Dirk Hartog

Dirk Hartog (Dutch pronunciation: [dɪrk ˈɦɑrtɔx]; baptized 30 October 1580, Amsterdam – buried 11 October 1621, Amsterdam) was a 17th-century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog's expedition was the second European group to land in Australia and the first to leave behind an artefact to record his visit, the Hartog plate. His name is sometimes alternatively spelled Dirck Hartog or Dierick Hartochszch. Ernest Giles referred to him as Theodoric Hartog.[1]


Born into a seafaring family, he received his first ship's command at the age of 30 and spent several years engaged in successful trading ventures in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.[2]

In 1616 Hartog gained employment with the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie – VOC), and was appointed master the Eendracht (meaning "Concord" or "Unity"), in a fleet voyaging from the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies.

Hartog set sail in January 1616 in the company of several other VOC ships, but became separated from them in a storm, and arrived independently at the Cape of Good Hope (later to become the site of Cape Town, South Africa). Hartog then set off across the Indian Ocean for Batavia (present-day Jakarta), utilising (or perhaps blown off course by) the strong westerly winds known as the "Roaring Forties" which had been earlier been noted by the Dutch navigator Henderik Brouwer as enabling a quicker route to Java.

On 25 October 1616, at approximately 26° latitude south, Hartog and crew came unexpectedly upon "various islands, which were, however, found uninhabited." He made landfall at an island off the coast of Shark Bay, Western Australia, which is now called Dirk Hartog Island after him. His was the second recorded European expedition to land on the Australian continent, having been preceded by Willem Janszoon in 1606, but the first to do so on the western coastline.[3]

Shark Bay
Map of Shark Bay area showing Dirk Hartog Island and Cape Inscription

Hartog spent three days examining the coast and nearby islands. The area was named Eendrachtsland after his ship, although that name has not endured. Before Hartog left, he affixed a pewter plate to a post, now known as the Hartog plate, on which he scratched a record of his visit to the island. Its inscription (translated from the original Dutch) read:

1616 On 25 October arrived the ship Eendracht, of Amsterdam: Supercargo Gilles Miebais of Liege, skipper Dirch Hatichs of Amsterdam. on 27 d[itt]o. she set sail again for Bantam. Deputy supercargo Jan Stins, upper steersman Pieter Doores of Bil. In the year 1616.[4]

Finding nothing of interest, Hartog continued sailing northwards along this previously uncharted coastline of Western Australia, making nautical charts up to about 22° latitude south. He then left the coast and continued on to Batavia, eventually arriving safely in December 1616, some five months after his expected arrival.

Dirk Hartog left the employ of the VOC upon his return to Amsterdam in 1618, resuming private trading ventures in the Baltic.


In 1619 Frederik de Houtman, in the VOC ship Dordrecht, and Jacob d'Edel, in another VOC ship Amsterdam, sighted land on the Australian coast near present-day Perth which they called d'Edelsland. After sailing northwards along the coast they made landfall in Eendrachtsland. In his journal, Houtman identified these coasts with Marco Polo's land of Beach, or Locach, as shown on maps of the time such as that of Petrus Plancius and Jan Huyghen van Linschoten.[5][6]

Eighty years later, on 4 February 1697, the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island and by chance found the Hartog plate, which lay half-buried in sand. He replaced it with a new plate which reproduced Hartog's original inscription and added notes of his own, and took Hartog's original back to Amsterdam, where it is housed in the Rijksmuseum.[3][4]

In 2000 the Hartog plate was temporarily returned to Australia as part of an exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. This led to suggestions that the plate, considered important as the oldest-known written artefact from Australia's European history, should be acquired for an Australian museum, but the Dutch authorities have made it clear that the plate is not for sale.

In 1966 and 1985 Hartog was depicted on Australian postage stamps, both depicting his ship.[7] In 2016 the Perth Mint issued a 1 troy ounce (31 g) silver coin to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Hartog's Australian landfall.[8]

The island in Shark Bay, Western Australia, where he made landfall was named Dirk Hartog Island. In Amsterdam, Canberra and fourteen other Australian towns, streets have been named in his honour.

