Overseas Adventure at Dirk Hartog Island

Harley Dykstra has recently ventured ‘overseas’ to extend our geographical coverage and services footprint. In September, we were engaged to carry out survey work on Dirk Hartog Island which is WA’s largest island and is 85km in length from north to south.

Dirk Hartog Island has been the subject of recent commemorative activities to mark the 400 year anniversary of the Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog, landing on the island. The more recent history of the island has been as a pastoral lease and sheep station which has been run by the Wardle family.

Over the last decade or so all sheep farming and agricultural activity has ceased as the Wardle’s began working in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) to restore the island to a natural state. This has involved eradication programmes to rid the island of goats and feral cats so that native fauna can be re-introduced to the island.

The island is now to be predominately managed by DPaW, although the Wardle family have been able to retain some parcels of land under freehold ownership. Both the Wardle’s and DPaW operate tightly managed and restricted eco-tourism and camping accommodation facilities on the island.

Harley Dykstra was engaged by DHI Development Pty Ltd to carry out surveys at various locations on the island.

Our tasks involved Feature and Level surveys at both Sunday Island Bay and Turtle Bay. For the purposes of providing site information to assist in designing future accommodation at Sunday Island Bay we also undertook boundary surveys of Lot 304 to demarcate 33 parcels of land for future sales purposes.

All Feature and Level survey work was undertaken by GPS methods which the boundary survey of Lot 304 was carried out using a Trimble S6 Robotic Total Station.

Even the "toughest" of site conditions fails to deter the Harley Dykstra team
Even the “toughest” of site conditions fails to deter the Harley Dykstra team

The logistics of getting to and operation on Dirk Hartog Island were something of an adventure and certainly required a reliable 4WD vehicle. Getting to the island requires a drive into Steep Point, under 4WD conditions with tyres deflated. This was followed by a barge trip across the south passage to disembark on the island beach.

Travel on the island is limited to a small network of single lane (2 wheel rut) tracks which vary in condition from rough to heavily corrugated. Consequently, most vehicle travel is in second or third gear only. The Turtle Bay site is some 75km from the Homestead Accommodation, yet this journey took more than 2 hours one way.

Overall Harley Dykstra is pleased that our services will assist the transition of this historically significant island into the next chapter of its future.

Harley Dykstra checking that Dirk Hartog "got it right" 400 years ago
Harley Dykstra checking that Dirk Hartog “got it right” 400 years ago

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