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Northern Territory


The Tiwi  Islands

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The Tiwi Islands are located north of Darwin and can be reached by a 50-minute flight over Van Diemen Gulf.  There are two islands, Bathurst and Melville.   We went with Tiwi Tours and visited Bathurst Island and the little town of Nguiu.  The people who live here are Australian aboriginals who have lived separately from the mainland for thousands of years.  Because of this, they have their own culture, religion and art that is quite different from the rest of the Top End.  The art of the Tiwis is also very special and very different from the rest of Australia and is another reason people visit the islands.   Click on Tiwi Art to see how beautiful it is.   

You fly to Bathhurst Island on Air Ngukurr Airlines.

Click on the picture to the right to see a video on "Tea with the Tiwis".

Township of Nguiu.

We were taken on a guided tour of the Patakijiyali Museum.  Left is a display of pukamani burial poles that the Tiwis are known for and above are drawings of Murtankala, The Creator.

Shane, our tour guide, preparing  the damper we are going to eat for tea.  Damper is a form of bread that is baked in the ashes of a fire. 


We had morning tea with the Tiwi Ladies.  They showed us some of their creations and their weavings.  Right are some of the colors they use when making baskets.

After tea, they begin to prepare for the Cleansing Ceremony by painting their faces.


Look at their wonderful faces painted like the animals that represents their family.

Their cleansing ceremony is a wonderful experience.   See the video at the top of the page to see what we experienced.

We had lunch and then went swimming in a billabong.

We were taken to a burial site decorated with Pukamani burial poles which tell the story of the life of the person buried here.