Later this year Bunbury is set to host a visit from the Duyfken replica to mark 400 years since Dutchman Dirk Hartog and his crew became the first Europeans to set foot on Western Australian soil.
The Duyfken will be in Bunbury from August 21 to September 4 with members of the public and schools having a rare opportunity to experience the Duyfken replica, which was built to tell the story of European contact with Australia in the 1600s.
Tours will be held each day where visitors can also learn how Dutchmen, such as Dirk Hartog, made a major contribution to the mapping of Australia's coastline from as early as 1606.
Hartog landed on an island just north of Shark Bay in 1616 when strong westerly winds blew him close to the WA coast while travelling from South Africa to the East Indies.
Crew members from his ship Eendracht went ashore at the northern end of what is now known as Cape Inscription on Dirk Hartog Island and left a record of their visit inscribed on a pewter plate, which was nailed to a post.
Now 400 years later, the Duyfken will undertake a 10-week, 1000 kilometre journey that will call in at seven ports – Bunbury, Mandurah, Hillarys Boat Harbour, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Geraldton and Denham, to commemorate that contact.
Visitors will be able to interact with sailing and navigational equipment used 400 years ago and also learn of the harsh living conditions endured by sailors of the era.
The Duyfken also played a significant role in WA’s European history with its Dutch skipper Captain Willem Janszoonmaking the first recorded chart of the Australian coastline during a “voyage of discovery” in 1606.
It was also the first time recorded in history when Aboriginal Australians met people from the outside world.
The Duyfken replica is regarded as the most exacting "Age of Discovery" replica sailing ship yet constructed and it first sailed in 1999.
The Duyfken will dock at the Pilot Jetty on Casuarina Drive.
Tickets to tour the vessel are available from ticketek.com.au\duyfken and people are encouraged to purchase them early to avoid missing out.
More information on the Duyfken and the Dirk Hartog commemorative voyage can be found at duyfken.com.
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