If coastal relaxation is your idea of a perfect getaway, look no further than the raw beauty of the Pilbara Coast.
With 42 islands and islets of the Dampier Archipelago to explore, chances of you running into another person are minimal, giving you the opportunity to unwind and discover the coast’s untamed wilderness.
The archipelago is a haven of coral reefs, sponge gardens and more than 650 species of fish. It is also home to green, hawksbill, and flatback turtles that nest on its beaches. Dugongs, whales and dolphins have also been spotted in surrounding waters. Island wildlife includes wader birds and wallabies.
Enjoy a tour, dive, snorkel or while away the hours on your boat amongst the islands, 25 which are nature reserves. Many of the islands lend themselves to day trips and while there are no facilities, camping is permitted on some of the islands such as Enderby, Eaglehawk, Dolphin and Gidley Island.
While the wildlife is the star of the archipelago, the people of the Pilbara provide a colourful social history to the area, one example being the captivating story behind Sam’s Island, originally known as Tidepole Island.
Sam arrived in the Pilbara in 1965 and local lore suggests that Sam’s first visit to the island was on a makeshift raft, where he found himself stranded for a few days. His fondness for this island inspired him to construct a castle, carting materials from the mainland. Hamersley Iron gave Sam a gentleman’s lease and in 2005 when he passed away he was buried on the island with his beloved cat.
How to get there.
The islands lie within a 45km radius of the town of Dampier on the Pilbara Coast. Public boat ramps are located at Dampier, Karratha Back Beach, Johns Creek, Point Samson and Cossack. There are no facilities on the islands.