Tiwi Design, Tiwi Islands © Tourism NT/Shaana McNaught
Guide to the Tiwi Islands
- Getting to the Tiwi Islands
- When to visit
With a thriving Aboriginal arts culture, secluded fishing lodges and a passion for football, the Tiwi Islands promise a holiday like no other.
A unique part of Australia, the Tiwi Islands are an off-the-beaten-track destination for intrepid travellers. The islands are renowned for the excellent fishing opportunities and welcoming locals. Almost 90 per cent of residents are of Aboriginal descent, and you can learn about their fascinating culture on a range of guided tours.
All visitors to the Tiwi Islands require a permit. If you aren’t visiting with a tour, you will need to apply for a permit. To get here, catch a charter plane from Darwin International Airport (DRW) or a ferry. The islands are serviced by three airports, so choose a flight based on the island you’re visiting.
- Flights from Darwin to Bathurst Island Airport (BRT) take 30 minutes
- Flights from Darwin to Snake Bay Airport on Melville Island take 25 minutes
- Flights from Darwin to Garden Point Airport (GPN) on Melville Island take 30 minutes
- Ferries from Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal to Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island take 2.5 hours
There are several ways to get around and travel between islands. Hire car, bus, ferries and tour operators are on offer.
The Tiwi Islands are located in Australia’s tropical north, meaning you can expect two distinct seasons: the dry season and the wet season. As the islands are hot all year round, most travellers visit during the dry season when it’s less likely to rain.
- High season: Dry season (June to September)
- Low season: Wet Season (October to May)
- Don’t miss: Embracing the island’s passionate art and football culture during the Football Grand Final and Art Sale, which takes place each March