Thursday, October 13, 2016

Australia 2016 - 400th Anniversary of the Landing of Dirk Hartog

ISSUE DATE: 13 September 2016
STAMP SIZE:26 x 37.5 mm
PRODUCT DESIGN: Sharon Rodziewicz
STAMP DESIGN: Sharon Rodziewicz

A foundation myth of Australia is that Captain James Cook “discovered” the continent in 1770 when he landed at Botany Bay. However, numerous explorers, including several Dutch seamen from the Dutch East India Company (VOC), had already made landfall on the great southern continent. These included Willem Janszoon, who arrived on the western shore of Cape York in 1606 and the western Australian coast in 1618. In 1623, another VOC expedition under Jan Carstensz landed in northern Australia, and in 1642 Abel Tasman made landfall in Tasmania.


On 25 October 1616, captain Dirk Hartog of the Dutch East India ship Eendracht made landfall at an island off the coast of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Hartog’s ship had lost its way after setting out from Holland for Batavia in the Dutch East Indies. This unintentional landing made the Eendracht the second recorded European ship to visit the Australian continent and the first to arrive on the western coast. Two days later, before leaving what is now called Dirk Hartog Island, Hartog left a pewter dish inscribed with an account of his visit fixed to a wooden post at a location now called Cape Inscription. The Eendracht then sailed north-east, charting the Western Australian coastline, before eventually arriving in Batavia on 14 December 1616.

The painting of the Eendracht on the stamp is by Western Australian Adriaan de Jong and is based on early 17th-century Dutch paintings and documents.



Stamp images and description thanks to Australia Post

Australia Post