See also


  1. ^ Giles, Ernest (1889). Australia twice traversed: the romance of exploration, being a narrative compiled from the journals of five exploring expeditions into and through central South Australia and Western Australia from 1872 to 1876 (1981 facsimile). 2. Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington. ISBN 0-86824-015-X.
  2. ^ Playford, Phillip E. (2005). "Hartog, Dirk (1580–1621)". In Christopher Cuneen. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Supplementary Volume 1580–1980. Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 6 Feb 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Dirk Hartog Landing Site 1616 - Cape Inscription Area, Dirk Hartog Island, WA, Australia". Australian Heritage Database - National Heritage List. Commonwealth of Australia Department of the Environment. Retrieved 6 Feb 2014.
  4. ^ a b Major, Richard Henry, ed. (1859). Early Voyages to Terra Australis, Now Called Australia: A Collection of Documents, and Extracts from Early Manuscript Maps, Illustrative of the History of Discovery on the Coasts of that Vast Island, from the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century to the Time of Captain Cook. London: The Hakluyt Society. p. lxxxii. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  5. ^ Letter of Commandeur Frederik de Houtman to the Chamber Amsterdam, 7 October 1620, Algemeen Rijksarchief, The Hague, 982, 1620 II, fol147-151, fol.148r; quoted in P. A. Leupe, De Reizen der Nederlanders naar het Zuidland of Nieuw-Holland in de 17e en 18e eeuw, Amsterdam, G. Hulst van Keulen, 1868, p.29, 32; cited in Frederik Willem Stapel, De Oostindische Compagnie en Australië, Amsterdam, P.N. van Kampen, 1937, pp.11 en 28.
  6. ^ Van Lohuizen, Jan (1966). "Houtman, Frederik de (1571–1627)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  7. ^ "1985 Issues". Australian On-line Stamp Catalogue. Retrieved 25 Mar 2014.
  8. ^ "Dirk Hartog Australian Landing 1616 - 2016 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin". The Perth Mint, Australia. Gold Corporation, Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 15 June 2016.

Further reading

  • Wendy Van Duivenvoorde, “Dutch Seaman Dirk Hartog (1583–1621) and his Ship Eendracht”, The Great Circle, vol.38, no.1, 2016, pp.1-31.
  • King, Robert J. "Dirk Hartog's landing on Beach, the Gold-bearing province," Map Matters, (the newsletter of the Australia on the Map Division of the Australasian Hydrographic Society), no.10, Autumn, 2010, pp. 6–8. at: http://www.australiaonthemap.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/MapMatters10.pdf
  • King, Robert J. “Dirk Hartog lands on Beach, the Gold-bearing Province”, The Globe, No. 77, 2015, pp. 12–52.[1]
  • Playford, Phillip E.; Cribb, R.B.; Bouma, Greetje; Boer, Cor (2016). The Life and Times of Dirk Hartog. Nedlands, WA: Royal Western Australian Historical Society. ISBN 9781741687095.
  • "History of Dirk Hartog Island". DIRK HARTOG ISLAND - History. Archived from the original on June 24, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2005.
  • "The Eendracht". Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopaedia. Archived from the original on December 2, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2005.
  • "Captain Dirck Hartogh". VOC Historical Society (updated URL). Retrieved 26 November 2015.
Acacia didyma

Acacia didyma is a shrub or small tree which is native to Western Australia. It grows to between 1.5 metres and 4 metres in height and flowers from August to October (late winter to mid spring) in its native range.It occurs on East Wallabi Island in the Houtman Abrolhos as well as scattered locations near Shark Bay including Dirk Hartog Island and Carrarang and Tamala StationsThe species was formally described in 1992 in the journal Nuytsia by Alex Chapman and Bruce Maslin, based on plant material collected at Shark Bay.

Barrow Island (Western Australia)

Barrow Island is a 202 km2 (78 sq mi) island 50 kilometres (31 mi) northwest off the Pilbara coast of Western Australia. The island is the second largest in Western Australia after Dirk Hartog Island.

Caert van't Landt van d'Eendracht

Caert van't Landt van d'Eendracht ("Chart of the Land of Eendracht") is a 1627 map by Hessel Gerritsz. One of the earliest maps of Australia, it shows what little was then known of the west coast, based on a number of voyages beginning with the 1616 voyage of Dirk Hartog, when he named Eendrachtsland after his ship.

The map is oriented with north to the left and shows lines of latitude from 20th parallel south to the 35th parallel south and also shows the Tropic of Capricorn. The top left of the map shows a river labelled Willems revier, besocht by 't volck van 't Schip Mauritius in Iulius A° 1618 ("Willem's River, visited by the crew of the ship Mauritius in July 1618"). The identity of this river, now referred to as Willem River, is unknown; it is possibly the Ashburton River.In the bottom left corner is a feature labelled Hier ist Engels schip de Trial vergaen in Iunias, A° 1622 ("Here the English ship Trial was wrecked in June 1622"). This is possibly the first appearance on a map of the Tryal Rocks, the identity of which was not determined until the 1960s.Other than these two features, the leftmost third of the map shows a fairly straight, featureless coastline, set in between the 21st parallel south and the 26th parallel south, labelled 'T Landt van de Eendracht, opghedaen by Dirck Hartogs met 't Schip d'Eendracht in October A° 1616 ("The Land of Eendracht", discovered by Dirk Hartog of the Eendracht in October 1616"). The way this is written on the map in such bold figures implies that the Dutch were naming the entire country (land). Right on the 26th parallel south latitude is written "Dirk Hartog rec" showing what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island, as part of mainland Western Australia.

