View of the town of Cossack


Cossack's immaculately restored buildings offer a rare insight into the area's past. 


Originally known as Tien Tsin after the baroque that landed Walter Padbury, his party and his stock at the mouth of the Harding River, Cossack was vital to the early development of the North West. Cossack was the original port of pearls before the luggers moved north to Broome in 1886, an early hub for gold prospectors in the region, and a port for pastoralists in the Pilbara.

Following the opening of Point Samson jetty, the town was dissolved in 1910 and abandoned by 1950. The beautifully restored bluestone buildings in the ghost town of Cossack are testament to this small town’s huge importance in 1880’s and 1890’s and offer a fantastic insight to the hardships and successes of the first settlers.


The Old Police Barracks offers budget accommodation.


  • Follow the Cossack Heritage Trail for a 3km walk or drive around the town sites, including the Tien Tsin lookout for beautiful views across the Indian Ocean, the European and Asian Cemetery and the Courthouse, now the Cossack Museum. A trail map is available here, or at the Karratha Visitor Centre.
  • Drive the Emma Withnell Heritage Trail, a 52 kilometre drive route including Roebourne and Cossack that commemorates the 'first lady of the Pilbara'.
  • Enjoy a lunch at the café in the restored Customs Building
  • Join the Port to Port Tour from the Roebourne Visitor Centre to take in Roebourne, Cossack and the iron ore loading facility at Cape Lambert - long pants, long sleeve collared shirt and closed in shoes are required.
  • See the spectacular Staircase to the Moon from the lookout – check with the Karratha Visitor Centre for dates and times.
  • Bring your own kayak and fishing gear for some great fishing opportunities from the shore and water. 


The Cossack Art Award is the nation's richest regional art prize. The exhibition usually runs around mid-July to August (you can check the North West event calendar here) and the hundreds of entries are scattered throughout several buildings during the exhibition. 

Cossack Art Awards

Cossack Art Awards

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