Map - Dirk Hartog Island

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Dirk Hartog Island

Dirk Hartog Island is an island off the Gascoyne coast of Western Australia, within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. It is about 80 km long and between 3 and 15 km wide and is Western Australia's largest and most western island. It covers an area of 620 km2 and is approximately 850 km north of Perth. It was named after Dirk Hartog, a Dutch sea captain, who first encountered the Western Australian coastline close to the 26th parallel south latitude, which runs through the island. After leaving the island, Hartog continued his voyage north-east along the mainland coast. Hartog gave the Australian mainland one of its earliest known names, as Eendrachtsland, which he named after his ship Eendracht, meaning "Unity".

The island was discovered by Hartog on 25 October 1616 in the Dutch East India Company (VOC ) ship Eendracht from Cape Town to Batavia (Jakarta). The names of senior people on board, including Hartog's were inscribed with the date on a pewter plate and nailed to a post.

In 1697 the Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island and discovered Hartog's plate. He replaced it with one of his own, which included a copy of Hartog's inscription, and took the original plate home to Amsterdam, where it is still kept in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

On 28 March 1772, Breton navigator Louis Aleno de St Aloüarn landed on the island and became the first European to formally take possession of Western Australia in the name of French king Louis XV. This involved a ceremony (which took place on 30 March) during which one or more bottles were buried on the island. One bottle was recorded as containing an annexation document and a coin. In 1998 a bottle cap made of lead with an écu coin set in it, was first discovered at Turtle Bay by a team led by Philippe Godard and Max Cramer. This triggered a broader search by a team from the Western Australian Museum led by Myra Stanbury, with Bob Sheppard, Bob Creasy and Dr Michael McCarthy. On 1 April 1998, an intact bottle bearing a lead cap identical to the one recovered earlier, also with a coin set in it, was unearthed. No trace of an annexation document has yet been found.

In 1801 the island was visited by a French expedition aboard the Naturaliste led by Captain Emmanuel Hamelin. This expedition found de Vlamingh's plate almost buried in the sand, its post having rotted away. The Captain ordered that it be re-erected in its original position. In 1818 the Uranie with French explorer Louis de Freycinet, who had been an officer in Hamelin's 1801 crew, sent a boat ashore to recover de Vlamingh's plate. It eventually arrived in Paris, only to be lost for over a century. It was found in 1940 and returned to Australia in 1947, where it can now be seen in the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Western Australia. The Baudin expedition left also a plaque at the island at 16 July 1801.

In 1869, Francis Louis von Bibra (son of Franz Ludwig von Bibra) was granted a lease on the island. Von Bibra established sheep on the island and traded guano from its bays.

The leasehold for the island was acquired by the Withnell brothers from Messrs Moore and Meade in 1907. The island was regarded as an ideal place for a sheep station as there was no danger of rabbit invasion. In 1909 it was carrying a flock of about 12,000 sheep and produced approximately 400 bales of wool. The property was still owned by John and James Withnell, the children of John and Emma Withnell who were early settlers in the Pilbara. The brothers had estimated the area of the island to be 156000 acre and intended to increase the flock on the island to 25,000. By 1910 the flock size was 14,200.

By 1919 the pastoral lease was put up for auction by the owner James Nicholas who also owned Croydon and Peron Peninsula Stations. The station occupied an area of 153000 acre and was stocked with approximately 19,000 sheep.

Perth Lord Mayor Sir Thomas Wardle purchased the island as a private retreat for his family in about 1969 and later retired there, becoming a semi-recluse with his wife. With the exception of the pastoral homestead, the island later returned to government ownership and became part of the Shark Bay Marine Park. It is now run as an eco-tourism resort and maintained by Wardle's grandson, Kieran Wardle.

On 16 March 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that the wreck of the World War II German raider Kormoran had been found on the seabed about 150 km west of the island. 

Map - Dirk Hartog Island

Latitude / Longitude : 25° 47' 44" S / 113° 1' 12" E | Time zone : UTC+8 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  

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Dirk Hartog Island--Shark Bay

Shark Bay
Dirk Hartog Island--Cape Inscription Lighthouse

Cape Inscription Lighthouse
Dirk Hartog Island--Ac dirkhartogplate

Ac dirkhartogplate
Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island
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Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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