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.

Australian Traveller - - Weekends -

T T hark ay orld er­itage area, irk ar­tog sland is a re­mote nir­vana steeped in his­tory and rich with wildlife. nd its ͳ͸ͳ͸ 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 ešplor­ers fol­lowed the utch skip­per, in­clud­ing illem de lam­ingh in ͳ͸ͻ͹, il­liam ampier in ͳ͸ͻͻ and ouis de reycinet in ͳͺͳͺ. To­day though, ešplo­ration is the role of tourists who can dis­cover the is­land by Ͷ , camp on a se­cluded beach or stay in the rus­tic lušury 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 proŒect, Ǯ eturn to ͳ͸ͳ͸’, which is turn­ing the sland into an Ǯark’ for rare and en­dan­gered an­i­mals. There is even more to enŒoy 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 ešplo­rations, 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.

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