incurring any liability.
    • Fares, times, schedules and routes are subject to alteration, without prior notice, at the discretion of the Company
    • The Company shall not be liable for any loss or damage which may arise in the event of cancellation of this service or the abandonment of the service during the course thereof (should the Company or any of its servants or agents decide that such abandonment is necessary) or of any deviation or delay in any service arising from any cause whatsoever. In any such event the Company will not be liable in any way for consequential damage including, but not limited to, the cost of accommodation or for any alternative means of travel which may arise and any additional expense so arising shall be the liability of the passenger.
  • General Liability

    • Sea-Cat Charters trading as Peddells Thursday Island Tours is not a common carrier and reserves the rights to refuse to carry any passenger, baggage or goods at its discretion.
    • As a passenger, you agree that you will accept the delivery of services from Sea-Cat Charters trading as Peddells Thursday Island Tours, at your own risk.
    • The Company accepts no responsibility for any injury and/or death of a passenger travelling on this service whether caused by negligence, malfunction to the vessel or other cause except to the extent that exclusion of such liability is prohibited by law.
    • We strongly recommend that passengers take out travel insurance to cover luggage and personal belongings as well as any unforeseen circumstances that may arise (including cancellation fees, missed connections, medical and curtailment expenses, early departure from holiday due to death or illness etc).
    • Peddells Thursday Island Tours accepts no responsibility for loss of, or damage to luggage or freight, or for consequential damages arising therefrom whether sustained during off-loading or transportation, and whether arising from negligence, malfunction of the vessel or other cause, except to the extent that the exclusion of such liability is prohibited by law.
    • All luggage must be stowed in accordance with the crew’s directions and must not restrict access to safety equipment, aisles or emergency exits.
    • Peddells Thursday Island Tours reserves the right to refuse to carry luggage that does not comply with our policies, or due to limited available space on our vessels.
    • Passengers wanting to travel with any items falling outside of this Luggage Policy, or with excess luggage items, are to contact our friendly team to check if carriage is possible
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    Sea-Cat Charters Pty. Ltd. trading as Peddells Thursday Island Tours.