The middle third of the map has two main features. One, labelled Fr. Houtman's abrolhos, shows the archipelago discovered by Frederick de Houtman in 1619, and now known as the Houtman Abrolhos. Although this map was not the first to show the Houtman Abrolhos, it represents the earliest known publication of the name.

The other feature, labelled Tortelduyff ("Turtledove"), lies slightly to the south (that is, to the right) of the Houtman Abrolhos. Now known as Turtle Dove Shoal, the name is thought to signify that the shoal was first discovered by the ship Tortelduif, which is recorded as having arrived at Batavia, Dutch East Indies on 21 June 1623. Gerritsz's 1627 Caert is the earliest known map to show this feature.

The rightmost third of the map shows a section of coastline labelled 't Landt van de Leeuwin beseylt A° 1622 in Maert. ("Land made by the ship Leeuwin in March 1622.") This is thought to represent the coast between present-day Hamelin Bay and Point D’Entrecasteaux. Portions of this coastline are labelled Duynich landt boven met boomen ende boseage ("Dunes with trees and forest"), Laegh ghelijck verdroncken landt ("Low land like flood liable land") and Laegh duynich landt ("Low land with dunes"). This section of coastline is significant because the Leeuwin's log book is lost, and very little is known of this ship's voyage, other than what is revealed by this map.

Dirk Hartog Island

Dirk Hartog Island is an island off the Gascoyne coast of Western Australia, within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. It is about 80 kilometres (50 miles) long and between 3 and 15 kilometres (1.9 and 9.3 miles) wide and is Western Australia's largest and most western island. It covers an area of 620 square kilometres (240 square miles) and is approximately 850 kilometres (530 miles) north of Perth. It was named after Dirk Hartog, a Dutch sea captain, who first encountered the Western Australian coastline close to the 26th parallel south latitude, which runs through the island. After leaving the island, Hartog continued his voyage north-east along the mainland coast. Hartog gave the Australian mainland one of its earliest known names, as Eendrachtsland, which he named after his ship Eendracht, meaning "Unity".

Eendracht (1615 ship)

The Eendracht (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈeːndrɑxt]; Concord) was an early 17th Century Dutch wooden-hulled 700 tonne East Indiaman, launched in 1615 in the service of the Dutch East India Company(VOC). It was captained by Dirk Hartog when he made the second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, in 1616.Its name in Dutch literally means 'carrying (as) one' meaning together or in concord, but is also translated as "unity" or "union", and was a common name given to Dutch ships of the period, from the motto of the Republic: Concordia res parvae crescunt.


Eendrachtsland or Eendraghtsland was derived from 't Landt van d'Eendracht or Land van de Eendracht and was one of the earliest names given for Australia, being in use for 28 years, from 1616 until 1644.

In 1616 Dirk Hartog sailed from the west in the Dutch East India Company ship Eendracht and encountered the west coast of the Australian mainland, meeting it close to the 26th parallel south latitude (26° south) near what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island in Western Australia.After leaving the island, the Eendracht sailed in a north-west direction along the West Australian coastline, Hartog charting as he went. He gave this land the name 't Landt van d'Eendracht or "Eendrachtsland", after his ship, the Eendracht, meaning "Unity".

Extreme points of Oceania

This is a list of the extreme points of Oceania.

Northernmost point – Kure Atoll, United States (28°25′N)

Southernmost point – Jacquemart Island, New Zealand (52°37′S)

Westernmost point – Dirk Hartog Island, Australia (112°55″E)

Easternmost point – Easter Island, Chile (109°13'W)

Lowest point on land – Lake Eyre, Australia: −15 m (−49 ft)

Highest point – Puncak Jaya, Indonesia: 4,884 metres (16,024 ft)

Deepest sea – Challenger Deep: 10,994 metres (36,070 ft)

Hartog Plate

Hartog Plate or Dirk Hartog's Plate is either of two plates, although primarily the first, which were left on Dirk Hartog Island during a period of European exploration of the western coast of Australia prior to European settlement there. The first plate, left by Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, is the oldest-known artifact of European exploration in Australia still in existence. The original dish was returned to the Netherlands where it is on display in the Rijksmuseum. A replacement and additional dish were subsequently discovered on three additional visits over the next 200 years

History of Western Australia

The human history of Western Australia commenced between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago with the arrival of Indigenous Australians on the northwest coast. The first inhabitants expanded the range of their settlement to the east and south of the continent. The first recorded European contact was in 1616, when Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog landed on the west coast.

