Tours and Tickets
Tiwi By Design Day Tour
4.5
About
Discover nearly untouched Aboriginal culture on a full-day tour to the Tiwi Islands. Only a limited number of tourists may visit Bathurst Island, making it a rare travel experience. Join your Tiwi guide to learn about the local history, along with the unique rituals still practiced by some residents. Try your hand at traditional art during a class lead by Aboriginal artists, before return to Darwin.
from
AU$439.00
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 35 per group
Duration: 9h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • Enjoy a hands-on Aboriginal art workshop
  • Get a closer look at Tiwi history and culture
  • Experience a place that most visitors miss
  • Observe wildlife in its natural environment

  • Local guide
  • Lunch
  • WiFi on board
  • Restroom on board
  • Entry/Admission - SeaLink Northern Territory
  • Entry/Admission - Tiwi Design
What's not included
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off


Start:
  • Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, Larrakeyah NT 0820, Australia
    Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, at the end of Marina Boulevard, Cullen Bay, Darwin. 5 minutes drive from Darwin CBD, free all day parking in off-street carparks.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Infant seats available
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 6296TIWI

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Most travellers can participate
    • This is a walking tour, an easy stroll over short distances between the ferry landing, art centre and mission precinct. **Please note that the Bathurst Island Museum is closed until 2022, and is no longer included in this tour**
    • Covid Procedures: We have always had stringent and rigorous hygiene standards, cleaning procedures and health and safety practices. During this time, we have stepped our practices and procedures up even further. Where possible we have made additional hand sanitisers and cleaning stations available to our customers and employees to exercise good hand/hygiene practices. We have also placed hygiene communications in our vessels, vehicles, accommodation, food venues, shop fronts/counters/terminals from the relevant health authorities.
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 35 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    Which attractions will I visit with Tiwi By Design Day Tour?
    During this experience, places you will visit include:Discover and book Tiwi By Design Day Tour on Tripadvisor
    How much is Tiwi By Design Day Tour?
    Tiwi By Design Day Tour price starts from AU$442.07. Discover and book Tiwi By Design Day Tour on Tripadvisor
    What is the Tiwi By Design Day Tour cancellation policy?
    Tiwi By Design Day Tour cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Tiwi By Design Day Tour on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides Tiwi By Design Day Tour?
    Tiwi By Design Day Tour is hosted by SeaLink Northern Territory. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact SeaLink Northern Territory on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Tiwi By Design Day Tour on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 6296TIWI

