Melville Island (Australia)

Coordinates: 11°33′S 130°56′E / 11.550°S 130.933°E / -11.550; 130.933
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Native name:
Melville Island (Australia) is located in Northern Territory
Melville Island (Australia)
Location of Melville Island
LocationTimor Sea
Coordinates11°33′S 130°56′E / 11.550°S 130.933°E / -11.550; 130.933
ArchipelagoTiwi Islands
Major islandsMelville, Irrititu
Area5,786 km2 (2,234 sq mi)
TerritoryNorthern Territory
Largest settlementMilikapiti (pop. 559)
Populationabout 1030
Ethnic groupsTiwi

Melville Island is an island in the eastern Timor Sea. It is part of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located off the coast of Arnhem Land and north of Darwin. The island is called Yermalner in the native Tiwi language. Melville is about 5,786 square kilometres (2,234 sq mi) in size. It is the second-largest island in Australia, after Tasmania.[1]

The name Melville is for Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville, first lord of the Admiralty. The much larger Melville Island in northern Canada was also named after him.

Melville Island and nearby Bathurst Island are together called the Tiwi Islands. The Tiwi are the indigenous people that live on the islands. Their creation stories suggest that Indigenous Australians have lived on the Tiwi Islands for at least 7,000 years.[2]

The largest community on the island is Milikapiti. About 559 people live in Milikapiti. The second village is Pirlangimpi, 27 kilometres west of Milipakpiti. About 440 people live here. About 30 more people live in five family outstations.

References[change | change source]

  1. Geoscience Australia. "Islands". Australian Government. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010.
  2. Tiwi Land Council. "History". Archived from the original on 5 January 2009.

Other websites[change | change source]