Roebourne's lovingly restored heritage buildings offer incredible insight on the early days of settlement in the North West.

How to get to Roebourne

Roebourne is situated on the North West Coastal Highway, approximately 40 kilometres east of Karratha, 200 kilometres south of Port Hedland and 1550 kilometres north of Perth.


The Withnell family were the first European settlers to arrive in the area, settling at the foot of Mount Welcome in April 1864. The town of Roebourne was gazetted at this location in 1866, the first town to be established in the North West. Roebourne was named for the first Western Australian Surveyor General, John Septimus Roe. 

Discoveries of gold, copper and tin in the region and the development of the pearling industry at the nearby port town of Cossack contributed to Roebourne's importance and prosperity. The restored heritage stone buildings date to this period and include some designed by renowned Public Works Department Architect George Temple Poole. Of note is the octagonal shape gaol, which now houses a historical museum


Take the Emma Withnell Historical Trail, a 52 kilometre driving and walk route that starts at Roebourne and takes in Cossack, Wickham and Point Samson. Roebourne is also an access point for Millstream-Chichester National Park, via the North West Coastal Highway and the unsealed Roebourne-Munjina Road. 

Things to see and do in Roebourne

Harding River Dam

A perfect location for a relaxing afternoon. Explore parts of the dam on foot to see the native flora and fauna that inhabit the area and take advantage of the stunning scenic views.

Mount Welcome Lookout

The scenic lookout at the top of Mount Welcome offers views across Roebourne, the coastal plains and the surrounding hills.

Roebourne Heritage Trail

A 5km or 8km self-guided walk or drive taking in the most significant historical sites of the North West’s oldest town, including the Courthouse, former Union Bank, Dalgety House and the Holy…

Roebourne Old Gaol

As the North West’s first gazetted town, Roebourne played an important administrative role for the region and the heritage listed buildings dotted around the town are a lasting reminder of this…

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