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    Similar experiences

    Itinerary
    • You'll start at
      Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal
      Larrakeyah NT 0820, Australia
      Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal, at the end of Marina Boulevard, Cullen Bay, Darwin. 5 minutes drive from Darwin CBD, free all day parking in off-street carparks.
      See address & details
    • 1
      SeaLink Northern Territory
      Stop: 5 hours - Admission included
      See details
    • 2
      Tiwi Design
      Stop: 2 hours - Admission included
      See details
    • You'll return to the starting point
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • SeaLink Northern Territory
      277
      Australia
      Joined in September 2015
    • maw334
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Very disapointing
      We had been to Darwin several times and missed this buffet, so back in January l checked their dates for the tour and booked flights and accommodation to coincide with the August tour and my birthday. After having booked and paid for the tour in January, on the Wednesday before they rang to say the tour would not be operating. Yes, l got my money back, but this turned out to be a very expensive nonevent- too late to book anything else we spent our week on the local buses and having a look around that way-
      Written 3 September 2023
    • GudGollyMsMolly
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Awesome Day on Bathurst island
      We recently completed the Tiwi Islands Day Tour. It was fantastic. The locals were all very friendly, the design centre was amazing with its huge array of local arts - if you can't find something as a souvenir or exquisite artwork for your home then you're not looking very hard :-). The museum gave a good insight to the local history & our guide Freddie was fabulous with his intimate knowledge of the islands & their history. Highly recommended.
      Written 3 September 2023
    • JimbobAdelaide
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Relaxing and informative short cruise
      Nice relaxing cruise that was a good orientation to Darwin. Informative commentary and good value for money.
      Written 18 August 2023
    • 443emmien
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      The highlight are the crew!
      The crew was absolutely amazing, so friendly and great vibes. Great little cruise around Darwin Harbour to see the sights. Thanks for an awesome cruise guys!
      Written 12 August 2023
    • Norah L
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Very pleasant and informative trip
      Very pleasant trip with plenty of interesting commentary. It was a beautiful day, and the crew were very friendly. We caught the Big Bus there and then back to town. We have certainly learned a lot about Darwin.
      Written 1 August 2023
    • Venture19888859795
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Short Cullen Bay harbor cruise.
      This was a short harbor trip on a catamaran. The captain visited with us before the excursion and did commentary while cruising. Really friendly staff at the office where we purchased the tickets. A nice, short harbor cruise (45 minutes) which gave us a good feeling for where we were. We also got some interesting historical information. It was worth it for us.
      Written 11 April 2023
    • melzyattard85
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Not worth the money
      This tour is very misleading. They say its a cruise to a resort with a seafood buffet lunch but what it should say is its a 2 hour ferry trip (so basically public transport) over to a resort that isn't really a resort with a seafood/BBQ lunch that you may or may not get to try everything from it as they don't cater enough for everyone and then run out of plates so take yours as soon as you finish so they can quickly wash them for the rest of the people patiently waiting at the buffet table at 1pm to eat something. The staff there aren't very welcoming and you are watched like a hawk so you don't put too much on your plate. If you want to dip in a small backyard style pool that won't fit everyone in, then this is the place to go. If you want to relax in an actual resort with an actual resort style pool, then the Mecure Darwin Airport Resort is the place to go. This tour is not worth the amount of money they charge for it. You can go to a beautiful waterfront seafood restaurant and enjoy it a lot more and pay nowhere near as much. We tried to get a taxi or uber back to Darwin but they don't go out that far, so were forced to sit around and wait for the dreaded long ferry back as there is nothing to do there. This was a terrible way to end our week in the NT. Don't waste your money on this trip, spend it on something more enjoyable.
      Written 22 October 2022
    • ronp1954
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Very informative cruise
      Did a lunchtime cruise of Darwin Harbour and it was well worth the price paid. Comfortable journey and very informative throughout. Tour lasted 90 minutes which we though was perfect.
      Written 28 September 2022
    • Resort397989
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Informative
      Had a morning open prior to flying out and it was the perfect activity to fill in. Super informative, yet relaxing. Appreciated the water as we boarded as it was already getting warm Good bit of history!
      Written 20 September 2022
    • Mikablack2229
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Harbour cruise without commentary
      The audio on this cruise was indecipherable. It seemed that there was plenty of information available but next to no-one on the upper or lower cabins could hear it.
      Written 18 August 2022
    • Vacationer169129
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Disappointing
      What should have been a lovely day ended up in disaster. The departure time that was provided by viator was 10.30 when in fact the ferry left at 9 am. Being a Saturday no one could be contacted as it was out of office hours This was an epic failure by vistor/TripAdvisor and I am requesting a refund of $389 however the worse is that we won't be able to take this tour as it is booked out til October and we won't be back in Darwin anytime soon. Think twice before booking with viator
      Written 9 August 2022
    • Sam_AndyCapeTown
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Luxury beach life
      My family stayed in the new deluxe cabins and we were blown away by the high quality finishes and features. They were much bigger than we expected and seemed almost brand new. The beds were super comfy and the bathrooms well designed and very clean. The views from the cabin balcony takes in the beach and water with the mangroves close by. Stunning! We loved having some drinks and playing boards games with the kids on the balcony. The Crab Claw restaurant and deck area is also very well presented and the dinner was lovely, enhanced by a wonderful sunset. Bacon and eggs for brekkie was also a winner! John, Daniel and the team really looked after us and could not do anything more to make us feel welcome and ensure we had a great stay. Highly recommended.
      Written 27 July 2022
    • Voyage152786
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Harbour Cruise
      Excellent harbour cruise - informative but not over the top. Gorgeous sunshine and turquoise waters. A complimentary carton of water from Arnhem Land producers was a welcome touch.
      Written 24 July 2022
    • lizgay
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Crab Claw Resort day trip
      Long boat trip but lovely views and there are worse things than spending time soaking up the sun on a boat. The crew could have engaged with guests more. Crab Claw Island Resort is really average. Very run down. The buffet was ok but nothing to write home about. Lounging by the two resort pools actually means sit around two small backyard style pools. We had a pleasant day with our friends but I’m sure there are better trips on offer. Also don’t go if you have any problems with stairs.
      Written 22 July 2022
    • MareeM496
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Disappointing
      Boat was very comfortable and beautiful still conditions. The commentary was basic and difficult to hear over engine noise.
      Written 21 July 2022
    See all 277 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles87 reviews
    Excellent
    65
    Very good
    9
    Average
    4
    Poor
    3
    Terrible
    6

