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TIWI ISLANDS

The Tiwi Islands are located 80 km north of Darwin, and a Ferry Service operates from Cullen Bay to take you there – and in most cases it is best to take a tour. The Ferry is about a 2 hour trip, but there are also flights from Darwin to the Islands too.

The islands are famous for Tiwi Art – which has become famous over the years, with many books written and artworks being displayed in Galleries around the world. By travelling to the Islands by Ferry you will enjoy both the trip out from Darwin Harbour, and also be taken to see the Tiwi Design Centre, Munupi Arts and Crafts, Jilamara Arts and Crafts and Ngaruwanajirri – and see fabric prints with Tiwi Designs, Tiwi Islands wooden carvings including the Bird Carvings.

You might also see if invited to do so, the Burial Totem Poles – which are also unique to the Tiwi Islands.

The Tiwi people are a distinct islander group, and speak their own Tiwi language, and the population is around 3000 people. The Tiwi Islands consists of 11 islands, the main ones being Melville Island
( Milikapiti) and Bathurst Island (Wurrumiyanga) – Bathurst Island being the bigger island.

The Islands have a high rainfall, and the rainforest on the islands attract many different bird species. There are also salt water crocodiles, sharks and turtles in waters around the islands.

In recent years, AFL football clubs from Melbourne have recruited Tiwi Islander players to join their clubs, based on the running speed and football skills of the Tiwi Islanders.

The Kimberley is a vast area of land – and many people find it one of the highlights of their trip to Australia.

Happy Travelling!

Geoff Stuart

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