After 20 years in Fremantle, the Dutch replica sailing ship Duyfken will weigh anchor and head north next Sunday, March 31.
As part of a three year partnership with AQWA, Duyfken will reside in Hillarys Boat Harbor and become a new exhibition for the aquarium.
A ‘dry exhibit’ is currently under construction at AQWA to complement the addition of the Duyfken and will be staffed by volunteers who will educate visitors on the history of the vessel.
AQWA have invested $80,000 into preparations for the dock, installation of pilings into the seabed, construction of the dry exhibit and renovations of the jetty.
AQWA general manager Catherine Buckley said the floating museum would put into perspective what life was like on the ship in an interactive and engaging way.
“People always talk about Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia,” she said.
“That was 200 years after the Duyfken, that’s huge.
“The Dutch were here all this time beforehand and it’s an aspect of history you never hear about.”
As well as the educational experience, Buckley said the new addition would benefit surrounding local businesses.
“Tourism is really struggling and the harbor is really struggling with their visitor numbers,” she said.
“With Western Australia underperforming in comparison to other states, something like this can potentially help rejuvenate new interest in the area.”
Buckley also hopes this addition will highlight how partnerships in the tourism industry can benefit surrounding communities.
“In tourism as a stand alone you can only achieve so much, but when you’re joining forces and you have that strong partnership, then it becomes a win win situation for everyone,” she said.