The Tiwi Islands has been hit with a case of grand final fever, and if you thought a cyclone would be enough to shake punters’ spirits, you would be wrong.
While Tropical Cyclone Marcus may have postponed the long-awaited showdown between the Tuyu Buffaloes and newcomers Tikalaru Dockers, it did not stop locals and tourists alike from descending on Bathurst Island for the renowned celebration of Tiwi Islands culture.
It was a day of celebration for the Dockers, who claimed victory over their opponents, despite only entering the Tiwi Islands Football League (TIFL) this season.
It was a feat not easily lost on their doting fans, who took to the field in support ahead of the big game.
“It’s nothing like the MCG,” quipped Melburnian Andrew, who was visiting his girlfriend in Darwin and joined a charter flight to the match on a whim.
“But the atmosphere is up there. It’s pretty much like a country footy game… with the rivalry between the towns.”
The event is an unlikely combination of art and sport, where some of the Territory’s best painters, sewers and sculptors converge to show their work to the world.
“[This] means snake, it’s our rainbow serpent,” artist Nicholas Shane Miller said, gesturing to an intricately woven rug.
“I like making that because it protects our island too.”