sunset with palm trees and ocean with boats

Pilbara Region WA Guide: Amazing Things to see and do

The Pilbara region WA, located in Australia’s North West, is one of the most fascinating places on earth. This post will take you through some of the best things to see and do in this amazing part of Australia. From exploring ancient Aboriginal rock art sites to taking a scenic flight over Karijini National Park, there are so many experiences awaiting for those who make it out here!

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Karijini National Park – Pilbara region

The traditional homeowners of this area are the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga people. Karijini is the Banyjima name for Hamersley Range.

Karijini National Park lies just north of the Tropic of Capricorn and can be accessed from Tom Price, Karratha and Newman. The best time to visit is during from late autumn through to early spring when days are warm, but the nights are cold. However, the water holes pools can be ice cold between April and September.

With its red cliffs, spectacular gorges, dazzling waterfalls, and inviting waterholes, Karijini is an ideal destination for water-lovers and adventurers alike with highlights like Fern Pool and Oxer Lookout, which has views over Joffre, Weano, Hancock and Red Gorges.

Karijini’s famous desert freshwater pools should definitely be on your agenda. The best ones for swimming are Handrail Pool, Fortescue Falls, Fern Pool and Circular Falls. Make sure you slather yourself in sunscreen before going in though: the intense Aussie sun is intense!

Karijini, Westen Australia’s second largest national park, is famous for its beautiful hiking trails. The best ones are the Weano and Hancock Gorges, Dales Gorge and Hamersley Gorge.

Punurrunha, or Mt Bruce, is Western Australia’s second highest mountain at 1,234 metres high and has one of the best scenic walks in Australia. There are three hikes to choose from, with different lengths and classifications.

water rushing down red cliffs into a natural pool
Joffre Falls, Karijini National Park by Tourism Western Australia

Millstream Chichester National Park – Pilbara region

The 240,000 hectare Millstream Chichester National Park was a pastoral station for over 100 years. The homestead now houses the Visitor Centre where you can find information on the Yindjibarndi people. The park is a significance cultural site for the Yindjibarndi and Ngarluma people as Millstream is the home of the Warlu serpent.

You will find tranquil gorges, crystal clear rock pools, and a range of hiking trails among the rolling hills. Millstream Chichester National Park is home to over 120 species of bird, 150 species of reptile, 30 species of mammal and 500 species of plants.

view from a hill over grassland to a mountain
View over Pyramid Hill from the Millstream Chichester National Park – by Tourism Western Australia

Onslow & The Mackerel Islands – Pilbara region

Onslow offers some excellent shore-based fishing and coastal relaxation, being one of the few places where the sun rises and sets over water. It is also the gateway to the Mackerel Islands, a fishing and snorkelling paradise.

Karratha, Dampier & Point Samson Peninsula – Pilbara region

Karratha provides access to the Point Samson Peninsula, Dampier Archipelago and the Burrup Peninsula with their incredible marine life. The Burrup Peninsula and Dampier Archipelago have the largest collection of ancient Aboriginal rock art in the country, with over one million rock engravings. You can also explore the North West region’s earliest settlements of Roebourne and Cossack and learn about their colonial history.

In Dampier, make time to see the memorial to ‘Red Dog’ and follow the Red Dog Trail to find out more about his incredible story.

sunset with palm trees and ocean with boats
Sunset on the Dampier waterfront – by Tourism Western Australia

Port Headland – Pilbara region

Port Headland connects the Pilbara to the Kimberley and is famous for its huge resource industry. You have the unique chance to witness the operations of the world’s biggest mining company, and see the big ships of the world’s largest export tonnage port.

While here, explore Port Hedland’s Indigenous and European history and take a tour of the BHP Iron Ore and Dampier Salt shipping area at Nelson Point. Make sure to visit Koombana Lookout for amazing views at sunset.

sunset with a yellow sky over the  outback desert
Outback sunset near Port Hedland by Greg Snell

Pilbara Tours

AAT Kings have a 13-day guided holiday from Perth to Broome, along the Coral Coast to Broome. The tour stops at the following places enroute:

The Pilbara region of Western Australia is known for its vast, beautiful landscapes and opportunities to explore the natural environment. We want to hear what you think about this area. Have you visited? Leave us a comment below.

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If you found this travel guide on the Pilbara region helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you.