The pink and red hues of the island’s east coast lakes contrast dazzlingly with the turquoise waters near Withnell Point.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    The calm waters of Turtle Bay are home to Australia’s largest loggerhead turtle breeding colony.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    To mark 400 years since Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog first landed, a project called ‘Return to 1616’ aims to restore the island’s natural environment to what he would have encountered back then.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    Dampiers Landing, to the north of the island, is a site of historical significance where navigator and buccaneer William Dampier made the earliest-known collections of plant specimens from anywhere in Australia, taking 20 or so species back to England, where they caused a sensation.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    One of the island’s only two permanent residents, Tory Wardl, takes her dog Salty for a paddle in the sheltered water off the beach in front of Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge, which Tory runs with husband Kieran. 

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    Dramatic cliffs loom on the western side of island, south of Quoin Head.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    The Cape Inscription Lighthouse was built between 1908 and 1910. Cape Inscription is the site at which Dirk Hartog first made landfall in 1616 – the first recorded landing by Europeans on Australian soil.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge is a low-impact tourism operation run by Kieran and Tory Wardle, who agreed to quit their pastoral business when the island was gazetted as a ntional park in 2009.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    A visiting school teacher with a trevally at Herald Bay.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    Aerial view over the Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge homestead.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

    The Hartog Explorer can be booked to ferry vehicles, one at a time, across the almost 2km-wide channel between Steep Point and Dirk Hartog Island.

    Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

GALLERY: Discover Dirk Hartog Island

By AG STAFF | August 23, 2016

On 25 October 1616, Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog landed on a long, narrow island off the Gascoyne coast in Shark Bay. To mark the 400th anniversary of the first Dutch contact with Western Australia, an ecological project aims to restore the island to the wilderness it was in 1616. Enjoy these stunning pics of WA’s biggest isle and read more in the latest issue of Australian Geographic (AG#134).