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Duyfken Exhibition

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by Newt (subscribe)
Freelance writer, PR person, loving the Perth lifestyle of fabulous food and wine, great weather and wide open spaces.
Published December 9th 2016
Narrow call as Duyfken goes on show at Elizabeth Quay
Dutch replica sailing ship Duyfken has returned from a tough three-month voyage of celebration for the 400th anniversary of the Dirk Hartog landing at Shark Bay and has now taken up residence at Elizabeth Quay in Perth.

Duyfken, Dutch replica sailing ship, Elizabeth Quay
The Duyfken under full sail off Yanchep


It was tough going at sea as the Duyfken sailed first from Fremantle down to Bunbury and then made her way back up the coast stopping at ports along the way to Shark Bay and then battling bad weather all the way back to Fremantle.

But the difficulties didn't end there. How do you get a three masted sailing ship under The Narrows Bridge? The tallest mast sits 80 feet above the deck of the ship. The answer? Have a crane remove the masts, motor the ship under the bridge and then moor a barge with a 30 ton crane next to the Duyfken and then lift the masts back in.

Duyfken, Dutch replica sailing ship, Elizabeth Quay
A tight fit coming under The Narrows. Picture Richard Polden

The process was carried out in late November and the Duyfken finally moored at what will be its summer home for the next three years at Elizabeth Quay. It was a tight fit getting the Duyfken under The Narrows. Even with the masts removed there was only a one metre clearance between the ship and the bridge.

Duyfken, Dutch replica sailing ship, Elizabeth Quay
Mooring at Elizabeth Quay. Picture Richard Polden

The Duyfken is now on display until April 2 next year when the process will be reversed and the ship will make its journey back to Fremantle for its winter program. While at Elizabeth Quay the ship is open to the public for tours from Wednesday to Sunday from 1pm to 5pm with a special audio tour highlighting key elements of the historic ship.

Built in Fremantle and launched in 1999 at a cost of $3.7 million, Duyfken has given more than a million visitors a taste of what life was like for the seafarers of the early 17th century. Travelling the world, the Duyfken replica has shared the story of Willem Janzoon, and the crew of the original Duyfken who became the first Europeans to set foot on Australian soil in 1606, on the western shores of the Cape York Peninsula, some 10 years prior to Hartog's arrival aboard the Eendracht in 1616.

Duyfken, Dutch replica sailing ship, Elizabeth Quay
The Duyfken leaving Fremantle on its voyage to Dirk Hartog Island. Picture Allen Newton


A full 35 minute tour of the ship, including a self-guided audio program costs $12.50 for adults, $10 for senior and concession holders and for children from four to 16 years costs $5. The personal audio tour takes visitors on two journeys: the first is a walk through the replica ship, its history and the function of each part of the ship; the second takes visitors back 400 years to discover what life was like aboard a 17th century Dutch spice ship, transporting visitors back in time as they move through the ship. A short tour, of around 10 minutes provides a walk through of the ship and costs $7.50 for adults, $5 for seniors and concessions and $2.50 for children from four to 16 years. Tickets are available from the Exhibition Kiosk next to the ship.
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When: Until 2 April 2017
Where: Elizabeth Quay, Perth
Cost: Varies. See article for details.
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