Dutch sea captain Dirk Hartog was the first known European to land on the coast of Western Australia. He came ashore on an island near the entrance to Shark Bay in 1616, accidentally, while en route to Batavia, Java and recorded the event by inscribing a pewter plate with the name of his ship (the Eendracht) and its officers. This plate is the only known record of his visit.

The plate was left behind by Hartog and found in 1697 by Willem de Vlamingh. It was returned to Holland where it is today on display in an Amsterdam museum.

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