Explore the Region

Port Hedland

Explore the Region

Port Hedland is the gateway to the Pilbara. To the east you can explore the wild, rugged beauty of Karijini National Park, with its spectacular natural gorges, waterfalls and pools perfect for hiking and walking. To the south is the enchanting Millstream Chichester National Park, bounded by the spinifex lined Chichester Ranges with the Fortescue River coursing through creating natural water flows and freshwater pools perfect for swimming.

On the road north to the Kimberley, you can experience the life of a modern day drover at De Grey or Pardoo cattle stations or pull off the Great Northern Highway at Eighty Mile Beach between October and December and be treated to the rare sight of flatback turtles nesting on the white sandy beaches.

Travelling further east will bring you to the towns of Newman, Tom Price and Marble Bar. Each with their own story to tell these towns offer visitors a vast range of opportunities and experiences. From the open cut mines of Newman to the world renowned Martumili Artists of Jigalong and surrounds, through to Australia's hottest town Marble Bar to the spectacular camping and off-road sites of the East Pilbara, the region is as diverse and exciting as it is wide.

Contact our neighbouring Visitors Centres to plan the next leg of your journey through this incredible part of Australia.

The Pilbara is home to some of the most unique and beautiful national Parks in Australia and visiting one of all of these is the best way to ensure you have a true Pilbara experience.

Karijini National Park


Nestled in the middle of the Hamersley Ranges is the ruggedly beautiful Karijini National Park, the second largest in Western Australia. The breathtaking gorges, waterfalls and wildlife make Karijni an absolute must-see in the Pilbara.

Vast escarpments, mountains and water ways are part of this truly ancient part of the world; it is estimated that the land formations in Karijini are over 2,500 million years old. Today, the Hamersley Ranges are home to a remarkably complex ecology. From its expansive gorges to low woodlands, Karijini is home to an abundance of native flora and fauna. Karijini boasts a stunning wildflower season as well as and great number of native animals. As you explore the park you can find kangaroos, rock wallabies, bats and dingos. Also keep an eye out for frogs, geckoes, goannas, dragons, legless lizards, pythons and other snakes around the park.

If you are a keen bushwalker, you must venture through Dales Gorge and the Fortescue Falls Track. This walk will give you spectacular views of the park as well as sheer rock faces, calming waterfalls and lovely swimming spots. You can also fine some beautiful walks to Knox lookout, Knox Gorge, Joffre Lookout, Joffre Falls and Handrail Pool.

You can venture into the park from Tom Price, or you can camp in designated areas in the park, opr stay at the Eco Lodge. For more information about all the things to see and do at Karijini, contact the Park's Visitor Centre (08) 9189 8121.

Millstream Chichester National Park

Millstream Roo

Millstream Chichester National Park exemplifies the wonderful diversity of the Pilbara – with two vastly different ecosystems exiting alongside each other; with the arid Chichester Ranges to the north and the lush subtropical Millstream to the south. The park is set on Yindjibarndi land around the Fortescue River. This natural reserve is believed to contain in excess of 1,700 million cubic metres of water and cover an area of almost 2,000 square kilometres.

As you enter the park from the north, look out for Python Pool, a lovely spot where you can stop for a picnic and a swim in one of the park's permanent fresh water pools. Within the park there are gorgeous spots along the river and there are camping grounds at Crossing Pool and Deep Reach. A lot of the sites and attractions within the park are only accessible via unsealed roads.

Tropical plant species, typical of WA's far north, thrive on the edge of permanent water pools throughout the national park. Of particular interest is the unique Millstream palm, with its fanned, greyish-green leaves and smooth bark. Exotic date palms and cotton palms, originally introduced by pioneers, have now spread throughout the delta. There are also a variety of native birds, mammals, marsupials and reptiles in the park.

For more information about visiting Millstream please contact either the Karratha Visitors Centre (link) or Roebourne Visitors Centre (link).

Karlamilyi National Park

At over 1.2 million hectares, Karlamilyi National Park (formerly Rudall River National Park) is the largest national park in Western Australia and one of the largest in the world. Spanning across the boundary between the Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts in the eastern Pilbara the park also includes the Rudall River water system. It is one of the most remote places in the world. As such, when planning to travel there you must be well prepared with sufficient water, food, medical and mechanical supplies.

The bird life of Karlamilyi is a highlight, with more than 90 recorded species of birds living in the area, mostly around the Rudall River. There are more than a dozen waterbirds which can be spotted on the Rudall, including pacific black duck and the Australasian grebe.

Hidden away in an ancient gorge in the centre of the park is a chain of scenic rock holes, where rugged red cliffs cast perfect reflections in still waters. Activities include photography, bushwalking, 4WD touring and swimming. Desert Queen Baths, an 18-kilometre detour off the main track, is a series of picturesque rock pools within a gorge. Allow an hour's drive each way on a rough bush track, then a 40-minute scramble over rocks to reach the main pool.

There is no accommodation or access to supplies within the park, bush camping is the way to go. Be sure to check road conditions before travelling and the Western Desert Puntukunupanu Aboriginal Corporation must be advised before travelling through their traditional lands in the park; call (08) 9172 3299.

Header image by Simon Phelps