The Tiwi Islands are famous for Australian Rules football and Aboriginal Art. Melville Island and Bathurst Island just north of Darwin have three Art Centres and seven football teams supported enthusiastically by the local people who are also close to their traditional lifestyles and values.
Aussie rules football is played with passion by the islanders, and many young stars have found their way to the major football teams in Australia's southern capital cities. The grand final is an important day on the islands, much more than just a football match, this is a day of celebration, art and culture.
Ferry tours from Darwin take visitors from Darwin to enjoy this special day on the Islands.
The Tiwi people have an unbroken history of occupation and ownership of the Islands for thousands of years. The islands have a rich tropical environment with over a thousand plant species in rain forests, eucalypt forests and treeless plains. The seas around the islands are abundant sources of fish, dugong, turtle, mussels, oysters and mud crabs.
Traditionally, the natural resources of the region were used for food, shelter, medicine, weapons, tools and spiritual purposes. Fishing, hunting and traditional connections with the land remain important to the present time.
Art and ceromony have always been an important part of the Tiwi culture. The arts and crafts produced here are recognised for their special qualities worldwide, and today are supported by three art centres where visitors can meet the artists and have the opportunity of purchasing art at special prices.
In order to visit Bathurst or Melville islands you require a permit which can be obtained through Tiwi Tours or the Tiwi Art Network.
Ferry services and tours are available depending on the season , tides and the weather.
Check the Sealink website for current services.
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