• Suggested Time: 3 - 4 days
  • Dirk Hartog Island

If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-track adventure, look no further than Dirk Hartog Island in the UNESCO Shark Bay World Heritage Area.

A 4WD adventure to Dirk Hartog Island

Western Australia's largest island is the site of the first recorded European landing of Australian soil, by Captain Dirk Hartog in 1616, and is today having its environment restored to how it would have been found those 400-odd years ago as part of Department of Parks and Wildlife's 'Return to 1616' project.

Department of Parks and Wildlife limit the number of 4WD vehicles allowed camping in the Dirk Hartog Island National Park to 20 vehicles at any one time, making staying on Dirk Hartog Island a truly exclusive experience.

Visitors to the island can expect to find a pristine environment with an array of natural attractions and activities, including self-guided coastal walks; rock pools and blowholes; the heritage-listed site of Cape Inscription - the landing site of Captain Dirk Hartog; the 600ft high Herald Height cliffs, where you can watch the 'last sunset in Australia'; a rose pink lake'; secluded beaches and crystal clear waters; diverse underwater ecosystems that are perfect for snorkelling and diving; seasonal whale watching and turtle nesting; epic sand dunes; 4WDing adventures; fishing; and an abundance of nature and wildlife encounters.

Getting here

If you're going to self-drive Dirk Hartog Island, you'll access the island via barge transfer from Steep Point to Cape Ransonnet at the southwestern end of Dirk Hartog Island. You'll need to camp overnight at Steep Point the night before your barge transfer, as the barge departs Steep Point between 07:00am and 09:00am. Advance arrangements must be made for camping at Steep Point - enquire online via Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions' website. Advance bookings are essential for the barge

Need to know:

  • Steep Point is a challenging 4WD experience. A high-clearance 4WD is required
  • The road to Steep Point is off of Useless Loop Road. There's 140km of unsealed road, of which the last 30km is a single land soft track that winds its way around sand dunes. You'll need to reduce your tyre pressure to get through
  • You'll need to be self-sufficient, as there is no fresh water, food, fuel or other supplies at Steep Point
  • The barge transfers one vehicle and trailer at a time
  • The barge crossing takes approximately 15 - 20 minutes

For more information about Steep Point, click here.

For more information about the barge transfers and bookings, click here.

Dirk Hartog Island Camping

There are multiple National Park campsites location around Dirk Hartog Island, plus camping grounds in Homestead Bay (managed by Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge). All Island campsites are booked through Dirk Hartog Island's website.