Dirk Hartog was a Dutch explorer who made the first recorded exploration of the west coast of Australia. Hartog explored Australia in the early 1600s and then continued on to Indonesia.
Hartog, also possibly known as Dyrck Hartoochz, sailed his ship, Eendracht, for a spice trade run in 1616. The strong winds, named the Roaring Forties, that helped explorers sail those trade routes, caused Hartog to drift from his intended path. He landed on an island off the coast of western Australia known today as Dirk Hartog Island. Hartog stayed on the island and explored the west coast of Australia for three days, according to the website Australian History. Hartog was the second explorer to discover Australia, but he was the first explorer to leave a record of his visit. To mark his landing, Hartog left a pewter plate, inscribed with the details of his visit. Hartog named his landing place, Eendrachtsland, after his ship. He nailed the plate to a post on the northern end of the island, now called Cape Inscription. Hartog then left the island and headed north to explore the rest of the western Australian coast. He sailed on to Batavia, now known as Jakarta, Indonesia to complete his trade route.