Day trip

From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

4.8 / 5

63 reviews

From Darwin: Tiwi Islands Cultural Day Tour by Ferry

From US$ 274.11 per person

Explore the Tiwi Islands community of Wurrumiyanga on this cultural walking tour. Experience a traditional Tiwi welcome smoking ceremony and explore the Tiwi Design art center and Catholic mission precinct with your local Tiwi guide.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
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Duration 10 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Take part in a cultural art workshop and take home an art memento
  • Visit the Tiwi Mission Precinct
  • Learn the Tiwi Creation Story
Full description

Covid-19 Update

Due to health and safety regulations, this itinerary may change. See Know before you go for the latest updates.

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.

  • Return ferry from Darwin
  • Morning tea and lunch
  • Fully guided walking tour
  • Souvenir screenprint
  • Entry to the Tiwi mission precinct and church
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds

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Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal

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Important information

Know before you go

  • Due to ongoing COVID-19 virus preventative measures, the Tiwi Museum is currently closed until further notice. Your guide will be extending the tour through the town and offering additional knowledge and activities
  • Dietary requirements can be catered for, please inform at the time of booking
  • Please note that this tour a walking tour, not a coach tour. It is conducted at a leisurely pace, with no special level of fitness required. Wurrumiyanga is a small Aboriginal community with everything easily accessible by foot
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 63 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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The experience and our guide were good but a few things let it down. When we had lunch there was no sanitizer anywhere to clean our hands - not good. The lunch itself was nice. The tour was interesting and the guide was very informative. I enjoyed the screen printing, however there was a lack of assistance and people were left standing around not knowing what to do, even though there were several artists in the centre. Also the man who assisted me asked what colours I wanted, but he chose totally different colours. I mentioned again the colours I wanted but he ignored this and so the end result was not what I wanted. The picture advertising the tour is very different to the reality.

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June 6, 2021

It was a a brief insight into aboriginal culture. We had an aboriginal guide who was quietly spoken so sometimes hard to pick up what he was saying . Firstly we were introduced to a smoking ceremony and traditional dance. We then had damper and tea/coffee. We were shown how to do screen printing and then we did our own shirts. We had lunch and an opportunity to purchase aboriginal art or carvings. We then went to the museum which was very interesting. The guide explained Dreamtime stories to us, which was good, as it would have taken too long to read. Had very little time to look around, but the main things were explained to us. We then went to the oldest church on the Island and back to the ferry. It is a 2/12 ferry ride each way. All in all we had a good day.

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June 4, 2021

The people in Tiwi Island are very friendly. Our guide Kevin gave us a comprehensive overview about the culture and history of the island as well as shared some exciting local stories. The highlight of the visit was definitely the workshop part when everybody could prepare his/her own Aboriginal pattern- painted take-away kitchen towel or T-shirt. It is worth choosing that option from the tour selection even if it is a bit more expensive than the basic cultural tour. The ferry ride is quite long unfortunately, 2 hours and 20 mins each way - this is the only inconvenience of the trip, yet it is absolutely worth going.

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September 20, 2019

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Product ID: 122834