30 April 2023
By guest blogger Emma Shaw
At the most westerly point of Australia, you will find Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia’s largest island. A wild place, overgrown by bushland and scrub, surrounded by calm peaceful bays on one side, and thunderous crashing waves on the other, with enormous sand dunes, rocky landscapes and steep cliff faces to navigate as you explore the island. Known as Wirruwana in the local Malgana language, the island itself is 80 kilometres long, and about 14 kilometres wide at the widest point, with rough, overgrown 4WD tracks criss-crossing their way across the island. Run by the Wardle family for over 50 years, Dirk Hartog Island has a history that dates back to 1616, where it was the site of the first European landing in Australia.
These days Dirk Hartog Island is one of Australia’s top eco-destinations. While most of the island is still wild and untouched, Kieran and Tory Wardle have really created such a unique and special experience at the Eco Lodge. With rustic boutique accommodation built into the old shearing quarters offering ocean views, gourmet home cooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and adventure tours that take you out to explore the island, every little detail has been thought of to bring you the ultimate island experience.
For the ultimate Dirk Hartog Island experience, book a stay at the luxury Eco Lodge. Every room opens up to sea views, with their own ensuite bathroom and luxury finishes. A stay at the Eco Lodge includes delicious gourmet home cooked meals and snacks, as well as tours to explore the island and return boat transfers to the island. Located right on the beach, you have access to stand up paddleboards and kayaks to explore the water, and if you’re lucky, you might get to spot their resident horse and sheep roaming around.
During the day, get out and explore the island on a 4WD Adventure tour. With full day tours to Cape Inscription - the northern most point on the island, and Turtle Bay - great for swimming with turtles, and half day tours to the Blowholes and Surf Point Marine Sanctuary, there’s always a new place to see. Spend an afternoon snorkelling in the shark nursery, or jump on a Big 5 Marine Safari, for the chance to get up close and personal with Dirk Hartog’s Big 5 - dolphins, turtles, sharks, manta rays and whales. End your day watching Australia’s Last Sunset, with a tasting of DHI’s Inscription Gin and a grazing plate. And of course, don’t forget to pop into Inscription Bar - Australia’s most remote bar and cafe, overlooking Homestead Bay and offering morning coffees and sunset cocktails.
Dirk Hartog Island’s season runs from March 1st to November 30th each year. Weatherwise, the best time to visit is from around April to October, when days are warm and sunny, there is less wind and little rainfall. July and August are a particularly beautiful and exciting time to visit during wildflower and whale season. An absolutely incredible part of the Coral Coast to explore, a trip to Dirk Hartog Island will be one you remember forever.