Dampier lies on King Bay, 1558km from Perth on Western Australias Coral Coast and some 12 km from Karratha.
42 islands, outcrops and islets comprise the Dampier Archipelago that spreads in a 45km radius from Dampier. Today they are a popular destination for fishermen and divers that come to explore the coral reef and shipwrecks.
With its beachfront has an ocean pool, recreational boats ramps, picnic and barbecue facilities, Dampier has become a Mecca for fisherman and divers wishing to explore the tropical islands of the Dampier Archipelago.
There is an abundance of wildlife both in and out of the water, and the Dampier Archipelago is home to several endangered species. 25 of the islands are now nature reserves that are managed by the West Australian Conservation for Land Management CALM.
Both the town and nearby Archipelago were named after English explorer William Dampier.
Dampier was completely constructed in 1965 as a port and processing centre for Hamersley Irons mines at nearby Tom Price and Paraburdoo after lucrative iron-ore deposits were discovered. Its deep, artificial port supports the largest tonnage of any port in Australia and is also used to store the iron-ore until it can be processed for export.
The Dampier Salt Company is Australias largest producer of salt, another important local industry.
Originally constructed in 1986 by Hamersley Iron as a port and company town to service workers for its iron-ore mines.
Karratha has become the focus of most new development as Dampier has exceeded its original capacity.
The Burrup Peninsula, just south of Dampier, has a wealth of sacred Aboriginal rock art petrography an astounding 10,000 or so engravings in more than 500 recorded sites. The petrography of the Burrup Peninsula is recognised as the largest outdoor art gallery in the world. It is essential that viewing be done at the earliest possible time of day, as the extraordinary rocks the early aboriginal artists used for their art act as heat stores and reflect the heat of the day, causing very, very hot temperatures.
The North West Shelf gas project is Australias largest offshore operation and rigs may be sighted if they are in the bay for maintenance.
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