Bridging the Distance | 1616 Dirk Hartog
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The first documented and undisputed European sighting of and
landings on Australia were by the Dutch in 1606 and 1616,
respectively by Dutch seafarers Willem Janszoon and Dirk Hartog.

Dirk Hartog

Dirk Hartog took an alternative route across the Indian Ocean, accidentally landing on the west coast of Australia near Shark Bay. He left this message on a flattened pewter plate before continuing for his initial destination Batavia.

New Holland

Australia wasn’t always named Australia. In 1824 permission was granted to change the name of the continent from “New Holland” to “Australia”. Meaning that before that, all Australians were in fact Dutch.

Dutch Aboriginals?

Some Nhanda have blonde hair, blue eyes and a fair skin. The oral history tradition of the Nhanda and Malgana Aboriginals contains references to cohabitation with Dutch mariners.