Your guide to exploring

Pilbara

Discover Australia’s Northwest with an adventure to the Pilbara. The main towns to explore within the Pilbara region are Onslow, Point Samson Peninsula, Dampier, Karratha and Port Hedland. Discover some of the world’s most ancient natural landscapes and Indigenous archaeological sites, explore the beautiful Karijini National Park with its rocky canyons and peaceful plunge pools or head offshore and explore the Mackerel Islands and Dampier Archipelago.

 

Here’s our pick of the best things to see and do in the Pilbara.

Getting to the Pilbara

The best way to get to the Pilbara is by air with flights to Port Hedland, Karratha, Paraburdoo and Newman via Perth. Regular coach services operate between Perth and Karratha and Port Headland by Integrity Coachlines.

Top Things to do in the Pilbara

Karajini National Park

Karijini National Park is one of the largest national parks in Western Australia, where you can descend into ancient cavernous gorges, scale some of the oldest rocks on the planet and cool off with a swim beneath cascading waterfalls. Word is spreading fast among the intrepid about Karijini National Park; so add it to your bucket list while it’s still little known enough to be a place of near-perfect serenity. There is an amazing network of walking trails to explore or for the more adventurous, try canyoning. Here’s five things you should know about canyoning Karijini.

Mackerel Islands

Unwind in the ancient islands of Western Australia’s Pilbara, just 20 minutes from the coastal town of Onslow. Of the 10 islands that make up the Mackerel Islands 2 provide lodgings: Thevenard Island and Direction Island. Whether it’s diving, fishing, snorkelling, nature watching or just plain relaxing, the Mackerel Islands in WA’s far north are the ideal destination for the outdoor adventurer.

Dampier Archipelago & Montebello Islands

South of the Kimberley, a couple of mostly unheard of archipelagos provide distinctively unique cruising opportunities. The uninhabited Montebello Islands have the unusual distinction of being Australia’s largest nuclear test site; an intriguing maze of sheltered lagoons, coves and inlets amid azure waters can all be easily explored in suitably sized and equipped vessels.

 

Dampier Archipelago is a collection of 42 uninhabited islands of unspoiled sandy beaches to explore. This Untamed wilderness provides excellent diving, fishing and snorkelling opportunities as well as swimming. There are no facilities on the islands, but camping is permitted on some of the islands including Enderby, Eaglehawk, Dolphin and Gidley Island. The islands lie within a 45km radius of the town of Dampier on the Pilbara Coast.

Best places to stay in the Pilbara

Whether you’re planning a family holiday or adventurous couples getaway you’ll find the perfect Pilbara accommodation to suit your style and budget from Pilbara hotels and motels to glamping and luxury accommodation.

Luxury Accommodation

Explore Karijini National Park from your base at Karijini Eco Retreat with glamping in deluxe eco safari tents. More affordable cabins and camping options are also available at Karijini.

 

Onslow is the gateway of the Mackerel Islands and Onslow Beach Resort offers absolute beachfront resort accommodation for business or leisure travellers in the Pilbara. In Karratha, The Ranges Karratha offers self-contained accommodation surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

Hotels

There is plenty of hotel accommodation available in the Pilbara including The Esplanade Port Hedland, which offers comfortable accommodation, dining and lounge bar facilities in a heritage building featuring distinctive exposed stonework and elegant ironwork. Karratha International Hotel offers a home away from home in the Pilbara with comfortable hotel style accommodation and onsite dining.

Motels

Motels are a great value option when road tripping in the Pilbara. Stop in at Hospitality Port Hedland for comfortable and affordable motel style accommodation overlooking the Indian Ocean. Ibis Styles Karratha is well located in the centre of town offering bright, breezy rooms for short stays in Karratha.

Where to eat in the Pilbara

Don’t miss the annual Karijini Experience a fusion of food, art and culture with a packed program including a long table high tea prepared by celebrity chef Mark Olive aka ‘The Black Olive’ featuring native ingredients or a decadent dinner under the stars.

 

For casual eats in Karratha, Empire 6174 is an award-winning café serving delicious breakfast and lunch. The Blanche Bar is a tapas style bar in Karratha with an extensive wine list featuring WA wine.

Tours and packages in Pilbara

One of the best tours in the Pilbara is with West Oz Active Adventure Tours exploring Karijini National Park, with day tours and multi-day tours available offering a range of canyoning and roping activities. For something a little different, Remtrek offer Astronomy & Guided Adventure Hikes from Dales Gorge Campground within Karijini National Park. The evening astro sessions run by passionate Remtrek astronomy owner Phill Witt are entertaining and engaging. With minimal light pollution, the Pilbara is a haven for amateur stargazers and astronomers.