Fishing in Tiwi and Vernon islands

The Tiwi Islands are made up of the Melville and Bathurst islands and smaller islands.

The Vernon Islands are within the Tiwi estate.

You must respect the cultural importance of the land and waters to the Tiwi Traditional Owners and the custodians of the area.

From time to time, Tiwi cultural ceremonies take place. This may mean a particular area is temporarily closed to access.

Access to waters

You don't need a permit to fish intertidal waters around the southern and eastern regions of Melville and Bathurst islands, Vernon Islands or Aspley Strait, including rivers or creeks.

You can fish and access these waters above but you must have a permit to go ashore and access camp sites.

Where you can't fish

You must not fish or go ashore on the west coast of Bathurst Island from Deception Point south to the Cape Fourcroy lighthouse and the north coast of Melville Island from Cape Van Diemen in the west to Quanipiri Bay in the east.

You're not allowed in all creeks, rivers, estuaries and intertidal waters in this area.

You can be fined if you break the rules. Read how to report suspected illegal fishing.

Safe anchorage areas

You must not fish in safe anchorage areas at Johnson River, Milikapiti, Snake Bay and Port Hurd.

You can shelter in these areas only if there is bad weather.

How to apply for a camping permit

You need a permit to access two campsites in the area that have roofed shelters.

To apply for a camping permit, go to the Tiwi Land Council (TLC) website.

You must contact the TLC 24 hours before you visit the townships of Wurrumiyanga and Pirlangimpi.

You may buy fuel and supplies or visit the art gallery. For all other areas in the Tiwi Islands, you must apply for land or recreational fishing access.

For more information, maps and rules, read the Tiwi Islands fishing guide PDF (1.3 MB).

For more information on the Tiwi Islands, go to the Tourism NT website.

Last updated: 05 February 2021

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