It’s Western Australia’s largest island, yet you’ve probably never heard of it. But if you love off-the-beaten-track adventures, Dirk Hartog Island is a bucket-list must.
T T hark ay orld eritage area, irk artog sland is a remote nirvana steeped in history and rich with wildlife. nd its ͳͳ discovery by aptain irk artog also happened to put ustralia on the world map. pewter plate, inscribed with details of artog’s visit and left at the northern end of the island, now known as ape nscription, is the oldest physical record of a uropean landing in ustralia. any eplorers followed the utch skipper, including illem de lamingh in ͳͻ, illiam ampier in ͳͻͻ and ouis de reycinet in ͳͺͳͺ. Today though, eploration is the role of tourists who can discover the island by Ͷ , camp on a secluded beach or stay in the rustic luury co odge. irk artog sland is home to stunning landscapes, from dramatic ͲͲǦfootǦhigh cliffs and thundering blowholes to sand drifts that flow into the calm waters of the hark ay marine park. eanwhile, the ndian cean teems with humpback whales, dugongs, dolphins, sharks and turtles, and the vantage points are many. Take the family fishing and cook the day’s catch on the campfire, snorkel in crystal clear waters, or discover the ambitious ecoǦrestoration proect, Ǯ eturn to ͳͳ’, which is turning the sland into an Ǯark’ for rare and endangered animals. There is even more to enoy in ʹͲͳͺ with celebrations in eptember marking ʹͲͲ years since de reycinet and his wife, ose, visited the island. Their voyage doubled as the incredible love story of a young rench bride who stowed away disguised as a cabin boy to be with her husband. elebrations include Ͷ island eplorations, historical presentations, and a showcase of the Gascoyne region’s many incredible flavours. Those flavours will also take centre stage in ugust with the annual Gourmet sland scape. ocally caught seafood, including hark ay prawns, scallops, snow crab and pink snapper, star in this foodie delight, which features beach barbecues, cliffǦtop sundowners, dinner served in an old shearing shed and, the main event, n irk’s inner late longǦtable lunch. feast for all senses, irk artog sland, with a powerful energy connecting people to place, can only be described as paradise.
Dirk Hartog Island is home to stunning landscapes... while the Indian Ocean teems with humpback whales, dugongs, sharks and turtles.
Clockwise, from top: The dramatic coastline of Dirk Hartog Island; The rugged, wide expanses of the island have remained relatively unchanged since its discovery in 1616; Exloring the stunning Rose Lake.