Tom Price Pannawonica and Paraburdoo


Tom Price

At 747 metres, Tom Price is the highest town in Western Australia. Named after Thomas Moore Price, the vice-president of the giant United States steel company Kaiser Steel, Price was one of the main supporters of the Pilbara region in the early 1960s.

The most prominent feature of Tom Price is the peak known as Mt Nameless (1,128 metres) or Jurndamurneh to the local Indigenous peoples, meaning ‘wallabies live near here’. Its summit is access along a four-wheel drive track, or you could walk to the top, the views are amazing.

Discover the natural wonders of nearby Karijini National Park. Take a tour of the Pilbara Iron Ore Mine. Or pack a picnic and head out to Kings Lake - a popular recreational area located in a natural bush setting with barbeques and gazebos.


Pannawonica is situated 47 kilometres off the North West Coastal Highway, between the Onslow turnoff and Fortescue Roadhouse. Built in 1970 to house the employees of Robe River Iron, this small mining town is the western gateway to Millstream Chichester National Park. It’s a quiet country town, but if you visit in September the place comes to life with the annual Pannawonica Rodeo.


Paraburdoo is a small mining town accessed via a sealed road linking Nanutarra Roadhouse and Tom Price. The town takes its name from the Indigenous word Pirupardu, meaning ‘Meat Feathers’, because of the large resident population of white corellas. Paraburdoo offers a motel/hotel complex, hospital, a college, a variety of sporting facilities and a well-stocked shopping centre.

Search for tours or accommodation in Tom Price, Pannawonica and Paraburdoo. Or for more information, contact Tom Price Visitor Centre.

Suggested itineraries


The Pilbara seven days

Couple in Hancock Gorge, Karijini National Park

A seven-day self-guided tour taking in the highlights of the Pilbara region, from the historic towns of Point Samson, Burrup Peninsula and the Dampier Archipelago to the stunning gorges of Karijini National Park. View more


The Warlu Way

Bushwalking at Karijini National Park

The Warlu Way reveals the mysteries of the Indigenous legends by taking you on a 2480 kilometre self-drive journey through Western Australia’s Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley regions. View more


Pilbara 4WD four wheel drive adventure

Python Pool, Millstream Chichester National Park

An exciting 4WD four wheel drive adventure exploring the towns, coast and outback wilderness of the Pilbara region, from Karijini National Park and Millstream-Chichester National Park to the Dampier Archipelago and Mackerel Islands. View more


Real Adventures in the
North West!

  • Tom Price is Top Town!

    by Jo Durbridge | Jul 06, 2015


    I recently visited the inland Pilbara for the Karijini Experience,  a three day event held in the stunning Karijini National Park.

    Travelling from Perth I took a 70 minute Qantas flight to Paraburdoo, whereby I collected a four wheel drive from Avis and set off on a 70 km journey to Tom Price.  It was early morning and I felt like I was driving through a painting with the Hamersley Ranges in the distance.

    Road to Karijini

    Tom Price was constructed in 1965 after a iron ore deposit was made on Mt Tom Price in 1962.  From the original 250 houses the town has grown to 1600 homes and has a population of 5000.

    I easily found the Tom Price Visitor Centre and the friendly staff told me that I was all booked in for the Lestock Rio Tinto Iron Ore Mine Tour.  I collected my hard hat and safety glasses and was welcomed on board the bus.  At only $A30 this tour is great value.    

    Tom Price Visitor Centre

    You can book the Lestock Rio Tinto Mine Tour through the Tom Price Visitor Centre.

    The tour guide ensured we were aware of the safety precautions and with that we headed out to one of the largest open cut iron ore mines in the world!  Over the next hour-and-and-a half our guide reeled off a huge amount of facts about Tom Price and the mine, and delivered them all in an entertaining way.

    Iron Ore Mine Tom Price Pilbara

    The mine is now producing approximately 360 million tonnes of iron ore per annum.

    You don’t realise until you see a mine worker dwarfed by the massive tyres of a haulpack how enormous the machinery is within the Rio Tinto Mine. These massive dump trucks have a carrying capacity of 240 tonne! It’s like giant Tonka toys have come to life!

    Haul pack, Rio Tinto Iron Ore Mine,Tom Price

    It might not look it in the photo but this haulpack is huge and has a carrying capacity of 240 tonne!

    Back in Tom Price I noticed lots of white corellas which I thought were very pretty, but discovered these birds are very destructive!   I was told by a local that these ‘vandals’  pecked through their clothesline and pulled out and chewed their reticulation to bits!

    Corella at Tom Price in the Pilbara

    I discovered the white corellas of Tom Price are very naughty birds!

    I also discovered altitude wise Tom Price is the highest town in WA and sits at an altitude of 747m.  Locals like to refer to it as the ’top town in WA’ and I have to say they ensured I had a top time during my brief visit!

    Next stop Karijini National Park!


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