Residents of the tiny Tiwi islands, 80km north of Darwin, are reportedly thrilled to get a new connection to the mainland.

Tiwi locals have welcomed the arrival of a new routine ferry link, after being cut-off for over a year. Contract disputes left Tiwi residents marooned early last year.

The ferries will be operated by Adelaide-based firm Sealink, which already enjoy success running ferries from mainland Queensland to communities on Thursday Island, Green Island, Magnetic Island and others.

Regular ferry services have a measurable effect increasing tourist numbers as well.

Tiwi Island residents can now book a return trip to Darwin for just $80, less than a third of the price of a plane ticket to the island’s tiny airstrip. The journey will take two hours each way.

The previous Northern Territory government had put up around $440,000 to trial a ferry service for three months before it was abandoned last year. The Territory’s new government as subsidised the service with a $930,000 loan, which it expects to get back once ticket sales pick up.

Reports say the link will spell an end for the ridiculous $100 in extra luggage residents were paying just to bring groceries back on a plane flight.