In the Wild West – October

Niki Comparti's blog | Created 6 years ago

Antarctic exploration, exotic minerals and maritime mysteries await you In the Wild West this month…

Illustration of the the Zuytdorp wrecking event

The Zuytdorp wreck, illustrated by Stanley Hewitt
Image copyright WA Museum

In Fremantle, find out how maritime archaeologists are working to solve one of Australia’s greatest ever maritime mysteries from the Museum’s ‘Inspector of Wrecks’, Dr Mack McCarthy. The Dutch East India (VOC) ship Zuytdorp was lost without trace off the coast of Kalbarri in the winter of 1712, en route from the Netherlands to Batavia (now Jakarta). Of the seven VOC, English East India Company, Portuguese and American East India ships known to be lost off the WA coast, Zuytdorp is the only wreck from which survivors did not reach Batavia to tell the tale. ‘Wreck of the Zuytdorp’ will take place at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle at 6pm, Friday October 12.

Dr Ian Godfrey inside the living quarters of the Main Hut in Antarctica

Dr Ian Godfrey inside the living quarters of the Main Hut, directly above Mawson’s cubicle
Image copyright WA Museum

In Geraldton, Dr Ian Godfrey will reveal the difficulties of early Antarctic exploration in ‘Exploration and conservation: the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911 – 1914’. In celebration of the centenary of the famous expedition, Ian will reveal the lesser known stories of Sir Douglas Mawson’s trip, and share some of the amazing photographs from his own visits to the icy continent. The lecture will take place at the WA Museum – Geraldton on Thursday 25 October at 7pm, and Friday 26 October at 10am.

Golden crystals of wulfenite

Golden crystals of wulfenite from the Whim Creek copper mine, Pilbara, WA
Image copyright WA Museum

In Perth, Dr Peter Downes will take his audience on a tour of some of WA’s mineralogical 'rainforests'. From the Telfer gold mine in the Great Sandy Desert, to the Whim Creek copper mine and the Bali copper deposits in the Pilbara, and the 132 North nickel mine near Widgiemooltha in the Goldfields, Peter will describe the diverse, colourful and exotic minerals of the weathered zone revealed by mining in Western Australia. The lecture ‘Colours of the Earth’ will take place at the WA Museum – Perth on Friday 23 November at 12.30pm.

Entry to all In the Wild West lectures is by donation, with bookings essential. Registrations can be made online at or by calling your local WA Museum:

Perth and Maritime – 9212 3813
Geraldton – 9921 5080

We look forward to seeing you at the lectures!