On this day in 1616, Dutch sea captain Dirk Hartog became the first known European to land on the west coast of the Australian continent.
Skipper of the East India Company vessel Eendracht, Hartog’ destination was Bantam, a trading city located in western Java. Using the ‘Roaring Forties’ to speed the ship’s voyage across the Indian Ocean, he strayed too far east – inadvertently running into ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ at what we know today as Shark Bay.
The expedition spent two days exploring the area. Before departing, Hartog left evidence of his landing in the shape of an inscribed pewter plate – thus creating the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil.
Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Hartog’s historic landing in western Australia, this stamp and coin cover features an official Australia Post $2.00 stamp cancelled with a postmark from Denham, the administrative town for the Shire of Shark Bay.
The superbly illustrated memento also includes an uncirculated Australian $1 coin portraying a representation of a view through a telescope of Dirk Hartog’s ship Eendracht and a compass rose.