Bathurst Lodge1

A new experience, revealing Tiwi Island life, awaits visitors to the Top End of Australia with new tours now available. Located 40 nautical miles across the Arafura Sea north of Darwin, the Tiwi Islands are made up of Bathurst and Melville Islands plus five smaller islands totalling 800,000 hectares which includes a coastline of 1016 kilometres under freehold title by 2000 landowners. These new tours are giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in “the island of smiles”, famous for its traditional lifestyle, art and love of Australian football.

Visitors can stay in a coastal wilderness lodge, enjoy a traditional smoking ceremony, Tiwi Art, join a sunset turtle discovery tour and take a scenic flight to Melville Island to the remote Milikapiti township.

The three day Ultimate Tiwi Island tour is limited to just twelve guests per tour and is based at the remote Bathurst Island Lodge, which has recently undergone a $2m investment. An optional add-on is also available extending the tour by a day, taking in the wilderness of Melville Island and a remote adventure along the Goose Creek river system.

The tours are being launched in a partnership with Northern Territory Tourism nationally and internationally and will be offered through Australia’s tourism trade to assist market penetration and distribution.

IMG_0077The Ultimate Tiwi Islands tour includes SeaLink ferry or flights from Darwin, an art workshop with local artists, walking tour, accommodation, meals and non-alcoholic drinks, a wilderness adventure cruise, fishing options, turtle tour, a scenic flight to Melville Island and museum and art centre tours and is priced from $2,425 per person.

The tours will run for an exclusive and limited season from 24 June to 11 September 2015.

Operated by SeaLink, in partnership with the traditional owners of the Tiwi Islands, through Tiwi Island Adventures, these tours offer a truly unforgettable experience. SeaLink is committed to growing new tourism markets in the Northern Territory and this new tour will benefit the Tiwi Island people through a unique business agreement.

SeaLink NT General Manager, Paul Victory said “Until now, Bathurst Island Lodge had only opened its doors to fishing enthusiasts. These tours provide a glimpse into life on the Tiwi Islands and provide a rare opportunity to experience Island life in the Northern Territory”. SeaLink has established a Tourism and Transport Committee on the Island to help build the Tiwi Island’s tourism potential and is working with the Northern Territory Government to develop a floating pontoon system and tourism arrival precinct into the Tiwi Islands. “SeaLink is a natural tourism partner for the Tiwi Islands after recently signing a new ferry service Agreement with the Northern Territory Government to operate three return ferry services to the Tiwi Islands per week aboard our Tiwi Mantawi (Tiwi friend) vessel”, Mr Victory said.

For those with limited time, a day trip out of Darwin to the Tiwi Designs Centre is also available each Thursday and Friday and will operate from 1 April to 11 December.

Sandra Tiltman

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