Transport and Accommodation
Getting to the Tiwi Islands
Visitors will typically need a permit to visit the Tiwi Islands. Permits can easily be organised by tour operators or by visiting the Permits page on this website. While some areas on the Tiwi Islands do not require a permit to visit, you are asked to notify the Tiwi land Council of your plans as a courtesy to the Tiwi people and in the interests of visitor safety.
SeaLink Northern Territory operates a passenger ferry between Darwin and Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island. The service operates on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and takes approximately 2.5 hours each way.
SeaSwift run a barge service for freight to Wurrumiyanga and Pirlangimpi twice weekly, arriving on Monday and Thursday. The weekly service to Milikapiti arrives on Friday.
The operators of Port Melville run a barge service for freight from the Top End Marine Supply Base in Darwin. There is a weekly service to Wurrumiyanga, Paru, Pirlangimpi and Port Melville, and a fortnightly service to Milikapiti, Ranku and Port Hurd. Phone: 08 8930 6500
Barge Express operates a service to Wurrumiyanga and Milikapiti.
If you have a permit to visit and fish around the Tiwi Islands a private boat from Darwin will take about two hours to reach Wurrumiyanga, three hours to reach Pirlangimpi and four hours to reach Milikapiti.
Fly Tiwi runs a regular service to Wurrumiyanga (Bathurst Island), Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) and Milikapiti (Snake Bay).
Darwin aircraft charter companies that service communities on the Tiwi Islands include Hardy Aviation and Arafura Aviation.
Getting around the Tiwi Islands
Tiwi Enterprises has a range of vehicles for hire at Wurrumiyanga. They can be arranged for pickup at the airstrip.
Hire cars are available from the Milikapiti Visitor Accommodation Centre. Contact Tiwi Enterprises or Phone: 08 8979 0312
Inter-islands ferry: Wurrumiyanga and Paru
The Tiwi Islands Regional Council inter-islands car ferry between Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island and Paru on Melville Island operates Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm. Tickets are available at the Council office or Phone: 08 8970 9500
Melville Island Bus Service
The Tuparipiya Bus Service operates on Melville Island between Pirlangimpi, Paru, Pickataramoor and Milikapiti. There are three 28 seater Isuzu buses, decorated by Tiwi artwork, in operation. Two of the buses are four-wheel drives. Tuparipiya is a Tiwi Enterprises business supported by the Northern Territory Government
Bookings: 0428 201 126
Cost: $15 per ticket (children aged 4 and under are free)
Timetable: Click here
Individual tour operators and fishing lodges can organise flights, car and boat transport around the islands. Please contact your tour provider.
Where to stay on the Tiwi Islands
Tiwi Enterprises visitor accommodation with ensuite.
Tiwi Islands Regional Council motel accommodation
Tiwi Islands Regional Council contractors’ quarters.
Port Melville Accommodation Village located near Pirlangimpi. Phone: 08 8930 6500
Milikapiti Visitor Accommodation Centre – a ten room complex with a communal kitchen, lounge and bathrooms. Phone: 08 8979 0312
Tiwi Enterprises – an 18 room complex with common facilities.
Transport & Tourism map