Although many expeditions visited the coast during the next 200 years, there was no lasting attempt at establishment of a permanent settlement until December 1826 when an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government, led by Major Edmund Lockyer, landed at King George Sound. On 21 January 1827 Lockyer formally took possession of the western third of the continent of Australia for the British Crown. This was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth. The harsh conditions faced by the settlers resulted in population growth being minimal until the discovery of gold in the 1880s. Since the gold rush, the population of the state has risen steadily, with substantial growth in the period since World War II.

Western Australia gained the right of self-government in 1890, and joined with the five other states to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The desire of Western Australians to revert to complete self-governance, separate from the Commonwealth, culminated in 1933 with a successful referendum for secession supported by 68% of electors. In 1935 the British parliament declined to act since secession would require the assent of the Australian parliament, and the movement lapsed with an improving economy and generous federal grants.

List of islands in Shark Bay

This is a list of the islands in the Shark Bay area of the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia, (between 24°30′0″ and 26°30′0″ S, and 112°0′0″ and 114°30′0″ E).

There are approximately 30 small islands in Shark Bay; all are within the World Heritage Reserve.The largest is Dirk Hartog Island.

Louis Aleno de St Aloüarn

Louis Francois Marie Aleno de Saint Aloüarn (25 July 1738 – 27 October 1772) was a notable French mariner and explorer.

St Aloüarn was the first European to make a formal, but now unrecognised, claim of sovereignty — on behalf of France — over the west coast of Australia, which was known at the time as "New Holland". Much of this west coast had already been charted by other mariners from the Netherlands, following a landing by Dirk Hartog in 1616, who left a commemorative plaque recording his visit. James Cook, in 1770, had charted and claimed the east coast for Britain. When St Aloüarn visited New Holland in 1772, neither British nor Dutch officials had issued a formal claim over this western part of New Holland. However, the French claim over Western Australia was never secured by a permanent settlement.

Meade Island

Meade Island is an uninhabited sand island located about 200 metres from Dirk Hartog Island in the Shark Bay World Heritage Site in Western Australia, and joined to that island at low tide. It has an area of about 800 square metres (0.2 acre), and an elevation of two metres (7 ft).

The island's vegetation is a closed heath, of which the dominant plant species are Nitraria billardierei (Nitre Bush), Scaevola crassifolia (Thick-leaved Fan-flower) and Spinifex longifolius (Beach Spinifex). Other plant species include Exocarpos aphyllus (Leafless Ballart), Rhagodia preissii subsp. obovata, Salsola tragus (Prickly Saltwort), Sonchus oleraceus (Common Sow-thistle), and a species of Pelargonium. Eight species of seabird roost on the island.

Quoin Bluff

Quoin Bluff, also known as Quoin Bluff South, is an elevated limestone headland midway along the eastern side of Dirk Hartog Island, in Shark Bay, on the-west coast of Western Australia. It extends into Shark Bay between Herald Bay to the north and Tetrodon Loop to the south, and serves as a prominent navigation point with an all-round view of the approaches to Egg Island.

Sepia chirotrema

Sepia chirotrema is a species of cuttlefish native to the southern Indo-Pacific, specifically from Investigator Strait, southern Australia (35°25′S 137°22′E) to

Dirk Hartog Island, western Australia (25°45′S 113°03′E). It lives at a depth of between 120 and 210 m.S. chirotrema grows to a mantle length of approximately 200 mm.The type specimen was collected in the Investigator Strait area (35°25′S 137°22′E), south of Kangaroo Island (35°50′S 137°15′E). It was deposited at the Australian Museum in Sydney but no longer exists.

Shark Bay

Shark Bay is a World Heritage Site in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The 2,200,902-hectare (5,438,550-acre) area is located approximately 800 kilometres (500 mi) north of Perth, on the westernmost point of the Australian continent. UNESCO's official listing of Shark Bay as a World Heritage Site reads:

Shark Bay’s waters, islands and peninsulas....have a number of exceptional natural features, including one of the largest and most diverse seagrass beds in the world. However it is for its stromatolites (colonies of microbial mats that form hard, dome-shaped deposits which are said to be the oldest life forms on earth), that the property is most renowned. The property is also famous for its rich marine life including a large population of dugongs, and provides a refuge for a number of other globally threatened species.

