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Bathurst and Melville Islands

These two islands are better known as the Tiwi Islands off the coast of the Northern Territory. They are situated about 80 km north of Darwin at the crossing of the Arafura and Timor Seas; together they cover an area of 8.300 km2. The people living on the islands are called Tiwi and they are Indigenous Australian people who have strong links in both culture and language with Aboriginal communities in the Arnhem Land region. There are two ways to visit the island, by boat or air. It is about a 20 minute flight from Darwin airport or a 2 hour ferry crossing from Darwin Harbour. The islands can only be visited in organised tour groups. Once one gets to the island, Tiwi guides will show visitors around and share stories about their culture, ceremonies, beliefs and artwork. The Tiwi Islanders are keen artists who produce precious art such as pottery, sculptures, wood carvings and beautiful fabrics and textile prints. There is an excellent Aboriginal Art Gallery on Bathurst Island where are can be bought directly from the local communities.