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Melville Island  Northern Territory

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Bathurst Island and Melville Island make up the Tiwi Islands about 80 kilometres across the Arafura Sea, north-west of Darwin. It is home to the Tiwi people and is a restricted Aboriginal Reserve.

Tiwi Islanders welcome organised touring groups on one and two day tours that can be arranged from Darwin. Tours provide you with an 'organised' Aboriginal cultural experience and the opportunity to see and buy Aboriginal arts and crafts.

Of particular note is the batik and silkscreened clothing, woven bangles, painted conch shells, carvings, pottery and the unique Pukumani burial poles.

First contact with Europeans is likely to have been with Portuguese sailors, but it was the British who set up an unsuccessful settlement at Fort Dundas on Bathurst Island, now reclaimed as Pularumpi, home to the community of the Tiwi people.

Today the islands are run by the Tiwi Land Council who have a culture distinctly different to mainland Aboriginal peoples.

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