Silversea Expedition Cruises À ELCHO ISLAND (Banthula)

ELCHO ISLAND (Banthula)

Elcho Island, known as Galiwinku by the indigenous Yolngu, is the largest of the Wessel Islands in Northeast Arnhem Land. The main settlement on the island’s southwestern side had started during WWII as a refuge from possible bombings of an air force base on nearby Milingimbi Island, some 70 km away. Banthula is one of the homelands on Elcho Island’s northwestern side facing the Arafura Sea. View more

It was founded in 1979 when the Australian government encouraged the indigenous population to return to lands they had used before contact with the western world and to establish small settlements, the so-called homelands or outstations. Banthula is some 300 meters inland from Refuge Bay’s 7 kilometer long sandy shore. Some 40 Aborigines live in Banthula, almost 2% of Elcho Island’s population. The school closest to the Banthula children is some 12 km away at Gawa –it actually is one of Australia’s most remote schools. The area around Banthula has dry rain forest and an extensive mangrove growth is found around a creek at the northern end of the beach and bay. Green turtles, flatback turtles, hawksbill turtles, and Olive Ridley turtles, as well as dugong and Australian snubfin dolphins have all been recorded in and around Refuge Bay and Bridled Terns have been found nesting.

An Introduction to Silversea Expeditions

“Voyage of a lifetime” does not even begin to describe a Silversea Expedition experience. Imagine the comfort and intimacy of our ships, coupled with the most intriguing, far-flung destinations on earth. With over 590 destinations on all 7 continents, this is expedition cruising at its finest. Our uniquely curated itineraries with excursions adapted to individual ability and interest cater to all, while our knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts lead the way. Butler service, highest crew to guest ration in the industry and all-inclusivity make a Silversea Expedition cruise like nothing you have ever experienced.

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Excursions depuis ELCHO ISLAND (Banthula)

Banthula Homeland Experience

Upon arrival at Banthula you will be formally welcomed to the Country by Bunthala residents through Bunggal (traditional dance) with Manikay (traditional songs).


Thereafter you will be introduced to the Bunthala homeland story and Yolngu culture including kinship systems, spoken and sign language. Throughout our visit you will be invited to participate in a selection of traditional activities - these may include: weaving, traditional painting, jewelry making, bush food collection, demonstration spear making and participation in traditional spear fishing or hunting. This allows time for residents to talk with you about the techniques applied, the history behind them, and talk informally in a two way cultural exchange.


You will have time to engage informally with homelands residents, tour the homeland and school, and peruse traditional art and jewelry.

An Introduction to Silversea Expeditions

“Voyage of a lifetime” does not even begin to describe a Silversea Expedition experience. Imagine the comfort and intimacy of our ships, coupled with the most intriguing, far-flung destinations on earth. With over 590 destinations on all 7 continents, this is expedition cruising at its finest. Our uniquely curated itineraries with excursions adapted to individual ability and interest cater to all, while our knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts lead the way. Butler service, highest crew to guest ration in the industry and all-inclusivity make a Silversea Expedition cruise like nothing you have ever experienced.