Cervantes was named after a ship was wrecked nearly which was named after author Miguel de Cervantes, a Spanish writer who is widely regarded as the greatest writer of Spanish language and one of the worl’s pre-eminent novelists. His major work ‘Don Quixote’ was the first modern novel and still today, considered the best works of fiction ever written.
The ship, Cervantes, was originally built as a whaling brig with one deck, square stern and a billet head. It was copper fastened and had a coppered bottom. It was built in 1836 in Bathe, Maine, and registered in that port on 4 October 1836. The first whaling voyage to Western Australia had taken place in late 1841.
The Cervantes was anchored in Jurien Bay and the crew were fishing when a gale blew up. Before the vessel could make sail and weather the gale out at sea it was driven on to a sand-bar. The crew got ashore, and three of them arrived in Perth on 6 July 1844 to report the loss.
The wreck peacefully rests in two to three metres off water and 0.5n WSW of Thirsty Point, with timbers from the boat found on Cervantes beach in 2002.
Today the town thrives from dual industries: fishing and tourism. Boasting white sandy beaches and turquoise waters teeming with marine life, Cervantes is a popular choice for fishing holidays and relaxed family getaways. Crayfish are in abundance between November to June and is only a 15 minute drive to the spectacular Pinnacles. These amazing natural limestone structures, some standing as high as 5 metres, were formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago is a major attraction for people around the world.