Tiwi Islands (NT)

Take Darwin on a ride through the water to find a safe sanctuary. The Tiwi Islands promise to be a destination like no other, with a vibrant Aboriginal arts community, fishing lodges, coastal landscapes with stunning sunsets.

The Tiwi Islands contain two main islands-Bathurst and Melville, 80 km north of Darwin. Most of the residents are of Aboriginal descent and on cultural and wildlife tours, you can meet some of them.

The Tiwi Islands people are renowned for their traditional lifestyle, beautiful artworks, colourful fabrics and textiles, plus an exuberant passion for soccer. Take a day tour from Darwin to the Tiwi Islands to find out why the ‘Island of Smiles’ is dubbed.

Annual football and art sale

On the Tiwi Islands, Australian Rules football is close to religion. Every year in March people from far and wide come for the grand finale and art football. It’s a hugely popular and very special occurrence, and the only day of the year that travelling to the islands doesn’t require permits.

Take the chance to have a truly wonderful day out. The place of sale is Bathurst Island’s Tiwi Concept Art Centre. Jilamara Arts and Crafts and Munupi Arts and Crafts are also on sale on Melville Island.

On Sunday, sales start at 9 am and finish around 1 pm when the football begins.

This is a day you will not forget and too much smiling will damage your cheeks.

Art and culture

The Tiwi people are renowned for their art that hangs in galleries all over the world. You can see art decorating schools everywhere, carved burial points, the white wooden church altar and the famous art centres of the islands.

Visit an art centre to meet the artists, watch them paint, knit, sculpt and carve behind their distinctive pieces and hear the storey behind them. You can buy works of art directly from the artist at fair prices.

Sit down with the ‘morning tea ladies’-a party of elders from Tiwi women serving damper and billy tea. Learn how to weave pandanus and get an idea of what daily life is like. Then watch music and a smoking ceremony, and find out the significance behind these rituals.

(Article by northernterritory.com)

Tours to Tiwi Islands

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