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Tips for the Tiwi Island Footy Final and Art Sale

The annual Tiwi Island footy and art collision is one of the region's best cultural events – not only because it brings together two things Top Enders love – sport and art – but also because it allows visitors a closer insight into the beauty and culture of the Tiwi Islands.

By Tamara Howie 

The art centres from the islands of Bathurst and Melville set up shop with incredibly good deals on all their art, and the Tiwi Island football grand final helps you understand where some of country’s best AFL players come from.

But getting over there in the tail-end of the Wet season can mean a long, hot, sticky day.

Off The Leash spoke to some regular attendees to get the low-down on how to get the best from your experience.


•    Decide how you’re getting there, pronto – green around the gills in the water? Book a charter flight instead of the ferry, but act quick, they book out fast

•    Get there early to snap up the best art – buy as much as you can because you won’t get prices like this on the mainland

•    Take time to chat to the artists if they’re around and bring a bag to keep your new pieces safe from the elements

•    Pack food, water and a blanket or tarp to sit on – keeping in mind you’ll be carrying it around all day

•    Take advantage of the shuttle buses between art centres

•    BYO as much shade as possible

•    Dress appropriately – it can be hot and humid with potential for sudden downpours

•    Make no evening plans, you’ll be rooted by the time you’re back home.

•    Bring cash – and lots of it, including smaller change to buy food to support the local community groups

•    Be prepared to wait at the airport on your way home – take your chill pills and enjoy the experience as everyone tries to fly out after the footy finishes

•    Ask before you take photos of people or artwork

•    Be prepared for it to be cancelled if there’s a cyclone (thanks Marcus)

•    Pick a team, dress in their colours and get into the footy spirit

Sun 17 Mar | From 9am | Bathurst Island | Free

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