Tiwi Islands

The Tiwi Islands are a must-do on any Northern Territory itinerary. Comprising Bathurst and Melville Islands, with a population of around 2500, the Tiwi Islands are only 80km north of Darwin and now very accessible via the 2.5 hour SeaLink ferry service.

The Tiwi Islands are known as 'the islands of smiles'. The Tiwi people are known internationally for an individual style of art including carvings and bright textile designs. Prized by collectors, many Tiwi artists have exhibited around the world.

The SeaLink ferry service operates to Wurrumiyanga (formerly known as Nguiu) on Bathurst Island. No permit is required to visit Wurrumiyanga, however if you venture further afield, please contact the Tiwi Land Council for your permit as the Tiwi Islands are private land.

Wurrumiyanga boasts three art centres, the culture museum, the old Catholic mission precinct, as well as Pukamani (burial) poles in the cemetery. To get the best from your visit, book one of the tours where you will have a local Tiwi guide to show you their community.

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Download the visitor guide.