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Thread: Remote Islands

  1. #1
    mastamak's Avatar
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    Grant

    Remote Islands

    Mark's Antarctic post got me thinking about visits to remote and inaccessible places. Has anyone been to the Faroe Islands, Shetlands or St Kilda near Scotland or, Tristan da Cunha, St Helena in the Atlantic. How about Kermadec Islands or Macquarie and Heard Islands south of Australia or the Auckland Islands of New Zealand. I am sure there are plenty of such places. Please post any images here and tell us a bit about the island and the circumstances of your visit.

    To get started, here are some photos of Saibai Island that I took last week (9d22'27"S 142d38'02"E). This is almost the most northerly part of Australia (nearby Boigu takes that honour) but is is unique in that it is the closest part of Australia to another country being only 3.6 kilometres by sea from the Papua New Guinea mainland.

    Remote Islands

    Papuan people cross the short passage regularly for traditional trading and to shop at the island store. They set up a small market in the hope of selling some artifacts to the rare tourist.

    Remote Islands

    Remote Islands

    More sadly, Papua New Guinean people, will often bring their desperately sick children to the clinic on Saibai (sometimes treking for weeks from their home village). Once on Australian soil they become our responsibility and, as is often the case, have to be flown 1000km south to the nearest city, Cairns, for proper hospital treatment.

    Remote Islands

    The local people have a pretty laid back lifestyle

    Grant

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Remote Islands

    As someone from the islands off Scotland's north-west coast once said to a London-based interviewer on TV when asked how it felt to be so remote, "Remote from where? Remote from what?".

    Up in this part of the world, I don't think we'd think about Shetland as being remote. Wild, rugged, unforgiving .... rich (all that oil money), but not remote. Haven't been there for few years now.

    Have never been to St Kilda, though my partner, Sheila, has .... quite a number of years ago. That's takes more planning and is indeed probably in the 'remote' category.

    Thanks for this thread, Grant. Not only good images, but also very informative. I've learned stuff by arriving on this thread that I never knew before. And that always makes for a good day, in my book.

  3. #3
    dje's Avatar
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    Dave Ellis

    Re: Remote Islands

    Hi Grant

    Nice set of photos. The sunset works well and the others give an insight into island life in that area.

    This takes me back many moons ago when I did the original planning and design work for the first radio-telephone system installed by Telstra in the Torres St Islands. We chartered a light plane and visited all the major islands that had an airstrip, including Saibai, and selected locations for the installations including the radio masts. You can see the Saibai mast in the middle of the first photo. Installation of large steel masts presented quite a logistics challenge in that area with most materials having to be transported by barge and off-loaded by hand in the shallows !

    There are some lovely islands in the Torres Straits but I wouldn't put Saibai near the top of the list - it was quite swampy from memory. I also visited Daru on PNG on a separate project and it was just across the water from Saibai I think.

    Thanks for the memories !
    Dave

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