Karratha is one of the largest and fastest growing towns in the north of Western Australia (WA) and is known as ‘Munjaree’, the heart of the West Pilbara Coast. Its size and central location makes it the ideal base for exploring the delights of Millstream-Chichester National Park, Karijini National Park, Dampier ArchipelagoPoint Samson Peninsula and the Burrup Peninsula. The amazing Ningaloo Reef is also just 350 kilometres to the east.

Located 1,535 kilometres north of Perth, Karratha is also the administrative centre for the City of Karratha and local headquarters for many Federal and WA State Government departments.

A History of Karratha

Taking its name from one of WA’s early pastoral stations, from which the land was resumed, Karratha is an Aboriginal word meaning “good country” or “soft earth”. For many centuries, the region has been home to Aboriginal communities, and the nearby Burrup Peninsula features the world’s most prolific Aboriginal rock engraving sites, with over 10,000 identified examples. Please be aware that these are sacred sites, some of which are not open to the public. Contact the Karratha Visitor Centre for information about visiting local Aboriginal rock art sites.


  • Experience Aboriginal culture by taking a walk along the Yaburara Heritage Trail, which features a number of fascinating petroglyphs, middens and artifacts.
  • Relax and enjoy a game at the town’s golf or bowling clubs.
  • Unwind and take in the beauty of the Staircase to the Moon at Hearson’s Cove, just 25 minutes from Karratha. This natural phenomenon is caused by the rising of a full moon reflecting on the exposed mudflats at extremely low tide.
  • Enjoy colourful sunsets and panoramic views while walking along the Yaburara Heritage Trail.
  • Join in the fun and games at the FeNaCIng Festival, held in the first weekend in August. The name comes from the chemical symbols of the region’s three main production and export commodities: Iron Ore (Fe), Salt (NaCI) and Natural Gas (NG- not strictly correct but it makes the name work). The Festival is of such importance to the local community the Monday is a Local Government gazetted public holiday.

Accommodation and Facilities

There is a good choice of accommodation in Karratha, from luxury five star hotels and resorts to three and two star options. Considered to be the shopping hub of the Pilbara, air-conditioned major retail stores service this thriving town.

With a warm climate all year round, it’s a great place to escape the colder weather further south. To find out more about local attractions and accommodation options, contact the Karratha Visitor Centre on +61 8 9144 4600.

Share |