A sister town to the port of Dampier, it operates as the
administrative and commercial centre of the region and the massive
North West Shelf Project. Located on Nickol Bay, it provides
accommodation and services for the employees of Hamersley Iron, Robe
River Associates, the Dampier Salt Company and the workers on the North
West Shelf Gas and Petroleum project.
The North West Shelf Project, situated on nearby Burrup Peninsula,
has been supplying gas to domestic and industrial users in WA since
August 1984 and in 1989 it began exporting liquefied natural gas to
Japan. Its rigs may be sighted if they are in the bay for maintenance.
Each year in August Karratha holds a Fenaclng Festival. Reflecting
the mining background of the region, its name is an acronym of the
chemical symbols for iron (Fe), salt (NaCL) and the abbreviation for
liquefied natural gas (LNG). A fundraiser, the festival is a popular
The site of hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal rock engravings that
are distributed over an area of 88 sq. km, and to see them necessitates
some four-wheeled means of transport.
The rock art ranges from small engravings of Emu tracks to very
large ones representing a corroborree or ceremony, and even Aboriginal
figures climbing a ship's mast. They depict a Tasmanian tiger, whales,
kangaroos, emus and thousands of Aboriginal ceremonies.
A string of 42 pristine islands that lie off the coast of Dampier
and Point Samson. The islands’ white sandy beaches and blue
waters also make them an ideal location for swimming or just lazing the
Dugong and bottlenose dolphins are often sighted in the waters of
the Dampier Archipelago, while humpback whales are regularly seen
between July and September, as they make their way north to breed.
Green, loggerhead, flatback and hawksbill turtles use the beaches
during the nesting season, from September to April.
Located on the Burrup Peninsula between Karratha and Dampier,
Hearsons Cove is one of the many beautiful beaches in this region. This
lovely sheltered cove is a popular swimming and picnic spot all year
round and is ideal for children as its water is calm and clear.
Pilbara Railway Historical Society
Created to preserve for future generations a small part of the
rapidly developing heavy haul railway scene of the Pilbara. The museum
complex houses numerous retired locomotives, rolling stock and a
features a miniature rail track to promote interest in railways through
the children of the Pilbara.