Duyfken will be unavailable to visitors on Saturday, 27 February. We apologise for the inconvenience. 

The newest member of our fleet – Duyfken, is a stunning replica of the first European ship to reach Australia in 1606.

Climb aboard and say hello to the newest member of our fleet Duyfken – meaning ‘Little Dove’ in Dutch. Experience one of the rarest ships in the world and learn about the historical links between Australia, Indonesia and the Netherlands.

As a full-scale reproduction of the original ship that was built using historical research and computer modelling, everything you see provides an authentic, hands-on understanding of how the crew lived and worked during their six-month voyage.

Explore the Duyfken replica and experience what life was like for the 20 Dutch sailors who crewed this vessel over 400 years ago. Hear stories of life at sea and learn about the harsh conditions crews faced in the pursuit of personal fortune.

What is the Duyfken? 

In March 1606, under the command of Willem Janszoon, the 60-tonne vessel sailed from Banda (now in the eastern Indonesian province of Maluku to explore unknown territory in the south for potential trade opportunities. The vessel reached the north of Australia and charted 300km of the west coast of Cape York – unaware they were the first Europeans to visit the continent.

Not only is this voyage the first documented European contact with the Australian mainland, but it’s also the first recorded meeting on Australian soil between the Indigenous people of Australia and Europeans.

Janszoon’s voyage was the first in a succession of Dutch voyages during the 17th century that would culminate in the charting of almost two-thirds of the Australian coastline. It predates James Cook’s voyage on Endeavour by 164 years, yet it is often a forgotten aspect of our history.  

Duyfken was built by the Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation, jointly with the Maritime Museum of Western
Australia, and launched on 24 January 1999 in Fremantle. Construction of the vessel was made possible
thanks to the generous support of the Kailis family.