Western Australia Pilbara Holidays
The Pilbara is an area extending from the Northern Territory border in the east to the coast in the west, from the northern edge of the Great Sandy Desert and south to the Tropic of Capricorn.
It is over 200,000 sq.km of some of Earth's most ancient rocks, a vast area of very inhospitable country where the only development of any note is along the coastal fringe.
Development in the area is mostly to service the iron ore mines of the Hammersley Range and the areas south of Port Hedland and Dampier. Many of the coastal areas have world class fishing.
Self drive travellers in this part of Western Australia MUST ensure they are fully equipped for any emergency and that they have all necessary permits and approvals for the areas to be visited.
Expect anything off the main highway to be unsealed. The bulk of this region is made up of the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts and is one of the hottest areas on earth. Despite the extremely harsh environment there is surprising beauty here. Sundown across the Pilbara is when the red ridges turn soft purple and the white gums and the spinifex clumps glow in the fading light.
Places Of Interest - The Pilbara
Dampier & Karratha - the ship loading facility for the ore transported from the Hammersley Iron mines at Mt Tom Price, Parraburdoo and Marandoo is at Dampier . Natural gas from the North West Shelf is pumped ashore here. There is also a salt works operation. Nearby Burrup Peninsula is home to extensive Aboriginal rock art and the Dampier Archipeligo is a renowned fishing area. Karratha is 20km away and is the the commercial centre of the area. For information about the Aboriginal occupation of the area, take the Jaburara Heritage Trail.
Roebourne - the oldest existing town in the Pilbara with some excellent old buildings still in existence.
Port Hedland - originally a grazing centre, then home to a pearling fleet and now a ship loading facility for iron ore. Port Hedland is a centre for whale watching tours in season when the marine giants move along the coastline.
Wittenoom - once an asbestos mining centre and now a ghost town. Attracts visitors due to the nearby beautiful Hammersley Range National Park. Be aware that asbestos fibres still exist in the area.
Marble Bar - the hottest place in Australia. The gold mines have survived and still operate in the area. Marble Bar is a popular destination for wildflowers in late winter when the temperature is bearable.