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Tiwi Islands
Tiwi Islands

Tiwi Islands

Darwin, Australia

The basics

Most of the people who live on the two inhabited Tiwi Islands are Aboriginal Australians, and the land is Aboriginal Reserve. Art enthusiasts will especially enjoy visiting the Tiwi Islands, as the traditional Aboriginal art practices here are especially rich, with colorful paintings and fabric. There are three Indigenous art centers on the islands that collaborate with local artists to produce and sell artworks. Other reasons to visit the Tiwi Islands include the great fishing, and the beautiful landscapes; encompassing tropical rainforests, white-sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, and swimmable water holes.

Most travelers visit the Tiwi Islands on a tour from Darwin. These can be done in as little as a day, although it’s also possible to stay overnight at limited accommodation options on multi-day tours of the islands and other parts of the Northern Territory.

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Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
USD200.88 per adult
Traveller Favourite
Wonderful Tiwi
The Tiwi people sharing their culture with us was extremely interesting and appreciated. The presentations were delivered well and included some humour. The day ran smoothly and each stop was fascinating. Lunch was well organised and delicious. All tour guides were wonderful, we had Trevor who was great. It was a privilege to spend time on the Island.
Sue_W, Jun. 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Darwin

star-5
Amazing
Jamie_W, Apr. 2022
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
Learning about Tiwi culture was amazing. And they are very passionate about AFL. The tour was great with very informative guides.
star-5
Tiwi island
Martin_A, Aug. 2021
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
A long ferry trip but worth it nice day out good to see different cultures. Tour guides very proud of their culture
star-4
Memorable historical experience
Peter_M, Jul. 2021
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
A unique experience to see and hear about current and historical living of the inhabitants of Bathurst Island. Confused boarding of ferry and working out where and what to do next were counteracted by the positives. Great storytellers - wow. We were disappointed that craft people do not work Fridays as not mentioned in advertising. Must do cultural experience! Thanks Tiwi Island.
star-5
great trip
james_d, Jul. 2021
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
the trip was lovely but the boat trip was long we expected that the guides were very good and explained their culture clearly .it was a very informative .lovely morning tea and well worth the money all in all a very good trip
star-5
Great experience
Kumari_D, Jun. 2021
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
Great experience of the Tiwi culture. Learnt a lot and got to see and do and enjoy a lot more than expected. Plus morning tea and lunch provided with transport (ferry) back and forth from Darwin ferry terminal.
star-5
A thoroughly worthwhile experience.
MARIA_P, Jun. 2021
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
After a comfortable ferry trip to Bathurst Island we thoroughly enjoyed the friendliness of the guides and their willingness to share the island's culture and history. The whole day was fascinating.
star-4
Tiwi fun
Wendy_O, Apr. 2021
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
A very interesting experience, everyone we spoke with was helpful, polite and spoke clearly. Lunch was great, dancing super, the whole trip was educational, but by no means boring. Loved it
star-4
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
Adele_H, Sep. 2019
Tiwi Islands Cultural Experience from Darwin Including Ferry
the guides were very informative, all the participants were excellent and communicated their information well. I was very disappointed with the amount of goods able to be bought at the 'shop'. Ie there was not much in the way of clothing or the painted shells - I was very glad to have bought the painted shells from the ladies direct. the food for morning tea and lunch was excellent. - perhaps some bottles of water or a top up would have been good given the weather. however the whole day was spoilt because of the extreme delays and unorganisation of the return journey - we had bought tickets but were not allowed on until others who had not bought tickets spent considerable time buying tickets - we were kept in the hot sun for a considerable time which was very distressing for older people - no sunshade on the hot beach - I have never experienced such disorganisation and would not recommend people do it on this ferry if we did not have a choice! (the trip over was organised well - the return trip should have been organised similiarly)
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Things to know before you go

  • As the Tiwi Islands are Aboriginal reserve land, travelers require permits to travel beyond Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island. Permits are normally arranged through a tour company.
  • If you’re mainly interested in Tiwi Island art, head to Wurrumiyanga, where three art centers are located. Here you can also see the traditional burial poles in the cemetery.
  • Like everywhere in the Northern Territory, salt-water crocodiles may be present around the sea and other water bodies. Always follow warnings from your guide or signs, as these animals pose a significant risk to life.
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How to get there

The Tiwi Islands can be reached from Darwin on a 30-minute flight, or a 2.5-hour ferry to Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island which typically operates three times per week.

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When to get there

For the best weather, dry season is a good time to visit the Tiwi Islands, which is typically May through September. Another notable event is an annual football final and art sale—which is usually held in March—at the Tiwi Design Art Centre on Bathurst Island. This is a great opportunity to purchase locally made art. Get there early, as the sale only runs in the morning and early afternoon, prior to the football match.

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Arnhem Land

Another fascinating Northern Territory destination where you can experience ancient Aboriginal culture and dramatic landscapes is Arnhem Land, east of Darwin and the Kakadu National Park. The rugged red hills here are covered in rock paintings, some of which are up to 28,000 years old. Arnhem Land is also an Aboriginal reserve, and must be visited on a tour, with permits.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Tiwi Islands?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Darwin?
A:
As well as visiting the Tiwi Islands, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: