Unveiling of the Dirk Hartog plate by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima at the Western Australian Museum

Australia: King and Queen unveil Dirk Hartog plate during State Visit

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have unveiled the Dirk Hartog plate at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle on 31 October.

The inscribed plate, left behind by Dirk Hartog and his crew on the island where they landed in 1616, is the oldest known European object ever found on Australian soil. It has been preserved and restored by the Rijksmuseum and was brought to Western Australia to become part of the ‘Travellers and Traders Exhibition in the Indian Ocean World’, a new exhibition initiated especially for this anniversary year (open until 23 April 2017).

The week before the State Visit, celebrations took place in the Shark Bay region to mark the exact day of the landing. Ceremonies were held on 25 October, both on the island and in the seaside town of Denham where a new statue was unveiled by the premier of Western Australia.  

Throughout the year 2016, the historical landing of Hartog has been marked in Australia and the Netherlands with a great number of commemorations, celebrations and community activities, varying from festivals, concerts and exhibitions, to lectures, congresses and publications of articles, magazines and books. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is collecting your favourite moments of the Dirk Hartog year on their website. To share your favourite Dirk Hartog moment, head here.