When To Visit
The Torres Strait has two seasons: wet and dry.
To avoid stinging jellyfish (affectionately known as stingers) and the rain, it’s best to visit during the dry season, from May to September. We believe the seasons of the Torres Strait are best described using Torres Strait Islanders own Traditional Ecological Knowledge which recognise four distinct seasons throughout the year:
- Naigai – Naigai is the season of hot dry weather and calm winds. The constant wind of Woerr eases during this time and the seas become calm. During Naigai, the sky remains red for a long time at sunset (Kulkanathan), indicating that the weather will be Muthuru (fine).
- Zei – Zei is the season between Naigai and Kuki. It is a short season, when the wind comes from the south-west and blows in the afternoon. Zei will blow stronger closer to the full moon and the new moon. The Zei wind is described by Masigalgal as a ‘jealous wind’ that ‘fights’ (or alternates) with Naigai and Kuki.
- Kuki – The coming of Kuki season is indicated by the build-up of Begai (big storm clouds) together with lightning in the far north-west. When Kuki arrives, the wind blows from the north-west and brings heavy rain and squalls with hot and humid weather.
- Woerr – The Woerr season is named for the Woerr wind (also called Sagerr) which blows from the south-east and is the predominant wind throughout most of the year in the Torres Strait. Woerr is considered by Masigalgal to be a forceful wind with a strong personality- it can blow from April to September.
The timing and duration of these four seasons varies from year to year and for generations, Torres Strait islanders have observed signs in the winds, weather, sea life, plants and animals that tell them when one season is expected to change to another.