The story of Dirk Hartog Island starts in 1616
Dirk Hartog Island has been with our family for over 50 years and it all started when Sir Thomas Wardle, former Perth Mayor decided to purchase the island’s pastoral leasehold land in 1968.
Sir Thomas Wardle would travel to the island for vacations to escape the world of business and city to spend time with family. Managers and stockmen would live on the island for periods of time operating the pastoral station.
Moving on from the pastoral life three decades later, in 1993, the island took its first steps of tourism, establishing into one of Australia’s top eco-destinations. We (Kieran Wardle, grandson of Sir Thomas, and wife Tory) have been managing and nurturing the tourism business from the beginning.
Over the years, we had three beautiful children – Will, Ollie and Sanchi. Our children have spent their early childhood here on the island and have been educated through Carnarvon School of the Air. Will is passionate about protecting the environment and enjoys capturing the beauty of the island through images. Ollie is an outdoor adventurist and is willing to help out in every way possible. Sanchi spends most of her time after school with her pets and loves being in the kitchen helping bake cakes and desserts.
Today, we are still operating accommodation, guided tours and providing 4WD access to the island via the ‘Hartog Explorer’ barge.
Continue to provide warm hospitality to guests and campers that stay on the island.
Educate people about the enriched history, the ‘Return to 1616’ restoration program and pass on stories about living on the island.
Continue to support and sponsor the WA Royal Flying Doctors, Pirate Ship Foundation, Return to 1616 program and CSOTA.
Continue to find sustainable and eco-friendly strategies of operating a tourism business.
Our family future hopes to continue operating the tourism in many years to come and assist in protecting this World Heritage Site, not only for Dirk Hartog Island’s pristine beauty, but the whole of Shark Bay.