Access & Safety

Dirk Hartog Island can only be accessed by private boat, a commercial barge service from Steep Point, or light aircraft charter.

A high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle is required to drive on the island and only 20 private vehicles are permitted at any one time. The island’s single lane four-wheel drive tracks are mostly soft sand but are rocky in places.

If boating to the island, travel from Denham is about 35km as the crow flies. Strong southerly winds in summer may prevent the journey. Check local conditions and ensure you have all necessary safety equipment before crossing. If camping, bookings must be made prior to your departure.

When visiting the island please make sure you don’t bring any unwanted pests with you. Check your gear and vehicle for hitchhikers like geckos, rats and seeds. See the island protection page for more about keeping our islands free of unwanted pests.

This area is remote and inherent dangers include variable weather conditions — especially in summer when the park is hot, dry and windy — and a hazardous coastline with large surf and 200 metre high cliffs on the western side.

Shifting sand dunes are among the challenging four-wheel drive conditions. For your safety:

  • Notify a reliable person of your trip plans so that you can be traced in an emergency.
  • Be prepared for the heat. Take at least 10 litres of water for each person per day.
  • Exercise extreme caution near cliff edges especially when fishing.
  • Supervise children at all times.

See the travel advice pages for more information about safety and the activities that interest you.