Pirlangimpi, or Garden Point, is one of two communities on Melville Island and comprises approximately 350 people. After Tasmania, Pirlangimpi is the largest island off continental Australia. Local police cover an area of approximately 5,700km².

The first contact the Tiwi people had with another race appears to have been through trade with the seafaring Maccassans, who traveled to the islands in search of trepang (sea cucumber) for the Chinese market on the monsoon winds each year. In 1939, the government of the day set up a ration centre at Pirlangimpi to care for the Tiwi people of Melville Island. The next year a Catholic mission began to look after children of mixed parentage. Later the mission moved to the township of Milikapiti. In 1978, the ownership of Melville Island was formally handed back to the Tiwi people and today the island is held under trust of the Tiwi Land Council.

Facilities include a primary school, a police station, a small supermarket, a creche, a clinic, a social club and an airstrip. Freight barges come twice a week and there are regular flights to and from Darwin on Fly Tiwi, twice a day Monday to Friday and once a day Saturday and Sundays.


There is a primary school located at Pirlangimpi, and nearby Milikapiti

Health services

The Community Health Centre provides primary health care services to the residents of Pirlangimpi Community via two full time registered nurses supported by aboriginal health workers and through visits by a district medical officer.

Recreation activities

Recreational activities are fishing, including charter boats and tours, recreation hall and football. There is a sports oval, swimming pool and a nine-hole golf course.

Tiwi Islanders are keen AFL players and play in regular competitions in the NT and in southern competitions. In March each year, the Tiwi Island Grand Final takes place, which is attended by spectators from across Australia.


Manupi Arts and Crafts Centre