Willem de Vlamingh
In January 1697 Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh explored and named the Swan River, commenting on the shallow flats:
"Our men had to leave the boats to push the same, rounding a corner we found the end of the river which divides itself into many veins, [so] that we could not proceed any more." 
This party also saw many swan and fish, footprints, fires and huts, but did not meet any Indigenous people:
"All around we saw several footsteps and the impression of a hand on the sand, and marks of the thumb and fingers showing plainly that it was done not long ago. Proceeding further we found a fire which had just been lighted, and three small huts … Towards noon we could not go any further … we decided to return, having already ascended the river for six or seven miles without having seen anything of importance." 
These descriptions did little to awaken Dutch government interest in settlement.
Page last updated: Tuesday 23 November 2010