Long before Captain Cook lobbed Down Under, Dutch sea Captain, Dirk Hartog landed on what we now call Dirk Hartog Island, leaving behind a note with the date (1616) and his name (at the place now known as Cape Inscription. Then in 1697, Captain Willem de Vlamingh landed at Cape Inscription, found Hartog’s note, re-wrote it and added his own name and date to the plaque… And then the French arrived, claimed the island for France, stole the plaque left by Vlamingh and it remained “lost” until 1940.
Dirk Hartog Island has had an amazing history, famous for its guano mining and pearling in the 1850s before it gave way to sheep in the 1860s with the island and pastoral lease eventually sold to the Waddle family in 1968. They still own the island today, and the conversion to eco-Tourism began in the late 1990s.
The privately owned Dirk Hartog Island lies off the coast of Western Australia and is one of the jewels in the State’s tourism crown. For four-wheel drivers to access the island, a barge (The Hartog Explorer) runs from Steep Point to the island and can carry one vehicle and one trailer only at a time with the journey taking just 15min. But, remember, to access the island you’ve got to first book with the Eco Lodge and it’s that exclusivity and careful management of the island that makes it such an awesome place to visit.
Indeed, back in September, Midland 4WD Centre led a tag-along tour to Dirk Hartog Island for six days of fun in the sand and sun. Camping at the Homestead Campgrounds, we had full access to the camp kitchen, hot showers and flushing toilets, all just a stone’s throw from the water’s edge, said Simon Ash, director at Midland 4WD Centre.
“This was hands-down one of the best trips we’ve ever run. And that was down to the people who came along with us, we’ve all made some new friends for life out of the trip and got to tick off a few bucket list items on Dirk Hartog Island,” Simon said.
“I can’t thank Keiran and Tory and the rest of their team enough for all their hard work in making our stay on Dirk Hartog Island so memorable. We can’t wait to go back next year.”
Want to come along next year? At this stage, we’re still planning next year’s visit but we’re thinking we’ll go between 18-25 September (2021), Simon said. Like this year, we’ll be looking to offer things like a long-table and beach bonfire BBQ lunches cooked by renowned chefs, daily 4WD tag-along drives and foraging tours with indigienous guides, and much more. Stay tuned for more details soon.