Over 1400 ships have been wrecked on the coast of Western Australia. This very large number of Shipwrecks of Western Australia
is due to a number of factors, including
- a long and very rocky coastline
- at certain times of the year powerful storms and gales are very common
- the tendency of sailors in the 1600s and 1700ss to reduce their travel time by keeping their ships in the "Roaring Forties" for as long as possible; ships that failed to turn north in time were wrecked on the coast of Western Australia.
Most listings of wrecks group wrecks into regions, areas or adjacent capes and coastal features, so as to divide the large number into manageable collections.
The first known wreck was the Tryall in 1622, which occurred in the era before annexation of the land into a British Colony.
Other notable wrecks include Batavia, Zuytdorp, Vergulde Draeck, Cervantes, SS Georgette and HMAS Sydney.
- Henderson, Graeme (1988). Unfinished Voyages: Western Australian Shipwrecks 1851–1880. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press.