SeaLink celebrates 10 years of magical connections to the Tiwi Islands

The Tiwi Islands Art Sale coincides each year with the Tiwi Islands Football Grand Final. This massive family gathering provides a rare opportunity for people to visit Bathurst Island and buy Tiwi art and crafts at community prices.<br /><br />Tiwi Design artists provide diverse works across many mediums, including fine art sculptures and paintings. The ceramic studio produces sculptural pieces that combine traditional and contemporary elements that never fail to surprise.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    SeaLink Northern Territory is celebrating 10 years of connecting visitors to the unique and vibrant Indigenous community and cultural traditions of the Tiwi Islands through its Tiwi by Design day tours.

    Comprising Australia’s second and third-largest islands – Bathurst and Melville Island – the Tiwis, located approximately 80 kilometres north of Darwin, offer a remote and culturally rich experience. The Tiwi have occupied these lands since before the last ice age around 18,000 to 20,000 years ago.   

    “The Tiwi Islands are a treasure trove of Tiwi heritage, and SeaLink is honoured to play a pivotal role in connecting visitors to this extraordinary destination for over a decade,” CEO, SeaLink Marine & Tourism, Donna Gauci, said. 

    “Our Tiwi by Design tour reflects our dedication to supporting the local Tiwi communities while providing authentic, culturally immersive experiences for our guests.” 

    Known for traditional practices and warm hospitality, less than 5,000 Tiwi people call the islands home.

    In addition to tourism, SeaLink’s ferries provide vital transportation services to and from the Tiwi Islands, affectionately called the ‘Islands of Smiles’. 

    The success of SeaLink’s Tiwi by Design tour is a testament to the company’s commitment to providing guests with authentic, personal, and interactive experiences unmatched anywhere else in Australia.  

    “Tiwi by Design is not just a tour; it’s a gateway to understanding the Tiwi way of life,” GM, SeaLink Northern Territory, Angela Piper, said. 

    “We are proud to work closely with the local Tiwi community to offer an enriching experience that showcases the rich traditions of the Tiwi people.” 

    Snapshot of a Tiwi by Design tour: 

    Guests will embark on a journey like no other with SeaLink’s Tiwi by Design tour, offering a personalised and leisurely walking experience, curated for an intimate immersion into the rich tapestry of Tiwi culture. Upon arrival in the Aboriginal community of Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island, our friendly Tiwi guide warmly welcomes you to Tiwi by Design, where you’ll experience local artists and dancers performing a formal Welcome to Country through a captivating smoking ceremony and totem dances. 

    Immerse in Indigenous culture with SeaLink. (Supplied)

    Next, indulge in Tiwi hospitality with a traditional morning tea of damper and a cuppa, while connecting with local community members. Immerse yourself in the vibrant narratives of life and culture in the Tiwi Islands while exploring the historic Mission Precinct. Your journey through time continues with a visit to the Patakijiyali Museum, where you will discover the fascinating history of Mission days, the Tiwi Creation story, WWII involvement, and the legendary local football players. Venture into the nearby small Catholic church, celebrated in the movie “Top End Wedding,” featuring a stunning altar artwork and a profound cultural legacy. 

    Following a moment of repose and a delightful lunch in the shade, continue your exploration at Tiwi by Design for an exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ screen printing workshop. Here, the choice between contemporary or traditional Tiwi designs will inspire you to craft a unique take-home souvenir – a cherished memento from your magical Tiwi visit. 

    The day tour operates on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 April to 30 November 2024, with additional Monday departures in June, July, and August and starts from $439 per adult, with discounts for children and seniors. 

    For more information, click HERE.

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