Just 80-kilometres north of Darwin sits the Tiwi Islands or what it’s better known as, ‘the Island of Smiles’. Take a short trip across the water from Darwin and visit this unique haven on your next top-end holiday. The Tiwi Islands consists of two main islands, Bathurst and Melville. These islands are made up of mostly Aboriginal descendants; therefore, the islands are famous for celebrating and supporting the local Indigenous traditional lifestyle. With coastal landscapes, breath-taking sunsets, and many cultural and wildlife tours, the Tiwi Islands will have you become one with nature in no time. Spend your time fishing, canoeing, swimming or relaxing on the beach in this destination like no other. With a strong Aboriginal art scene and a love of football and tradition, a visit to the Tiwi Islands will have you connecting with the locals and exploring a rich history and culture. Consider adding a Tiwi Island day trip to your next Northern Territory holiday and discover why these stunning islands are known as ‘the Island of Smiles’.
Delve into Darwin and the Northern Territory’s epic Top End on this 8 day journey of discovery. From exploration on Tiwi Island, dreamtime legends to an Arnhem Land scenic flight, we have everything covered. We’ll marvel at the termite mounds of Litchfield National Park, see the Aboriginal rock art site of Burrungkuy and cruise the Yellow Water wetlands in Kakadu, take a thrilling Tom Curtain’s Katherine Outback Experience cruise and get a real taste of life at Seafood on Cullen Bay in Darwin.
Start your holiday with a Tiwi Island tour and learn about a modern-day Aboriginal community, including their art, bush tucker and history. There are a number of tour options available, including ‘Tiwi Tours’ hosted by local art centre, Tiwi Designs.
A Tiwi Island Tour is also a great cultural activity, and includes a ferry from Darwin to Bathurst Island followed by a traditional welcome ceremony with morning tea. You’ll visit the local museum and old mission precinct and then return to Tiwi Designs for lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll take part in an art session with a local artist and get to take home your own art piece. Learn more about Tiwi culture by witnessing a smoking ceremony and learning how the local Tiwi women weave baskets and paint.
After a Tiwi Island Tour, pop into the Tiwi Design Aboriginal Corporation located on Bathurst Island. This centre was established to promote, preserve and enrich Tiwi culture. Here you’ll find a diverse variety of artwork ranging from ironwood carvings, ceramic, bronze and glass sculptures to ochre paintings, screen printed fabrics and limited edition prints.
If a day tour isn’t enough, consider staying on a Tiwi Island overnight tour to relax and unplug in a seriously remote location. Make the most of your Northern Territory holiday by adding the Tiwi Islands to your destination list because it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Darwin.
The best time to visit the islands is during the dry season, between the months of May and September. If you’re a lover of football, make sure to book your trip in March, so you don’t miss the massive Footy Grand Final and Art Show.
If you’re looking for a more fun in the sun activity, the Tiwi Islands have a huge fishing culture. Rent a boat for the day or stay at one of the many camping sites and start your fishing exposition. Common catches include barramundi, Spanish mackerel, tuna, coral trout, jewfish, mangrove jack and golden snapper.
The Tiwi Islands are known as a tropical paradise just sitting at the top of the Northern Territory. They consist of two main islands, Bathurst and Melville, along with several smaller islands. The Tiwi Islands are known for their rich Indigenous culture, stunning landscapes, and unique wildlife.
To get to the Tiwi Islands, you typically need to take a flight from Darwin to either Bathurst or Melville Islands. The flight duration is relatively short, usually around 30-40 minutes.
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