Duyfken…The show stopper at Elizabeth Quay


When you wander around the waterfront at Elizabeth Quay it seems somewhat surreal. Visitors are surrounded by all that is so 21st century – bricks, steel, glass, modern cafes and restaurants, water features and mini golf.

And then you stumble across a little bit of history, the majestic shape of a wooden sailing ship, a ship that is so much a part of Western Australian ship building history. A ship that represents the transition to co-existence of Aboriginals and Europeans in this land that we call Australia, way back in 1606 with the arrival of the original Duyfken on the shores of the Cape York Peninsula. Duyfken is a ship you need to visit. Every West Australian ought to, as its part of your history.

As you step on-board Duyfken you’ll be drawn back in time to the early 1600s, an era when hundreds of Dutch ships plied the trade between Holland and the Spice Islands of Indonesia. You’ll be amazed at how a crew of up to 30 young lads and men lived and slept aboard such a small ship. And when you go below decks you’ll capture the smells of what it was all about:– spices, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, star anise and cloves – a small handful worth a fortune in those times.

Duyfken is without doubt a star attraction at Elizabeth Quay, but so too is the Quay itself. Despite all the adverse commentary there is a real sense of pride when you look back at the city that we call our home. It is quite breathtaking.

So, as it has been said many times: do yourself a favour and come on down to Elizabeth Quay or as some call it Betty’s Jetty and drop by the Duyfken as part of your visit. For the same price as an ice-cream you can step aboard and tour the ship and our volunteer guides would love to see you.

On offer are two tour options.

Full Audio Tour – with your headset on you’ll be guided around and through the ship via this excellent commentary. Adults $12.50 Seniors $10 Child $5.

Short Tour – this is a quick taster tour, 10-15 mins where you wander through the ship with direction from our guides. Adults $7.50 Seniors $5 Child $2.50.

Visit Duyfken at Elizabeth Quay