The name Pilbara in Aboriginal Nyamal and Banyjima languages is bilybara, meaning dry. This region in Australia’s northwest hides many treasures amongst its dark red earth. Estimated to be around 3.6 billion years old, the Pilbara is home to the world’s oldest lifeforms, stromatolites. The rich ground also supports a massive mining industry in iron ore, crude oil, natural gas, and salt.
The Pilbara, covering an area of almost 508,000 square kilometres is defined by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Northern Territory border to the east. Pilbara tours take visitors to some of its fascinating attractions including Karijini National Park, Karratha, Dampier Archipelago, and Port Hedland to explore some of the world’s most ancient natural landscapes and Aboriginal archaeological sites.
The vastness of the Pilbara can be quite daunting for first-time visitors, but its beauty soon grows on all who set foot on her rich, red soil.
Explore the stunningly beautiful Karijini National Park with its deep red gorges, with cascading waterfalls flowing into peaceful plunge pools. Many visitors say a trip to Karijini National Park was the highlight of their Western Australian tour while some claim it’s the best national park they’ve ever seen.
Off the coast of Karratha lies the Dampier Archipelago comprising 42 islands with pristine white beaches, magnificent coral gardens and an amazing diversity of marine life. Visitors can explore the archipelago by boat, plane, or helicopter, or get up even closer on a snorkelling or diving tour.
Murujuga is the language name for the area which encompasses the Burrup Peninsula and the Dampier Archipelago. Murujuga National Park is a unique ecological and archaeological area famous for its ancient rock art or petroglyphs estimated to be over 40,000 years old. This collection of engraved Aboriginal rock art is said to be the largest in the world.
Port Hedland, with its looming salt hills, long iron-ore train and busy port is well worth a visit on your Pilbara tour. It’s the second-largest town in the region and has the highest tonnage port in Australia. Port Hedland is a dynamic town whose residents come from diverse cultural backgrounds. The local Kariyarra people, call it Marapikurrinya referring to the hand-shaped formation of the tidal creeks coming off the natural harbour.
Join our Pilbara tours and discover some of the region’s most incredible sites.
The Pilbara region of Western Australia is twice the size of the United Kingdom, and with an estimated population of 50,000 is one of the most sparsely populated regions on earth.
The largest town in the Pilbara region is Karratha that in Ngarluma language, means ‘good country’ or ‘soft earth.’ Karratha evolved out of the enormous growth of the iron ore industry and in 1968 became the regional centre of the area. Today, Karratha is a modern city that remains surrounded by iconic natural attractions.
The Pilbara region has a hot and dry climate, typical of the Australian Outback. The region experiences two distinct seasons: a hot summer, with daytime temperatures often exceeding 40°C, and a milder winter, with temperatures ranging between 20°C and 30°C throughout the day.
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