2016 will mark 400 years since Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog made landfall on an Island off the coast of Western Australia, known now as Dirk Hartog Island.
Long before British Captain James Cook found Australia, the Dutch explorer left a pewter plate as a mark of his discovery, which is the earliest known evidence left of a European in Australia.
Plan your holiday to Shark Bay in 2016
Learn more about the region with our comprehensive holiday planning guide of accommodation, tours and itineraries.
Sail to Dirk Hartog Island on board the Leeuwin
Experience the celebrations on board the tall ship Leeuwin II. History and sailing enthusiasts can enjoy the unique opportunity to experience life on board a traditional style vessel. Sail in Dirk's Steps will depart from Fremantle on 14 October, arriving in Shark Bay on 21 October 2016. Only 40 berths are available - contact the Leeuwin Foundation for booking information.
4WD Voyage of Discovery
Have an exclusive experience on the Island in October on a special four-wheel driving expedition. Catering for only 20 people be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Bring your own 4WD
vehicle, camper trailer and camp at the Homestead Camp Grounds. Join in on nightly celebrations and activities. Including live music, camp fires, damper cook ups, gourmet BBQ’s and sunset drinks.
Learn more via the flyer or book online here.
In October 2016, Shark Bay will play host to a week of unique cultural celebrations that will take place in honour of this anniversary including arts, food and historical events.
• Opening Ceremony – 21 October
• Discovery Hub – 21 to 25th October
• Outdoor Music Concert – 22 October
• Indian Ocean Classic Yacht Race – 22 October
• The Golden Age 1616 Ball – 23 October
• Official commemorative ceremony – 25 October
Additionally, Shark Bay will play host to the dutch replica Dufyken who will visit and be on display during the week long celebrations. Tourists can also enjoy the ND5 Exhibition, an art exhibition of aerial photography exploration of Shark Bay from 21 - 25 October.
For more information on the event series see www.sharkbay1616.com.au
Learn more about the history of Captain Hartog
The Western Australian Museum has invested in great resources to uncover the history of the Dutch East Indian Trading Company's connection with Australia in addition to Captain Hartog's journey.
Find out more via their website.
Follow Captain Hartog's journey