The Tiwi Islands. Few people have heard of them, and even fewer have been, which we’re sure you’ll agree is great news. Because this little cluster of islands, in particular Melville and Bathurst, are truly magical, partly because they remain so unknown.
AT A GLANCE
The Tiwi Islands lie 80km north of Darwin and tourism is generally restricted. You can, however, experience them on a day trip from Darwin, which will give you ample opportunity to absorb the island’s distinct aboriginal culture and understand what it is that makes these islands so special.
WHAT TO SEE
With only a day at your disposal, it’s key to immerse yourself in the culture of the island. Graciously, the aborigines on both islands are open to sharing their customs, stories and art, so you’ll spend your time here drinking traditional billy tea with the locals and watching traditional dances and important smoking ceremonies. You’ll also have the opportunity to cool down with a swim in a local waterhole should you wish. Your time on the Tiwi Islands will no doubt open your eyes to the unfathomably long history of Australia and in particular the Northern Territory, and will provide you with an entirely new perspective of this wonderfully diverse country.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The Tiwi Islands are a perfect example of how Australia’s coastline isn’t just stunning beach and the Great Barrier Reef. The country has a deep-rooted and historic aboriginal culture that it would be a travesty not to explore. With a history spanning back tens of thousands of years, watching how modern day aborigines have developed and interact with the modern world is a cultural lesson you’ll not be forgetting in a hurry.