The Tiwi Islands are a secret window into Australia's (almost) lost world

Some of the best-preserved Aboriginal traditions are to found on this little-known archipelago north of Darwin, writes Phoebe Smith

20 October 2019 - 00:00 By Phoebe Smith

White smoke plumed into the air so thick I could no longer see beyond it, while the rhythmic sound of clap sticks struck like a heartbeat. The scent of burning eucalyptus leaves filled my nose, while the humid air felt damp against my skin.

As the vapour began to dissipate, I could see my guide Thaddeus's outline begin to appear like a spectre. He beckoned me to walk through the vapour and I stood to face him, his skin painted with lines of red, ochre and white...

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