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  • Location: Darwin, Australia
  • Duration:  8 hours (approx.)
Visit a traditional Aboriginal community on the Tiwi Islands, off the coast of Darwin. Accompanied by an indigenous guide, you'll visit a Tiwi museum and art center, as well as learn about local history and Tiwi rituals. You can choose to take an art workshop taught by Aboriginal artists, or share a traditional morning tea with Tiwi Islanders. Tourism is limited on the island, making this a rare chance to visit this Aboriginal community that holds on tightly to its traditions.

Highlights

  • Full-day tour to the Tiwi Islands, from Darwin
  • See informative exhibits of Tiwi art, including depictions of aboriginal dreamtime stories
  • Learn about ancient rituals for Tiwi burials and honoring the ancestors
  • Includes round-trip ferry between Darwin and the Tiwi Islands
  • Choose between two different itineraries for your Tiwi Island tour

What You Can Expect

Tiwi Island Day Tour from Darwin

Tiwi screen-printed fabrics

Catch the ferry from Darwin and relax as you make the 2-hour trip to Bathurst Island. Enjoy the seating available on two interior air-conditioned decks or an outside sun deck. Sandwiches, pies and snack foods are available for purchase, along with soft drinks and water.

On your tour of Bathurst Island, your local guide shares Tiwi rituals and history during a scenic walk and visits to art centers and museums. Choose from the two itineraries below to tailor the tour to your interests.

Throughout your trip, keep an eye out for wildlife such as seabirds and turtles. The Tiwi Islands are the breeding grounds for a variety of indigenous animals.

Itinerary

Option 1: Art Centre and Museum
Start your day by visiting the Aboriginal community of Wurrumiyanga. Your guide accompanies you to the local museum, and provides commentary on the displays of traditional art and the depictions of Tiwi dreamtime stories.

After touring the museum, you’ll follow your guide to the site of the island’s early mission. Hear stories about the history of the area as you walk around the Catholic church.

Next you’ll stop by an arts and crafts center to get a glimpse of artists at work. You can purchase Tiwi arts and screen-printed fabrics at island prices (own expense). Leave the arts center for your next stop, a Tiwi burial site. Learn about the rituals of the Pukamani ceremony that includes placing funerary poles, decorated with painted mythological figures, around a grave. Your guide can answer any questions you may have about the burial process.

Lunch is not included, but you can purchase food on the ferry or bring a packed lunch with you. There are limited options to purchase food on the island.

At the end of the tour, your guide will return you to the ferry dock for the return to Darwin.

Option 2: Cultural Workshop
After the ferry ride, you’ll meet your indigenous local guide on Bathurst Island and be greeted by a short ‘Welcome To Country’ ritual. You’ll then chat with locals over a traditional morning tea consisting of tea and damper (soda bread cooked in a campfire).

After tea, your guide will show you through the museum and share detailed commentary on the culture and history of the Tiwi People.

Then you'll return to Tiwi Design for your art workshop and an included lunch. Founded in 1968, Tiwi Design now hosts about 100 artists who work in screen printing, pottery, carving and painting. The complex includes an administrative center and art gallery that aim to preserve and showcase Tiwi culture.

Spend the afternoon working with an Aboriginal artist to create your own artwork – Tiwi style. Depending on the artists in the center at the time, this could be either painting, carving or screen printing. Afterwards, you can take home your creation as a memento of this special workshop. You can also purchase traditional Tiwi artworks including paintings, fabric, carving, pottery and clothing at island prices (own expense).

At the end of the afternoon, your guide will return you to the dock so that you can catch the ferry to Darwin in the afternoon.
From USD $ 221.00

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Tour code: 6296TIWI

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