Best Things To Do In Pilbara, Australia

things to do in pilbara
Adrian Chew
Adrian Chew 
Updated

More than two billion years in the making, Pilbara has the most breathtaking and oldest landscapes in the world. The stunning natural beauty is a unique blend of wide open spaces and untouched aquatic wonderlands, disappearing into ancient gorge country. Along the coast, Mackerel Islands and Dampier Archipelago are made up of many islands with amazing marine life, white dazzling white beaches, and world famous snorkeling, fishing and diving. The jewel of Pilbara, the magnificent Karijini National Park inviting you to explore the 100-meter (328 foot) plunging canyon, emerald rock pools as well as crystal waterfalls are waiting to be explored by visitors.

1. Mackerel Islands


Posted by Mackerel Islands on Saturday, 21 January 2017

Did you know that there is a tranquil island off the coast of Western Australia that has its own coral reef and is available to you and your friends to hire? Welcome to Mackerel Islands. Located some 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) off the Onslow coast, the islands provide an ideal escape for all holiday seekers. Explore the colorful marine wonderland by jumping aboard a light plane or boat with a local tour operator.

Apart from that, Mackerel Islands is renowned for its incredible wildlife experiences, both on land and sea and offers tourists an opportunity to enjoy picturesque sunsets, see turtles nesting, beach-comb for exotic shells and whale watch. Other activities are relaxing on white sandy beaches, seeing an amazing array of birdlife as well as world class diving, fishing and snorkeling. Enjoy an idyllic holiday without the distractions of city life on two magnificent islands, Direction Island and Thevenard Island, which are part of Mackerel Islands. If you plan to stay on either one of the islands, accommodations are available. This destination is the perfect Pilbara gateway.

Mackerel Islands

Address: Thevenard Island, Onslow WA 6710, Australia

Price: Depends on which tour you choose. Bookings required

Website: Mackerel Islands

2. Mount Nameless

Tom Price WA - Mount Nameless
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Five Years used under CC BY-SA 3.0

In the middle of the Western Australia desert is a small town called Tom Price. The main attraction is just 4 kilometers (2.4 mi) from this town and you will be surprised with its name. Yes, it is indeed a weird name and is called Mont Nameless. From this summit of the mountain you can see spectacular views of the surrounding country. Besides that, not only will you get a bird’s eye view of Tom Price but an added bonus of expansive views of the local iron mining operation.

To the South and west is widespread desert and Tom Price Mine Site. To the North sits the extraordinary oasis of Karijini National Park and the township of Tom Price. People looking for hypnotizing views of the contrast in Western Australia or anyone interested in good 4WD, which has a special ending, should check out this place. If you want all of the rewards of a spectacular mountain view without the effort of hiking up, Mount Nameless is the best place for you. Besides, there are also two walking trails leading up to the summit.

Mount Nameless

Address: Nameless Valley Dr, Tom Price, Western Australia 6751, Australia

Website: Mount Nameless

3. Marble Bar

Marble Bar
Source: Photo by Flickr user Graeme Churchard used under CC BY 2.0

Marble Bar is a town and rock formation in the Pilbara region of North West Australia. The attraction is a unique example of a pioneering outback town from the gold rush days of the late 1800s. Besides, it is also well known for its extremely hot weather in summer. The area also enjoys mild day time temperature and cooler nights during winter. If you want to go for a swim, its nearby gorges and swimming holes are ideal spots for a cooling swim.

There is more. Marble Bar is also home to the Comet Gold Mine and the Corunna Downs Airbase, which was one of the best secrets of World War II. There are just too many things you can do around the area. If you love walking, why not check out the Marble Bar Heritage Trail, which is an ideal place for trekking. Besides, go for a swim or have a picnic at Chinaman’s Pool or Marble Bar Pool. Both pools are great places to snap pictures, especially just after sunrise when the rocks on the hill gleam like gold. Apart from that, you can explore Carawine Gorge, Coppin’s Gap or Doolena Gorge by a 4WD. Before you head on to the next place, drop by at Marble Bar’s Iron Clad Hotel for a glass of beer.

Marble Bar

Address: Marble Bar, Western Australia 6760, Australia

Website: Marble Bar

4. Point Samson Fishing Village


Point Samson is a small coastal settlement situated in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is truly one of the most unspoiled, picturesque seaside villages in North West Australia. The majestic sandy beaches of Point Samson are protected by fringing coral reefs, offering a spot for game fishing, snorkeling and safe swimming. Apart from that, its long white beach is the perfect vantage point to observe whales migrating off Cape Lambert, see iron ore tankers waiting to dock at the port and turtles nestling. Besides, the sunsets at the beach can be dramatically red.

Do not miss the delicious fish and chips while you are here. As it is a coastal village, the tidal rivers contain different types of fish and other sea delicacies including huge Mud Crabs, Barramundi, Blue Manna Crabs, Red Emperor and prawns. This peaceful seaside town offers a wide range of accommodation options ranging from boutique bed and breakfast, 4 star resorts to holiday homes and modern caravan parks.

