Historical information

The VOC sent its trading ships to the (then) Dutch East Indies to collect spices and other goods. In the 17th century accurate navigation was not always possible and ships might end up on the wild, unchartered West Australian coastline.


Item recalls the fact that the WA coast was unintentionally visited by Dutch ships during the 17th and 18th centuries. Because the coast was so unattractive the Dutch did not try to settle the country.

Physical description

Large rectangular timber plaque with scalloped edges depicting historic shipwrecks of Western Australia.

Inscriptions & markings

An insert reads: "Historic Shipwrecks of Western Australia (Protected as of 1983). Coastal cities are marked with their names and dots along the coastline indicate wreck sites. Most are named and dated; others marked as unidentified. An inset map deals with the area around Fremantle and shows a large number of wrecks. A separate typed notice attached to the map identifies the five known Dutch wrecks - all ships of the VOC - Vereennigde East Indian Compagnie (Dutch East India Company). Further than that there are a distance scale and a compass.