With 42 islands and islets of the Dampier Archipelago to explore, the 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 and 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.
This coastal playground also offers world-class fishing spots for deep water, reef or sheltered inlet fishing. Public boat ramps are located at Dampier, Karratha Back Beach, Johns Creek, Point Samson and Cossack, and boat charters are available from Dampier. For more information about fishing the Dampier Archipelago, contact Karratha Visitor Centre. Always check the weather and tides and inform someone responsible of your trip details.
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.
Camping is available on some of the islands of the Dampier Archipelago, however some areas are special conservation zones, with no camping. Camping is permitted only up to 100m inland of the high-water mark on beaches zoned for recreation and for up to 5 nights only. Contact Karratha Visitor Centre for details.
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.