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Denham

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Denham is the administrative town for the Shire of Shark Bay, Western Australia. At the 2006 census, Denham had a population of 607.Located on the western coast of the Peron Peninsula 831km north of Perth, Denham is the westernmost publicly accessible town in Australia, and is named in honour of Captain Henry Mangles Denham of the Royal Navy, who charted Shark Bay in 1858. Today Denham survives as the gateway for the tourists who come to see the dolphins at Monkey Mia, which is located 23km northeast of the town. The town also has an attractive beach and a jetty popular with those interested in fishing and boating.HistoryThe Denham area was the first part of the Australian mainland discovered by European sailors. On 25 October 1616, Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog and crew came unexpectedly upon "various islands, which were, however, found uninhabited." He made landfall at an island now called Dirk Hartog Island off the coast of Shark Bay. Hartog spent three days examining the coast and nearby islands. He named the area Eendrachtsland after his ship, but this name has not endured. Finding little of interest, Hartog continued sailing northwards charting this previously undiscovered coast to about 22° South. In 1696 the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island. Later explorers included William Dampier, and the Frenchmen Freycinet, Hamelin and Baudin in the early 19th century.
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