The Duyfken - de Duijfken

image courtesy of:
Duyfken 1606 Replica Foundation


In 1602, the Dutch East Indies Company was founded (VOC). Its main purpose was to regulate the trade with the East Indies. In addition to organising the trade, the VOC would also provide recommended sailing routes. In 1799 the VOC went bankrupt. Although different narratives supply various reasons for the bankruptcy, the main reason would have been the dominance of the Brits.

Duyfken [Duijfken]

Willem Jansz was the captain of the Duyfken. A small 20m long vessel that had sailed from Holland to the East Indies for trading purposes. The first factual evidence of a European country claiming to sight the fifth continent came from the Duyfken. It set sail from the south coast of New Guinea and chanced on the west coast of Queensland Cape York Peninsula in 1606.

The Duyfken Replica

Western Australia is proudly known for its great ship building programme. The building of the Duyfken replica was completed in 1999. Two years prior to that in January 1997, His Royal Dutch Highness Prince Willem Alexander layed the keel of the Duyken at the building shed errected in front of the West Australian Maritime Museum. The building site was open to the public, which gave the West Australian people a great insight into the "ancient" ship building techniques.

The Launch

On the Sunday 24th January 1999 the Duyken Replica was launched at Fremantles' fishing boat harbour. 7000 people attended the lowering of the ship into the water.
10 July 1999, the Duyfken raised its sails for the first time and made its first short journey in West Australian waters.

Duyfken 2000 Expedition

The Duyfken sailed from Fremantle harbour on April 8 2000, to commence her voyage of re-enactment: A voyage of Discovery. Travelling up to the Gulf of Carpentaria and arriving in Brisban in January 2001. A one hour documentary has been made about this maiden expedition.

Duyfken in Enkhuizen, June 2002.
image courtesy of:
Ed Mantel , the Netherlands

2002 VOC Expedition

The Duyfken made a massive voyage to the Netherlands where it arrived in April 2002. Many Dutch VOC and maritime enthusiasts had the opportunity to visit and even sail with the Duyfken.

Ed Mantel, a keen enthusiast allowed me to post the image on the left of the Duyfken based in Enkhuizen, the Netherlands.

The Duyfken arrived back home in Fremantle early November 2002 (it travelled back on a cargo ship). Today the Duyfken's home base is Sydney Harbour.

2006 Voyages

In celebration of the 400th Anniversary of European contact with Australia, the Duyken is in 2006 making a voyage past many Australian coastal cities, including Fremantle, Adelaide,Cairns, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney.


VOC 2002 Expedition - Links to Dutch web postings

Duyfken in the News:

  • 27 May 1999 - Behind the News broadcast (Quantum ABC - Australia)
  • 7 April 2000 - Replica ship to retrace historic voyage (The Age - Australia)
  • 2001 - Namibia Economist
  • 28 April 2002 - NOS Niews - (Dutch Broadcasting Corporation) includes small movie (Dutch)

Video Productions and Literature References:

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