About The Pilbara
The north-west of Australia is where you’ll find the Pilbara, home to some of the world’s oldest natural landscapes dating back two billion years and a feat for any adventurer to explore at 400,000 square kilometres. From the outstanding coral coastline with turquoise waters to the deep canyons and mountain ranges of the renowned national parks, this region contains some of the most beautiful yet challenging terrain to grace the Earth.
An area five times the size of Scotland, the Pilbara really is astonishing territory. Karijini National Park has a mix of rocky road and plunging pools for ultimate adventure, of which Dales Gorge offers the most unforgettable. A three-in-one experience, get relief from the sun at Fortescue Falls, soak up the setting of Fern Pool and walk the three-hour return journey of Circular Pool. Climb carefully into Hancock Gorge, hike the trail to Mt Bruce and take in the spectacular view from Oxer Lookout.
Chichester National Park
Closer to the coast lies Millstream Chichester National Park, even more of a haven for relaxing pools, vegetation and life, providing a respite from the desolate land that surrounds you. Stroll along the cliffs of Fortescue River while looking closely to what flora and fauna you can spot, or laze beside the peaceful Chinderwarriner Pool, full of lily pads and bordered by dominant trees. Between July and September is the perfect time to make your visit to see the blossoming carpet of wildflower that manages to grow following wet season.
Collections of water are perfect for a dip after a long walk on a hot day and make for welcome surprises when dry, red rock is as far as the eye can see, so swimming clothes and a towel are worth remembering to pack. Some of the most beautiful rock formations are here ready for your appreciation, and with very few distractions, you truly feel like you have all the time in the world to enjoy them.
In complete contrast, far west Pilbara is skirted with idyllic coastline and the opportunity to dive, snorkel and bathe upon the sands. The Dampier Archipelago and Mackerel Islands provide ocean escapes off of the mainland, while Port Hedland, Point Samson and Dampier are seaside settlements with the largest populations that you’ll see in Pilbara. This coastline is untouched compared to the busy, commercial site of the Great Barrier Reef, yet provides just as extraordinary snorkeling, swimming and diving.
As a result of this underwater paradise, marine life swarms to the area to feed off of the coral and swim from the south to the north. All year round, dugong and dolphins can be seen in the shores, while humpback whales are spotted between July and September and turtles use the beaches to nest between September and April. There are also excellent fishing spots to grab a fresh dinner.
Staircase To The Moon
The coastal towns of the Pilbara also see the natural phenomenon of Staircase To The Moon. A moment prior to sunset when the full moon reflects off the exposed mudflats, this occurrence creates an illusion of stairs reaching up to the moon. The towns you can expect to see it include Dampier, Cossack, Point Samson, Port Hedland, and the Kimberley town of Broome.
Without a doubt, the best way to spend the night is beneath the stars. Campgrounds can be found throughout Pilbara including Karijini and Millstream Chichester National Parks, some of the islands of the Dampier Archipelago and the grassy areas of Point Samson and Port Hedland. If sleeping with Australia’s nocturnal creatures isn’t your cup of tea, there is accommodation available in the way of B&Bs, resorts and holiday homes, while Karijini Eco Tents provide a more stable version of camping complete with bathroom and deck.
A land that seems to go on forever, the Pilbara is a vast region of rocky terrain, intimidating canyons and deep red rock millions of years old. Yet, it is dotted with pools of paradise, luscious oasis’ and natural crystal clear baths to while away the hours, dipping in and out as you please. Whether up high looking out at the world below you or deep inside the gorges, tunnels and caves, there’s a whole world of adventure in north-west Australia, still one of the most untouched areas on the planet.