WHEN the “Little Dove” first explored the Great Southern Land in 1605, the shores of WA were populated by Australia’s Indigenous population.
This visit was marred by clashes between the groups of Europeans and Australia’s first people.
When the Duyfken, (Little Dove in Dutch), sailed into Mandurah on Monday, it was greeted by a different sort of local population.
A crowd of 1000s of Mandurah residents lined the shores to catch a glimpse of the replica sailing ship built in WA in 1999.
The original Duyfken, a small Dutch ship, mapped the coast of Australia more than 150 years before Captain James Cook and the Endeavour reached Terra Australis.
Duyfken Captain William Janszoon and his crew set off from Indonesia in 1605.
The ship first made landfall at the Gulf of Carpenteria, in what is now considered the first European landing on Australian soil.
This year marks the 400th Anniversary of the landing of Dirk Hartog on the coast of Western Australia.
In commemoration, the Duyfken set sail on August 18, from Fremantle, beginning the Duyfken 2016 Dirk Hartog Commemorative Voyage and Exhibition program.
The voyage acknowledges the beginnings of European engagement here on the west coast of Australia.
Marked by Hartog leaving a message of his visit on an inscribed plate that was nailed to a post and jammed in a rock crevice on the most northern point of the island we now know as Dirk Hartog Island.
The Duyfken was launched at a cost of $3.7 million and gave more than a million visitors a taste of what life was like for the seafarers of the early 17th century.
Premier Colin Barnett said it’s fitting that the Duyfken is involved in the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Dutch VOC captain Dirk Hartog’s landing at Dirk Hartog Island off Shark Bay on the WA coast.
“The anniversary provides a real opportunity for Australians to learn more about the Dirk Hartog story and our early maritime history,” he said.
This tour will finish with the Little Dove’s arrival at the Hartog Festival in Denham, Shark Bay on October 19.
She remains in Mandurah until September 14.
Tickets to go on board the Duyfken are available here.