Tiwi Islands (Northern Territory, Australia) are in Timor Sea and located approx 80 km (50 mi) to the north of Darwin. The group comprises Melville Island (largest) and Bathurst Island, plus 9 smaller uninhabited isles.
Tiwi Islands' combined area is 8320 km2 (3212 mi2). They were found inhabited, and today have total population around 3,000 (all Tiwi indigenous Australians). Tiwi Land Council is among the 4 land councils in Northern Territory. It's a representative body which has statutory authority under Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 and responsibilities under the 1993 Native Title Act and 1992 Pastoral Land Act.
The making of Indigenous Australian art is a major part of Tiwi Island economy and culture. The island has 3 Indigenous art centres: Tiwi Design, Jilamara Arts & Craft and Munupi Arts & Crafts, and these collaborate via cooperative venture, Tiwi Art. Along with Tiwi Art network there are 2 independent operations: Ngaruwanajirri ('The Keeping Place'), and fabric design and clothing business Bima Wear, that has been operated by Indigenous women since 1969.
Fly Tiwi is a commercial flight operator connecting both islands to each other as well as to Darwin. Formed as association between Tiwi Land Council and Hardy Aviation, Fly Tiwi offers daily flights to all 3 communities on Tiwi Islands. SeaLink NT operates ferry service connecting Darwin and Wurrumiyanga, making the 2,5 h trip each way 3 days per week.
Tiwi islands have been identified as an IBA (Important Bird Area) by BirdLife International as they support high densities of partridge pigeons, bush stone-curlews and red goshawks, as well as up to 12,000 - more than 1% of the world population of great knots.
Tiwi Islands Australia cruise terminal
The following map of Tiwi Islands show all straits, bays, rivers, landing points and ports on Melville and Bathurst.
Cruise ships to Melville Island Australia dock (anchor) at Milikapiti - port town on the west-northern coast. On Bathurst Island WA, ships dock (anchor) at Wurrumiyanga - port town on the southeastern coast.