Karratha Western Australia
Your first main stop when entering the Pilbara region. Characterised by red landscapes and ancient heritage. You'll see termite mounds on the highway into town and the rusty iron boulders are a great sight.
A hub for mining activity, the town hosts a high fly in, fly out work force and the town has recently been developed with a new town centre.
The best way to book Karratha
Where is Karratha?
Karratha is 1535 kilometres north of Perth.
Karratha is situated in the western area of Australia's North West tourist region and is the western Gateway to the Pilbara. Karratha faces north to the Indian Ocean and is protected by a chain of islands known as the Dampier Archipelago. The town is surrounded by national parks and mining operations. One of the best ways to get to Karratha is to hire a car from Perth Airport.
Things to see in Karratha
Millstream-Chichester National Park
Just 2 hours from Karratha is a magnificent area of Australian wilderness, offering some of the best nature based camping experiences in Australia. Characterised by red sand, covered in silver spinifex grass, the views are stunning. The Fortesque River runs through the park and provides an outback oasis with palm fringed rock pools. There are many beautiful waterholes with safe swimming such as Python Pool.
Burrup Peninsular Aboriginal Rock Art
A location of world renowned historic importance and a sacred spiritual area for the local Aboriginal people, the rock art at Deep Gorge includes more than 10 000 rock engravings at over 700 different sites. The rock art is thousands of years old and so is your chance to look back through time at real artwork of an ancient people. On the way to Deep Gorge stop at Hearson's Cove which is one of Australia's most beautiful beaches.
This chain of islands consists of 42 seperate islands and islets and provide excellent opportunities to explore a remote area of the outback coastline. Venture to beaches where there are no other people for kilometres and admire the landscape with its contrast of blue water, white sand and red rocks. The islands are a nesting site for a variety of turtle species such as green and loggerhead turtles. There is also a large population of Dugongs and dolpins to be seen. Local Aboriginal tours are available.
Just 20 minutes from Karratha is this beautiful outback waterhole that is perfect for cooling off from the local heat. A spot to see thousands of native Australian birds such as white Corellas. A great place for some remote camping, there are plenty of shady spots to pitch a tent. Swimming is safe and there is also a shallow waterfall known as Myaree Falls.
What's the weather like?
With a sub tropical climate, Karratha has a mixture of humid, wet weather conditions in the wet season but also hot and lengthy dry spells compared to areas further east. Rainfall is plentiful during Summer and more scarce in Winter. Temperatures are warm all year round. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 36°C with an average minimum temperature of 25°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 27°C with an average minimum temperature of 13°C.
Tropical Cyclones are a prevalent part of this region between December and April. It is essential that you understand the steps and the procedures in place for Tropical Cyclones when entering this beautiful part of the world.
Get to know Karratha's history
A relatively new town by world standards, Karratha developed from 1960 to accommodate processing and exportation of a new workforce at Hamersley Iron mining company. In the 1980s petroleum and liquefied natural gas production at the North West Shelf Venture began and the town's population expanded. Karatha's name comes from the former cattle station that the townsite now resides and means 'God's own country' or 'Sacred Earth' in the native Aboriginal language. Aboriginal people have inhabited the area prior to European settlement for tens of thousands of years.