Home > About the Tiwi Islands > Transport and Accommodation

Transport and Accommodation

Getting to the Tiwi Islands

Visitor Permits

Visitors to the Tiwi Islands must apply for a permit however, if you are travelling to Wurrumiyanga on a SeaLink NT ferry or with a hosted tour your permit will be covered.



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.

Private Boat

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

Fly Tiwi runs a regular service to Wurrumiyanga (Bathurst Island), Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) and Milikapiti (Snake Bay). 

Charter Flights

Darwin aircraft charter companies that service communities on the Tiwi Islands include Hardy Aviation and Arafura Aviation


Getting around the Tiwi Islands

Hire Car


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)

Tour Operators

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

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

Download map