Things to do in
Tiwi Islands

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Our most recommended things to do in Tiwi Islands

From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Aboriginal Culture Tour with Lunch

1. From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Aboriginal Culture Tour with Lunch

Make your way to the Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, a five-minute drive from Darwin CBD, then cruise over to Bathurst Island, one of the Tiwi Islands. Upon arrival, meet your guide and the modern-day Aboriginal community of Wurrumiyanga. Stop by the Early Mission Precinct with its Tiwi-style Catholic Church, and learn how the Tiwi people have blended their culture with Christianity. Later, spend some time with the Tiwi ladies while they work on their weaving and painting. Then, watch the ladies demonstrate a totem dance and perform a smoking ceremony to bless the visitors.  Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, enjoy a tasty lunch, served with local billy tea and damper. After lunch, there’s time to see more of the community’s arts and crafts and have the opportunity to purchase some. Finally, learn about the complex rituals associated with the Pukamani (burial ceremony). You'll then be taken back to the ferry port for your return to Darwin.

From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

2. From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

Tour the Tiwi Islands community and experience a traditional Tiwi welcome smoking ceremony. Visit the Tiwi Design art center and Catholic mission precinct in the company of a local guide. The Tiwi Islands ferry departs Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, located 5 minutes from Darwin's city center. Boarding commences at 7:30 AM for a prompt 8:00 AM departure. Bring a book, sit back and relax on the 2.5-hour journey to the Tiwi Islands, 80km north of Darwin. Sandwiches, pies, coffee, drinks, and snack foods are available for purchase from the ferry kiosk.  Upon arrival, your local Tiwi guide will greet you on the beach and take you on a walking tour of the community. For those with mobility impairments, don't be disheartened as it is only a few minutes' walk between locations.  From the ferry landing, wander up to Tiwi Design for a traditional welcome ceremony and morning tea (damper and a cuppa). Your guide will then show you local paintings and teach you about the culture and history of the Tiwi People. On to the historic Catholic mission precinct before returning to Tiwi Design for lunch and a 'behind-the-scenes' screen printing session with a local Tiwi artist. Create your own screen-printed Tiwi-style art piece to take home – a memento of your day on the Tiwi Islands.  You also have the opportunity to purchase unique and traditional Tiwi artworks including paintings, fabrics, carving, pottery and clothing at island prices. Return to the ferry at 15:00 PM for the journey back to Darwin, arriving back in Cullen Bay at 5:45 PM.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Tiwi Islands

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What people are saying about Tiwi Islands

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 78 reviews

Great day with very knowledgeable guides Jason, Leon & Trevor. Great food & refreshing billy tea. Extra bonus was having elder Bernard speak, entertain and provide some “wisdom”.

Our trip to the Tiwi Islands was the highlight of our NT holiday. We learnt so much about Tiwi culture. The people were warm and friendly and had great senses of humour.

Great to see the history of the island and experience the indigenous screen printing craft. Also enjoyed the woodworking and smoking/ welcome to country ceremony

This is the most amazing experience! The guides and people you meet are absolutely wonderful! The sharing of their culture is so generous and interesting!

This is an excellent introduction to Tiwi life, culture and history.