    Vicki McCorriston
    2 contributions
    2.0 of 5 bubbles
    June 2021 • Couples
    Unfortunately very disappointing to say the least.
    Paid $700 for two could have done it ourselves for half the price.
    Boarded ferry to be bombarded with social distance etiquette but crammed in like sardines. Hardly a spare seat.
    Arrived at Island to watch 'ceremony'...ladies dressed in ordinary clothes, no traditional clothing.
    Served damper with tea or coffee, everyone charged in around a small table to help themselves.
    Got to make our own screen print tea towel which took forever. Waited until staff come an assist us. Finally done then given a 'kids' lunch. Sandwich, piece of cake, Apple juice, piece of fruit and small snack.
    Waited around for another 1/2 hour for tour guide to take us around. By now 3 hours had gone by since embarking the ferry.
    Only had 1 hour, rushed, to see museum and old church. No opportunity to visit local community areas.
    Morning group had extended time viewing local surrounds while we sat and waited.
    Paid: $350 each
    Ticket to Island including ceremony $160
    Cost of tea towel to buy $25
    Lunch provided worth about $15
    So thinking we were then charged an extra $150 for the privilege of having a tour guide who was rushed an exhausted and not enough time to see anything.
    Written 17 June 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Triptrouble
    Hervey Bay, Australia165 contributions
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nov 2020
    I have always wanted to visit the Tiwi Islands and this was my chance! 2 1/2 hr boat trip to make a screen print and that was about it. Bit of damper on arrival and soggy sandwich for lunch. Then in the absolute heat of the day they walked us to an old church and then a closed Museum!. (Which they knew was closed but didn't tell us until we had walked there.) I have been many places and done many tours but this was the absolute worst. All this and we paid $349 each. I wanted to see the island not this rubbish. Don't go! Worst trip we have ever done especially at this cost.

    We were with our hotel travel person when she booked this for us. There was no mention of the museum being closed when she booked it. When we received a confirmation email after the booking was done and paid for, we noted it on the notes. It does however say this willl be substituted by other activities which of course did not happen.

    When we complained to our agent and she contacted the company it took them days to respond and then they offered us $50 each off the ticket. We took this as we believed they would just dig their heels in if we pushed for more, but we truly believe that we should have been offered a 50% discount. When you take into account that the return ferry trip is $120 then we paid $229 each for morning tea, a sandwich lunch, a screen printed T shirt (and the shirts are not top quality they are from BigW) and a visist to a church. And all they offer us is $50 each off. Most expensive damper sandwich and screen print that you will ever do.

    DO NOT DO THIS TRIP. It is a total rip off and you will not have a good day.
    Written 11 November 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Megan P
    25 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had always wanted to visit the Tiwi Islands. This tour is not for tourists but is for travellers. This tour is for people who are prepared to experience the reality of a remote community. It is not for people who want to visit a resort style setting and have a ‘cabaret’ style performance of culture. I did the Tiwi by Design tour and my husband was self guided. At the moment the self guided options are limited due to the lack of eating options so if you goose to be self guided pack a lunch. After a welcome smoking ceremony I participated in screen printing with one of the older artists. He talked as he worked and I enjoyed hearing about his family lineage and art experience. After a fresh boxed lunch we walked to the Museum and Church with Nicolas. The museum was really interesting and the Church is a true treasure. The painting and decoration around the altar area is astounding. Tiwi Art has a big selection of carvings, painting and fabric for sale. The prices represent the skill and time invested in the work. The long ferry ride is comfortable and is a good indicator of just how remote the islands are. The Tiwi people were very friendly and welcoming and shared their knowledge. The operators of Tiwi Art were really accommodating. We enjoyed our experience.
    Written 29 July 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    mrsincranny
    Cranbourne, Australia212 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a great day tour from Darwin. Included is the return ferry trip as well as a fully guided day of Aboriginal culture including a welcome to country and smoking ceremony. Screen printing your own tea towel or tshirt is a highlight of the day. A walking tour around the small museum of the history of the islands and the church featured in Top End Wedding, along with the woodworking studio was interesting and our guide, Vivian, was easy going and happy to answer any questions. Lunch is included and was a good selection of sandwiches, fruit and cake. There is drinking water refill station available which is so important in this climate. There is the opportunity to purchase woodworking and native painting. A local bus (no 14) is available from Darwin to take you to Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal.
    Written 18 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hello mrsincranny, We thank you for your pleasant feedback and glad that you enjoyed our Tiwi tour and Vivian is a star. We hope to see you again soon at another SeaLink Vessel. Kind Regards, SeaLink NT Team
    Written 31 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Call The Taxi
    Rose Bay, Australia40 contributions
    1.0 of 5 bubbles
    Waste of time and money! After a 2 1/2 hour ferry ride we hopped off walked to the nearby cultural centre where we were divided into two groups by a confused woman. After which one group did a screen print while the other group did a brief! walking tour lasting max 30 mins. Other than that we sat in the cultural centre all day doing nothing! Morning tea was freshly made damper (nice!) but highly disorganised! Lunch was adequate and consisted of boxes of sandwiches fruit and a drink. Due to poor communication between a ‘couldn’t care less’ manager and Sealink we were informed that the recently renovated museum was closed for the day and we weren’t able to visit this. Apparently the manager wasn’t informed until that morning. Seriously….! It’s a joke! A complete waste of your time don’t bother.
    Our strong advice would be to do your own walking tour! There’s little to see anyway.
    Written 18 June 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Kate A
    Mt Pleasant5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    July 2022 • Couples
    A wonderful day. The sea was a bit rough so take Travel Calm or similar if you get sea sick. The experience on the tour of the island was wonderful, everyone at Tiwi by Design was so friendly and welcoming. Lovely interactive smoking ceremony and traditional dances. Photos were allowed when we asked and Kevin was our friendly guide. He told us lots of great stories and answered all our questions. The screen printing was great and gave us a nice memento to bring home. Damper for morning tea was delicious and lunch was also great- an individual pack of wraps, sandwiches, fruit, a cake and cold water. Make sure you take cash as the museum sells some cards, books, t-shirts and artwork and only takes cash. Would highly recommend the tours.
    Written 14 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    kimscoconuts
    Adelaide, Australia62 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tiwi by Design day tour to the Tiwi Islands

