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Dirk Hartog Island National Park

Experience WA's largest island within the magnificent Shark Bay World Heritage Area
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  Dirk Hartog Island, covering 63,000 hectares, is Western Australia’s largest island. Forming a protective barrier to the shallow... more »

Tips:  The weather on Dirk Hartog Island can be variable with extreme hot, dry and windy conditions in summer and occasional inclement... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Steep Point ranger station

Steep Point Ranger
Phone (08) 9948 3993
Fax (08) 9948 3993
www.steeppoint.com.au
Email: ranger@steeppoint.com.au

2. Mainland departure point for ferry to Dirk Hartog Island

3. Cape Ransonnet, Dirk Hartog Island - arrival point for ferry

Cape Ransonnet was named by Louis de Freycinet in 1801 after Jacques Joseph Ransonnet, a midshipman aboard the French vessel of exploration, the Naturaliste. A more recent wreck of a steel yacht from 1994 can be seen on the beach, where it lies semi-buried in the sand.

When 4WDing in the national park, please remember:
* Only high clearance... More

4. Turn-off to Surf Point

5. Surf Point

All of the waters north, east and south of Dirk Hartog Island (from Cape Inscription to Surf Point) lie within the Shark Bay Marine Park.

Surf Point, on the southern end of Dirk Hartog Island, is a sanctuary zone within the marine park. Coral communities in the eastern part of the sanctuary zone lie in three to four metres of water and are... More

6. Turn off to the Blowholes

7. Blowholes

When the swell is running, surf is forced through fissures in the rocks below the cliffs to produce the eerie sound of the Blowholes, sometimes shooting spray up to 10 metres in the air.

Please take great care at this location. Keep an eye on the sea and do not stand too close to the cliff edge. Please do not drive up the dunes north of the... More

8. Dirk Hartog Island Lodge

Dirk Hartog Island Lodge - for accommodation, tours and barge bookings
PO Box 62
Denham WA 6537
Phone (08) 9948 1211
Fax (08) 99481 660
Email: info@dirkhartogisland.com
www.dirkhartogisland.com

9. Turn off to airstrip

10. Airstrip

11. Notch Point

In 1886 Notch Point at Dirk Hartog Island was the scene of a dramatic confrontation between armed European and Chinese pearlers. In the early 1870s, pearling in Shark Bay was highly profitable. But as the shell became depleted, profits became marginal and labour shortages severe. In April 1880, Shark Bay pearlers petitioned the Government to... More

12. Dunefields near Tetradon Loop

Ever-changing windblown dunefields create a striking scenic feature and a challenge for four-wheel-drivers. Exercise caution when driving on shifting sands. Tidal areas are sometimes boggy.

A short walk amongst the dunes at sunrise or sunset will provide plenty of opportunities for great photos. The dunes are visible from Denham.

13. Quoin Bluff South

This was the site of an army garrison on Dirk Hartog Island in 1851, where the officer resided in a wooden structure and 12 soldiers camped in tents. Accumulated guano on many of the smaller islands in the bay, which were used as seabird roosts, was an extremely valuable fertiliser at that time, and the Colonial government at Swan River discovered... More

14. Louisa Bay

This is one of seven designated camping areas on Dirk Hartog Island (camping fees are payable and it is essential to book before arriving).

Louisa Bay is also known for its beautiful coral communities in about three metres of water. Corals grow from about 200 metres from shore and include staghorns (Acropora species), massive corals (Porites... More

15. Sandy Point

Sandy Point is one of seven designated camping areas on Dirk Hartog Island (camping fees are payable and it is essential to book before arriving).

The Sandy Point sanctuary zone within the Shark Bay Marine Park offers a sheltered snorkelling area on the eastern side of Dirk Hartog Island in 3 to 4 metres of water. Here, numerous species of blue,... More

16. Charlies Harbour

Massive waves that have built up over vast unbroken stretches of ocean break against spectacular 150-metre-high limestone cliffs on the western side of Dirk Hartog Island.

17. Quoin Head

Quoin Head is one of seven designated camping areas in Dirk Hartog Island National Park (camping fees are payable and it is essential to contact the Department of Parks and Wildlife office at Denham to book before arriving).

18. Dampiers Landing/Sammys Well

In January 1699, navigator and buccaneer William Dampier left England in command of the Roebuck. Unfortunately, the vessel was in extremely poor condition and disciplinary problems marred the voyage. On this voyage Dampier revisited New Holland, spending several days in the area that he named 'Shark's Bay' and making extensive observations on the ... More

19. Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay has the largest loggerhead turtle breeding colony in Australia. The loggerhead is the most threatened turtle species that nests in the Australian region.

If you are anchoring overnight in Turtle Bay between November and April please keep boat lighting to a minimum to reduce the chance of turtles and turtle hatchlings becoming... More

20. Cape Inscription

Enjoy stunning views of the beach and rocky headland at the most northerly point of Dirk Hartog Island National Park.

21. Cape Inscription Lighthouse

The Cape Inscription lighthouse - together with the keepers' quarters - was built between 1908 and 1910. It still operates, but has been automated since 1917. In 2012, the Shire of Shark Bay renovated the lighthouse keepers' quarters which had fallen into disrepair over the years since lighthouse automation.

22. Posts marking the position of the historic plates at Cape Inscription

This was the site of the first recorded landing by Europeans on Australian soil, when Dutchman Dirk Hartog came ashore in 1616 on the northern end of the island which now bears his name. He left a record of his landing inscribed on a pewter plate nailed to a post in a cleft of rock on the high cliff. Today, more modern posts mark this spot.

... More

23. Urchin Point

Dirk Hartog Island is renowned as one of the best shore fishing locations in Australia. Urchin Point is a superb place to fish for local species (make sure you have a cliff gaff and plenty of lures). However, you should only fish along the island's western coast in suitable conditions, and with an eye to your personal safety, as this is wild and... More

24. West Point "The Block"

Like Urchin Point, West Point ('The Block') is renowned as one of the best shore fishing locations in Australia. Make sure you have a cliff gaff and plenty of lures. However, you should only fish along this wild and rugged coastline in suitable conditions, and with an eye to your personal safety.

This is one of seven designated camping areas on... More

25. Mystery Beach

Long thought to be the site of a 'mystery wreck', investigations by the WA Maritime Museum revealed Mystery Beach is a natural wreck trap, capturing jetsam and flotsam from the world's oceans.