Enjoying good weather all year round, Onslow in Western Australia is a pretty coastal town offering a relaxed holiday.
It’s one of the few places where the sun rises and sets over water, and is the gateway to the Mackerel Islands.
How to get to Onslow
With access via the North West Coastal Highway from Karratha (307 kilometres) and Exmouth (400 kilometres), Onslow and the Mackerel Islands is the quintessential coastal expression of the Pilbara region.
Karijini National Park is just 453 kilometres from Onslow, accessed via the Nanutarra/Munjina sealed road. Virgin Australia offers daily direct flights from Perth to Onslow.
Onslow’s old port was built at the mouth of the Ashburton River to export wool from Pilbara sheep stations, and Old Onslow was gazetted nearby in 1885. Just 40 years later, residents were moved 18 kilometres to today’s townsite where a new jetty was built on the coast, avoiding the issues the old port had with silting of the Ashburton River, but unfortunately not the effects of the region's cyclones.
Remains of old Onslow’s buildings are still visible, including the police station, cemetery and old jetty and of course the site is a great place to see the mighty Ashburton River. Some of the buildings from Old Onslow were relocated to the new site including the old Goods Shed, now the visitor centre and museum with an impressive collection of old town artefacts and memorabilia.
Today the nearby Wheatstone LNG project and the Onslow Salt operation have contributed to the redevelopment of the small town of Onslow. As you drive into town, watch out for the salt evaporation ponds which cover 87 square kilometres!
The Mackerel Islands
A fishing and snorkelling paradise, the Mackerel Island consists of 10 islands with two that welcome guests – Thevenard Island and Direction Island – with accommodation, facilities, activities and tours. Discover the beauty of Australia's coastline without the crowds, experiencing world–class fishing, diving, snorkelling, swimming, boating, nature watching and relaxation
Transfers from Onslow to the Mackerel Islands
Transfers to Thevenard Island depart 4 times per week (subject to weather conditions and demand). The scenic flight trip only takes around 15 minutes.
Flight transfer prices are:
- $90 return for adults
- $60 return for children
- Free for infants
Bring your own vessel and hire a boat mooring at the islands – these must be booked in advance.