IOTA DXpedition 1999

Island information

Map of the area

Melville Island OC-173

A spectacular 80 km flight from Darwin, Bathurst and Melville Islands are 8 000 sq km of dense rainforest and secluded waterfalls. They are home to the Tiwi people. The first European contact with the Tiwi people was by the Dutch in 1705. In 1824, the British established the first settlement in northern Australia at Fort Dundas on Melville Island, near where Pirlangimpi stands today, however it was abandoned after only 18 months. The only way to see the Tiwi Islands is on an organised one or two day tour, when the Tiwi are delighted to share their elaborate religion, culture and art with you. In fact, the Tiwi are famous for their distinctive batik and silk-screened clothing, woven bangles, painted conch shells, carvings, pottery and their unique Pukumani burial poles. For keen anglers, one of Australia's premier fishing locations, Barra Base Lodge is also located on Bathurst Island. The larger island, Melville, boasts swimming holes such as those at the base of Tomorapi and Taracumbie Falls and even a nine-hole golf course.

Croker Island OC-229

Croker Island is 220km NE from Darwin  and the total length of the Island is 47km Long.  The landscape of Croker Island is varied with , tropical Pines,  flood plains and rain forest.  The Island is flat in nature with the western side ( Towards Darwin ) being mainly sandy beach's,  the eastern side ( Township side ) being coral reef's and the Southern part of the island (nearest the main land - Coburg Peninsular) is very rocky. There are many uninhabited islands surrounding Croker Island. In the Early 1940's a Mission was formed on the island and during the late 1940's and WW2 the children were removed from their homes ( Stolen Generation ) and taken as far away as Alice Springs.  There is no industry on Croker Island and visits to island are by invitation only ( This Island is a Closed Island ).  With only one general store on the island and only a barge service from Darwin once every 2 weeks, supplies must be flown in via Airnorth, with a 1a day flight service if needed urgently.  Wildlife on Croker Island is also varied, with many Geese and other  bird species such as the Brolga & Jabaroo.  Animails such as wild pig and Pyreness ponies were brought on to the Island by the Missionary's in the late 1940's.  There are 2 language's used on Croker  Island , the IWADJA & the MOAUR.  The Local School (Mamaruni) is host to 2 Teachers , 3 Aboriginal Assistant Teachers and a enrolment (1999 ) of 45 Students from Pre-School to year 6.  Years 7 to 12 are taught at Boarding School in Darwin.

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