The Pilbara

The Pilbara region in Western Australia has some of the world’s most ancient natural landscapes, dating back two billion years and stretching over 500,000 square kilometres. 

Deep rocky canyons lead to peaceful plunge pools in the beautiful Karijini National Park. Hundreds of islands with dazzling white beaches and untouched coral gardens are yours to explore on the Dampier Archipelago and Mackerel Islands. And yet the Pilbara is also known as the engine room of Australia - home to a massive mining industry in crude oil, salt, natural gas and iron ore. 

Karijini National Park and Beyond

Walk the mighty gorges of Karijini National Park and Millstream Chichester National Park to discover hidden waterfalls and swim in clear cool rock pools. Or venture deep into the Eastern Pilbara to one of the most remote places on the planet, Rudall River National Park.

The Pilbara’s Coastal Paradise

The Dampier Archipelago and Mackerel Islands sit just off the coast of the Pilbara region, offering world-class boating, fishing, diving and snorkelling. And should you visit in turtle nesting season, between September and April, watch out for female turtles laying their eggs and newly hatched babies scrambling to the ocean. Pristine beaches, beautiful coral gardens and abundant fish beckon you to Point Samson. There is another event on Mother Nature’s calendar that you can experience year-round - the incredible Staircase to the Moon occurs on full moon dates between March and October along the Pilbara coast.

Amazing Indigenous Art and Culture

With over 700 historic Indigenous archaeological sites and 10,000 rock engravings (Petroglyphs), many dating back some 30,000 years, the Burrup Peninsula is now heritage listed. It’s the perfect place to discover the unique art, history and culture of the Indigenous peoples of the Pilbara.

Pilbara Towns and Colonial Past

Karratha is the gateway to the Pilbara region in Western Australia. The pretty port town of Dampier sits just 20 kilometres to the west and the mining town of Port Hedland to the east.. Proclaimed in 1866, Roebourne is the oldest settlement in the North West.Visit the heritage listed Old Roebourne Gaol, now home to a historical museum. Cossack is a ghost town and has many beautifully restored historical buildings which offer an insight to the hardships and successes of the first settlers. Travel inland and you’ll experience the unique communities of the rugged outback, from Tom Price, the highest town in Western Australia, to Marble Bar, the hottest town in the country.

Pilbara Map

View a detailed Pilbara map and start planning your trip.

Couple in mulla mulla wildflowers near Mount Bruce
Couple standing in a field of mulla mulla wildflowers near Mount Bruce


Opera at Karijini

by Jo Durbridge | Jul 10, 2015

One of the highlights of the Karijini Experience was the Opera.  Soprano Deborah Cheetham was to perform in Kalmina Gorge in Karijini National Park

The previous day Deborah did a sound check in Kalamina Gorge and school children had the chance to do a workshop with her.  As it turned out they were they only ones that got to experience her singing in the gorge. 

Unfortunately the unseasonal rain the night prior to her performance meant the gorge was not going to work for safety reasons.  The performance was now going to take place under cover at the Karijini Eco Retreat's restaurant. You can't control nature and if any of the audience members were unhappy with the change of venue you wouldn't have known it.The organisers even arranged a free glass of sangria for each guest upon entry (nice work girls!)

Deborah Cheetham performs at Karijini 

All thoughts of the gorge disappeared as Deborah had all of us mesmerised from the moment she wove the story of her life into her opera performance.  Her journey to find her family and culture and indeed her story of an Aboriginal women finding her place on the opera circuit moved the audience greatly, some to tears.  And what a voice!  It was a magical performance and one people are unlikely to forget.

I had an early night as the next day I would adventure into the gorges of Karijini National Park and would also be attending the multi-course luncheon of the Karijini Culinary Experience.


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