Shark Bay Marine Park

The Shark Bay Marine Park is protected marine park located within the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Shark Bay, in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The 748,725-hectare (1,850,140-acre) marine park is situated over 800 km (500 mi) north of Perth and 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Geraldton.The marine park is known for its large marine animals, such as the famous Monkey Mia dolphins, turtles, dugongs and sharks. The park and its vast seagrass meadows, with a total of twelve species of seagrass in the park that form an important part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.Major reference points of its boundaries include Steep Point at the south side of Dirk Hartog Island and Cape Inscription at the north side.

Steep Point

Steep Point (26°09′05″S 113°09′18″E) is the westernmost point of mainland Australia. It is located within the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, 670 kilometres north of the state's capital Perth, in the proposed Edel Land National Park. It is also a part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site.Access to Steep Point is by four-wheel drive vehicles only, as tracks to the point are through sand dunes. The North West Coastal Highway is the closest sealed road and is 200 kilometres east of the point. An entry permit is required to travel to the point, which can be purchased at the rangers house in Edel Land National Park, which is about 20 kilometres east of Steep Point. Camping areas and basic facilities are also available in the park and can be purchased at the rangers house.The nearest town to Steep Point is Denham, also located within the Shark Bay World Heritage Site, which is 232 kilometres from the point by four-wheel drive track and road, however only 44 kilometres north-east of the point as the crow flies.Dirk Hartog Island (26°7′26″S 113°10′46″E) is 3 kilometres north of Steep Point. Access to the island is possible via a ferry from Steep Point to Surf Point, the closest point on Dirk Hartog Island to Steep Point.Steep Point is one of Australia's most renowned land-based game fishing places, with over 320 different species of fish that have been caught off the point, where mackerel, sailfish and trevally are the most common. Serious fishers harness themselves onto the point, float their baits off the cliff using helium balloons and haul their catch up uses specially designed fishing gaffs, however it is very common that a shark steals the fisher's catch before they can haul it up onto land.Steep Point is commonly known for the "final sunset" in Australia, as you cannot travel any closer towards the sunset on mainland Australia than this point.Steep Point is a reference point for other places and points of interests. For example, the location of the shipwreck HMAS Sydney is cited from the point. The novel Castaway Coast was inspired by the cliff-lined coast south of Steep Point. Also, on 17 July 2006 the largest ever recorded tsunami to hit Australia was measured at 7.9 metres high at Steep Point. The natural disaster was triggered from the Pangandaran earthquake off the coast of Java in Indonesia.

Sunday Island (Shark Bay)

Sunday Island is located in the Indian Ocean 530 ft (161.5 m) southeast of Dirk Hartog Island and 23 miles (37 km) southwest of Denham in Western Australia at -26.124295 south latitude and 113.236538 east longitude. It measures approximately 263 ft (80.2 m) by 108 ft (33 m). In the 19th century, it was a source of guano for British traders. It is now part of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site.

White-winged fairywren

The white-winged fairywren (Malurus leucopterus) is a species of passerine bird in the Australasian wren family, Maluridae. It lives in the drier parts of Central Australia; from central Queensland and South Australia across to Western Australia. Like other fairywrens, this species displays marked sexual dimorphism and one or more males of a social group grow brightly coloured plumage during the breeding season. The female is sandy-brown with light-blue tail feathers; it is smaller than the male, which, in breeding plumage, has a bright-blue body, black bill, and white wings. Younger sexually mature males are almost indistinguishable from females and are often the breeding males. In spring and summer, a troop of white-winged fairywrens has a brightly coloured older male accompanied by small, inconspicuous brown birds, many of which are also male. Three subspecies are recognised. Apart from the mainland subspecies, one is found on Dirk Hartog Island, and another on Barrow Island off the coast of Western Australia. Males from these islands have black rather than blue breeding plumage.

The white-winged fairywren mainly eats insects, supplementing this with small fruits and leaf buds. It occurs in heathland and arid scrubland, where low shrubs provide cover. Like other fairywrens, it is a cooperative breeding species, and small groups of birds maintain and defend territories year-round. Groups consist of a socially monogamous pair with several helper birds who assist in raising the young. These helpers are progeny that have attained sexual maturity but remain with the family group for one or more years after fledging. Although not yet confirmed genetically, the white-winged fairywren may be promiscuous and assist in raising the young from other pairings. As part of a courtship display, the male wren plucks petals from flowers and displays them to female birds.

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