For those who like a little seclusion, Dirk Hartog Island National Park offers a peaceful retreat featuring beautiful scenery and white sandy beaches. The island was the site of the first recorded landing on Australian soil by Europeans in 1616. Now a national park, the island environment is being restored with the removal of all feral animals including cats and reintroduction of many rare and endangered animals in the Parks and Wildlife Service’s, Return to 1616 project.
Note: Air or boat transfers and accommodation must be arranged in advance. Vehicle access is from Steep Point via landing barge to transfer 4WD vehicles. Prior bookings necessary. Fishing and 4WD day tours are available departing from Denham.
Dirk Hartog Island is Western Australia’s largest island and one of Australia's emerging nature-based tourism destinations situated in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
Top must-do experiences:
For those who like a little seclusion, Dirk Hartog Island offers a peaceful retreat of beautiful scenery. Whether it’s
- Fishing near blowholes
- Watching turtles hatch on the beach
- Exploring the wild walks and rockpools
- Swimming at secluded beaches like Surf Point
- Finding rose pink lakes
- Watching the last sunset in Australia on top of 600ft high cliffs
- Having a BBQ under the stars
The Herald Height cliffs featured in Marvel's Thor Ragnarok movie (the scene where Odin, Loki and Thor are standing on the cliff overlooking the sea)!
History and Heritage
Dirk Hartog Island was the site of the first recorded European landing on Australian soil (long before British Captain James Cook) placing Australia on world maps for the first time.
Captain Dirk Hartog arrived on the 'Eendracht' on October 25 1616 leaving a pewter plate nailed to a wooden post at the site now known as Cape Inscription. Learn more about the man, the history and the area via various permanent displays at the Shark Bay Discovery Centre in Denham.
Flora and Fauna
Witness firsthand the ‘Return to 1616’ ecological restoration project, aiming to return the island to how Dirk Hartog discovered it 400 years ago. Dugongs, loggerhead turtles, humpback whales, rays all visit the waters surrounding the island making it an underwater paradise for snorkelers, divers and wildlife lovers.
Accessing the Island
Visit the island for the day on a full or half day tour, with Shark Bay Marine Safaris based in Denham.
Guests can access the island by barge, charter boat or light aircraft and stay on the island. If you are keen to stay overnight, packages for the island include either Barge ex Steep Point or light aircraft ex Monkey Mia.
Transfer from Denham to the island must be arranged upon booking overnight accommodation, including camping.