Cape Inscription is the site of the earliest known landings of Europeans on the western coast of the Australian continent. Notable explorers landed there over a 250-year period and conducted surveys and work that added to increasing knowledge about the southern continent.
At the northernmost end of the Cape visitors can see the site where the navigators, starting with Dirk Hartog in 1616, hammered posts with their memorials attached into a crack in the rock. The inscribed pewter plate left by Hartog is preserved in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Other surviving memorials are also in the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle and locally at Carnarvon.
In 1991 Dirk Hartog Island was included in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
The Dirk Hartog Landing Site 1616 - Cape Inscription Area was included in the National Heritage List on 6 April 2006.
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