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Karratha Tourism Guide Western Australia Tourism
1557km north of Perth, Karratha was built in 1968 to service and accommodate workers mining iron ore in the Hamersley Ranges. Now the busy centre of the Pilbara district, Karratha is large and its facilities are modern. Nearby is the magnificent Millstream-Chichester National Park with its hidden pools, beautiful vegetation and interesting links to times gone by.

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Karratha History

Karratha means good country in the language of local Aborigines. The hills around Karratha are carpeted in spinifex and its creeks are lined with beautiful white-barked coolabahs trees. Close by are tranquil rock pools and beautiful picnic spots where you can lunch besides the twisted layers of rock caused by massive ancient geological forces.
The original project location could no longer house the workers, buildings and equipment needed for the massive Hamersley Iron mining project that extracted iron-ore from the nearby Hamersley Ranges. And so, in 1968 on Nickel Bay Karratha was born as a joint State Government-Hamersley Iron development. The huge North West Shelf Project has also been vital to Karrathas livelihood, drilling into rich natural gas reserves off the coast behind the islands of the Dampier Archipelago. These and other local companies using Karrathas wealth of natural resources have invested in the town and it has easily out-grown its company town status.

Karratha Today

Much of the business conducted in the Pilbara region has its administration centers in Karratha, including government departments. The shopping centre was once the largest shopping centre outside of the city of Perth.
Karratha boasts golf, tennis, lawn bowls, beautiful beaches or fishing and snorkeling around the beautiful islands of the Dampier Archipelago just off the coast. Its facilities, year-round summers and bustling country town atmosphere make it a perfect base to explore the amazing National Parks surrounding Karratha.


Near to Karratha is Cossack, the first port in the northwest, just east of Karratha along the coast. Cossack was originally a pearling and farming centre, cruises go 2.5km to Jarman Island where visitors can laze on the beach watching the amazing wildlife and climb into the lighthouse as the cruise host relays some of the interesting anecdotes and stories of the area.
It is estimated that one day the population of Karratha will increase to 30,000. Karrathas wealth of natural resources and attractions, both on the land and off the coast, will ensure it continues to grow at a very rapid pace and attract more and more visitors each year.

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