Taking its name from the local Indigenous word meaning ‘good country’, Karratha is the youngest and fastest growing town in the Pilbara. Located 1,535 kilometres north of Perth on the North West Coastal Highway, it is situated right in the heart of the Central Pilbara Coast.
Karratha was established in 1960s due to the tremendous growth of the iron ore industry. Today, it is a busy, modern and well-serviced town and a great base for exploring Millstream Chichester National Park, Karijini National Park and the 42 islands of the Dampier Archipelago.
Walk the Jaburara Heritage Trail and discover Indigenous rock engravings and artefacts. Head for Hearson’s Cove for a swim and catch the ‘Stairway to the Moon’ from May to October. Or take a picnic to Miaree Pool and go for a refreshing dip.
Karratha offers a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, from caravan parks, backpackers, bed and breakfasts and self-contained apartments to hotels and resorts. Search for Karratha accommodation.
Located just 20 kilometres west of Karratha, the pretty port town of Dampier is named after the English buccaneer William Dampier, who visited in 1688. Built by Hamersley Iron in 1965, it’s the largest tonnage shipping port in Australia and houses the massive export facilities of Hamersley Iron, Dampier Salt and the North West Gas Shelf Project. You can join a Pilbara Iron Port facility tour and learn all about the crushing, stockpiling and loading processes.
Dampier is also the departure point for day cruises to the spectacular Dampier Archipelago. Don’t miss the memorial to ‘Red Dog’ on the way into town, stop and read about the North West’s favourite canine and his remarkable story.
The Burrup Peninsula, located in Murujuga National Park, is living proof of the 30,000 year history of the Indigenous people in the Pilbara and home to more than 700 Indigenous archaeological sites, including 10,000 rock engravings (petroglyphs). These petroglyphs are considered to be among the earliest examples of art in the world and occur at countless sites over a wide area, generally depicting anthropomorphic figures, fauna, animal tracks and abstract symbols.
These are unique and irreplaceable cultural resource for all Australians, please help preserve these sites for future generations, avoid touching or stepping on the art and do not mark the art in any way.
For more information about accommodation, local tours, events and attractions, contact Karratha Visitor Centre.