    Had a great day immersing ourselves and learning about the culture and art of the Tiwi Islands. We all enjoyed screen printing our own Tiwi design tea towel.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the smoke ceremony and welcome dance, the locals so friendly and welcoming.
    The tour of the church (featured in the movie ‘Top End Wedding’) was really interesting and Vivian our guide for the day was fantastic a wealth of knowledge!
    Lunch was a selection of of sandwiches, fruit and little tasty bites was fresh and delicious.
    A long day but well worth it!
    I’d suggest making sure you have charged devices & extra battery block (especially if traveling with children), to keep them entertained on the ferry there & back as it’s a long cruise over and back.
    Written 23 September 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi Kimsco, Thank you so much for leaving your wonderful feedback from your Tiwi By Design experience, and our apologies for the delay in responding. We're so glad you enjoyed every aspect of the tour from the Welcome Ceremony to the church tour, lunch and screen printing. Vivian is certainly a knowledgeable and humorous guide and an asset to the team. A great idea too for people to bring portable charging devices as you're correct it is a long day, but very glad to hear you enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to welcoming you back for another SeaLink experience!
    Written 2 November 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Sarah F
    Sydney, Australia52 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    My husband, adult daughter and I had a great time on this tour. The sea journey there and back seemed to be so quick, and was very calm and pleasant. We were greeted by elders who gave us a welcome ceremony and then were taken on a tour around the island, visiting and hearing about the old church, funeral totems, the war history and given time to go round the museum, where the exhibit about Tiwi Island AFL players really interested us. The lunch was good and my GF meal I had pre-ordered was perfect. The highlight for us was the arts centre. We had a great time printing our t shirts/ tea towels - I wanted to do mine myself and I was shown how and had everything explained but was able to produce it myself. we loved the arts centre, seeing artists working and being able to buy paintings and bird carvings at extremely good prices. A perfect day.
    Written 5 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hey Fosfab92, Thank you for the 5bubbble review! Thank you for choosing us to travel to Tiwi Islands and we are glad that you were able to enjoy what Tiwi had to offer and the screen printing is indeed the highlight of the tour. We look forward to seeing you on another SeaLink vessel again soon. Kind regards, SeaLink NT Team
    Written 7 September 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Gary P
    Brighton, Australia66 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a tour for people who wish to explore the art of this area. You are straight off the ferry and into the day. The 'Welcome to Country was wonderful, it was respectful, inclusive and beautifully done. The guides were friendly, welcoming, informative and help with any issues of respect. We loved seeing how the art was created and hearing the story behind each piece.A visit to the church was a good addition to the day.
    Lunch was fresh and filling. Creating the screen printing was fun but ran on island time.
    The ferry was clean with coffee and facilities, it was bumpy both ways but we were promised by locals this is not a regular occurrence.
    Written 11 September 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Guy and Kerri
    Melbourne, Australia137 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Quite a long ferry trip to get there and no wifi, so take a book. Upon arrival greeted by a friendly local guide , there was a welcome to country ceremony and the explanation of local culture began.
    We then spent the morning choosing a screen print design for a T-shirt or tea towel souvenir that was included in the tour price .
    After lunch, a tour of the museum and more explanation of culture, skin and ceremonies.

    A visit to the local church was also interesting to see the blend of culture and religion in the artworks.

    Well worth the day visit . The place where the tshirts are made also has an indigenous gallery of high quality carvings and paintings for sale.
    Written 30 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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