A Coastal Playground with a Modern History

Dampier is the gateway to the 42 Islands of the Dampier Archipelago in the North West of WA. Blessed with beautiful beaches and warm, sunny weather, this outback coastal town is a mecca for outdoor water activities. Swimming, sailing, boating, fishing, diving, snorkeling and wind surfing can be enjoyed here all year round.

Just 20 kilometres from Karratha, this pretty port town overlooking Hampton Harbour and the Dampier Archipelago was named after the English buccaneer William Dampier – the first recorded European visitor to the area. It was established as a large tonnage shipping port in the 1960s by the mining company Hamersley Iron as the export location for iron ore mined from Tom Price and Paraburdoo.


  • Visit Sam’s Castle on Tidepole Island, more commonly referred to as Sam’s Island. The island can be seen from the Dampier foreshore and a permit is required to access the island (available from the Karratha Visitor Centre).
  • Enjoy a guided tour through some of WA’s big mining and resource operations. Bookings for the Pilbara Resources Tour can be made by contacting the Karratha Visitor Centre. Take an up close look at Parker Point and East Intercourse Island, Rio Tinto’s Dampier based loading operations.
  • Explore the Burrup Peninsula and view over 10,000 examples of ancient Aboriginal rock art.
  • Pay a visit to the Dampier Library to view the Japanese doll collection. The dolls were given to Pilbara Iron as gifts from Japan and China
  • Take a look at the enchanting Red Dog statue (The Pilbara Wanderer), located at the entrance to the town. The inspiration for the movie ‘Red Dog’! This famous kelpie was born in Paraburdoo in 1971, but spent most of his years travelling throughout the entire region, from Perth to Broome. He would hitch lifts in trucks or buses, however his exceptional homing instincts always returned him to Dampier or Karratha. Books about his life and wanderings, are available from the Karratha Visitor Centre.
  • Experience the buzz and excitement of the local fishing competition, the Dampier Classic, held on the first weekend in August every year.
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