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Bathurst Island

Our most recommended things to do in Bathurst Island

From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Aboriginal Culture Tour with Lunch

1. From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Aboriginal Culture Tour with Lunch

Make your way to the Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, a five-minute drive from Darwin CBD, then cruise over to Bathurst Island, one of the Tiwi Islands. Upon arrival, meet your guide and the modern-day Aboriginal community of Wurrumiyanga. Stop by the Early Mission Precinct with its Tiwi-style Catholic Church, and learn how the Tiwi people have blended their culture with Christianity. Later, spend some time with the Tiwi ladies while they work on their weaving and painting. Then, watch the ladies demonstrate a totem dance and perform a smoking ceremony to bless the visitors.  Once you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, enjoy a tasty lunch, served with local billy tea and damper. After lunch, there’s time to see more of the community’s arts and crafts and have the opportunity to purchase some. Finally, learn about the complex rituals associated with the Pukamani (burial ceremony). You'll then be taken back to the ferry port for your return to Darwin.

From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

2. From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

Tour the Tiwi Islands community and experience a traditional Tiwi welcome smoking ceremony. Visit the Tiwi Design art center and Catholic mission precinct in the company of a local guide. The Tiwi Islands ferry departs Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, located 5 minutes from Darwin's city center. Boarding commences at 7:30 AM for a prompt 8:00 AM departure. Bring a book, sit back and relax on the 2.5-hour journey to the Tiwi Islands, 80km north of Darwin. Sandwiches, pies, coffee, drinks, and snack foods are available for purchase from the ferry kiosk.  Upon arrival, your local Tiwi guide will greet you on the beach and take you on a walking tour of the community. For those with mobility impairments, don't be disheartened as it is only a few minutes' walk between locations.  From the ferry landing, wander up to Tiwi Design for a traditional welcome ceremony and morning tea (damper and a cuppa). Your guide will then show you local paintings and teach you about the culture and history of the Tiwi People. On to the historic Catholic mission precinct before returning to Tiwi Design for lunch and a 'behind-the-scenes' screen printing session with a local Tiwi artist. Create your own screen-printed Tiwi-style art piece to take home – a memento of your day on the Tiwi Islands.  You also have the opportunity to purchase unique and traditional Tiwi artworks including paintings, fabrics, carving, pottery and clothing at island prices. Return to the ferry at 15:00 PM for the journey back to Darwin, arriving back in Cullen Bay at 5:45 PM.

Frequently asked questions about Bathurst Island

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What people are saying about Bathurst Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 80 reviews

Many thanks. It was extremely enjoyable, informative and just wonderful! I would have loved more time in the Museum and feel that the spare time at the end could have been far better used at the Museum for a lot of us who wanted to see and read a lot more. My friend was very ill on the ferry trip home (and other travellers) and the staff were fantastic. It was calmer than on the trip over (she was just ok) and she wasn't looking forward to the trip back! Many thanks

Really great tour meeting the locals and learning about their culture which is so different to the indigenous mainland.The history of the Tiwi Islands from long ago and during World War 2 was fascinating.Nice lunch provided and good commentary from the local guides about the way they live and their religious beliefs and traditions.Would highly recommend a visit to the Tiwi’s.

In the half day lots of information and experiences were packed in.

Very interesting over name of dance and beautiful art ❤️

Great tour, good experience learning about culture