Point Samson Fishing Village

Address: Point Samson, WA 6720, Australia

Website: Point Samson Fishing Village

5. Karijini National Park

Karijini National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Phil Whitehouse used under CC BY 2.0

The Karijini experience is an adventure more than two billion years in the making and is also the jewel of Pibara. Karijini National Park is an iconic, unspoiled nature-based destination offering unforgettable Western Australia outback experiences, as well as diverse and unique landscapes. The park is famous for its spectacular gorges, dramatic creeks and towering sheer sided chasms. Besides, its waterfalls with emerald colored rock pools is another main attraction. For the fit and adventurous, you can take one of the many trails to explore the gorges further. For those interested in rock climbing and abseiling, you can talk to the rangers on where to get started. As they are extreme and dangerous activities, you need to have the proper equipment and skills.

The park highlights include the Fern Pool, Fortescue Falls, Circular Pool in Dales Gorge, and what is possibly the most stunning lookout in Australia, the Oxer’s Lookout. Besides, there are the junction of 4 mighty gorges namely Hancock, Red, Joffre and Weano. Whether it is a light walk or a vigorous hike you are seeking, you won’t be disappointed by your Karijini adventure. Apart from that, flora and fauna is abundant in Karijini National Park. Here you will also find dingoes, geckos, goannas, pythons, legless lizards and other rare wildlife. The park is the traditional home of the Innawonga, Banyjima and Kurrama Aboriginal people. You can opt to stay at the Aboriginal owned and operated eco-retreat to feel their hospitality. Camping facilities are also available. Remember to get yourself a park brochure when you visit the award winning interactive Visitor Centre.

Karijini National Park

Address: Banjima Drive, Karijini WA 6751, Australia

Website: Karijini National Park

6. Dampier Archipelago & Montebello Islands

Dampier Archipelago WA 6713, Australia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yas.Iwamoto used under CC BY 3.0

Dampier Archipelago’s 42 islands lie off the coast of Point Samson and Dampier. The coast offers visitors interesting destinations and activities, including fantastic boating with world class fishing, snorkeling and diving locations. Besides, travelers can just laze the day away on the white beach or swim along the blue waters near the coast. One can also see six species of marine mammals in the waters around the islands as well as Flatback and Green Hawksbill turtles nestling on some of the beaches. Whale watching is also common in the area but it’s seasonal. Apart from that, many of the islands have remains of settlements dating back to the 1800s.

Lying 130 kilometers (80.7 mi) west of Dampier, the Montello Islands are a group of over 250 low-lying islets and limestone islands surrounded by white sandy beaches. Montebello Islands and the area around are also a designated Marine Park. The island is a perfect spot for exploring, diving and snorkeling.

Dampier Archipelago & Montebello Islands

Address: Dampier Archipelago, WA 6713, Australia / Montebello Islands, WA, Australia

Website: Dampier Archipelago & Montebello Islands

7. Courthouse Gallery

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Posted by Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery on Tuesday, 31 January 2017

This art gallery is Port Hedland’s cultural hub, which showcases Pilbara’s diverse creative talent. Its exhibition features artworks from an array of regional, national and local artists with creative development programs, social events and workshops running alongside. Besides, Courthouse Gallery also hosts a beautiful retail space, featuring handmade jewelry, unique homewares and gift items from Australian makers. In the often hash Port Hedland environment, the gallery offers visitors and locals an essential cultural outlet with chances for social and artistic engagement. Apart from that, it also hosts the West End Markets, Pilbara’s largest maker’s market, which is held four times a year. The markets offer an avenue for local makers to showcase their crafts.

Courthouse Gallery

Address: 16 Edgar St, Port Hedland, WA 6721, Australia

Opening Hours: 9am-4.30pm (Monday-Friday), 9am-3pm (Saturday). Closed on Sunday

Contact: +61 891731064

Website: Courthouse Gallery

8. Aboriginal rock art

Aboriginal rock art
Source: Pixabay

Australian Aboriginal rock art is world famous. The country has some of the largest and oldest rock art sites in the world. Some of the oldest and most famous open air rock sites include the Woodstock Abydos Reserve and Burrup Peninsula, both of which can be found in Western Australia. The Burrup Peninsula is one of the most prolific indigenous art sites. It has recently been recognized as one of the world’s most significant heritage sites, which dates back millions of years. Aboriginal rock art sites can be found everywhere in urban, rural, and remote environments. Besides, it offers tourists insight into extinct species, spiritual beliefs and also relationships.

Aboriginal rock art

Website: Aboriginal rock art

No other place like this

In this part of Australia lies a place like no other on earth. The Pilbara region is rich in pioneer and indigenous history and breathtaking scenery of ancient rugged ranges, waterfalls, gorges, pristine coastlines. It’s home to unique attractions and blessed with months of sunshine, with a variety of flora and fauna that simply cannot be found anywhere else. If you come here, it will truly be a unique holiday experience.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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