Had enough of the hustle and bustle of big city livin’? We feel you. If you fancy a bit more of the big blue sky, wide open spaces and breathtakingly clear, turquoise waters… Well, we reckon you’ll enjoy Karratha. But there’s more to Karratha than meets the eye, and we’ve found a few tantalising tidbits around town just waiting to be explored.
It’s The Gateway To Some Of WA’s Most Spectacular Natural Wonders
Situated on the Dampier Archipelago, Murujuga National Park and its surrounding islands boast the largest concentration of rock art in the entire world. Estimated at over a million in the region, many of the engravings are dated at over 40 000 years old. To really explore the region, follow the Warlu Way: a breathtaking road trip that takes you over 3000kms of epic Pilbara landscape, following the path of the Dreamtime serpent from breathtaking ranges and deep gorges of red earth to crystal clear waters.
Along with rock art, you can look to the sky for a magical sight. Karratha has a stunning vantage point to the Staircase to the Moon phenomenon – just head to Hearson’s Cove or Settlers Beach on the right dates. It’s also an amazing spot to catch a lunar eclipse, if you’re lucky enough to be there at the right moment (the next one is in November FYI)!
It’s Got A Bubbling Food And Drink Scene
Who says you’ve got to be in the big smoke to enjoy a great feed? Nowadays, Karratha is absolutely chock-a-block with excellent eating and drinking, from excellent food trucks like Jonny’s Surf Shack, Smokey Trails, Pla’s Thai BBQ and Souvlucky, to some of the northwest’s finest fish and chips at Samson Beach Tavern and SOAK café in Dampier. Round out your night with a drink at Fiorita Wine Bar or Blanche Bar, or perhaps head to The Tambrey (below) a bit earlier for a cheeky jug of Pimms?
Then you can fuel up the next morning with a coffee at one of Karratha’s great locally owned cafés, or grab some Taiwanese fusion brekkie from Lo’s; cold pressed juice and nourishing eats from Empire 6714; or a delicious and modern bushtucker brunch made from fresh, native ingredients at Bushlolly.
A Great Place For Young Families
There’s something for every age in Karratha – as well as taking in the spectacular natural wonders and participating in one of Ngurrangga’s insightful tours, there’s heaps of events for the whole family. The Roeburne and Cossack Maker’s Market takes place every month: alternating between living ghost town Cossack and Roeburne’s Old Gaol, the markets showcase some of the northwest’s most talented makers and their hand-crafted wares.
At the end of July, the FeNaClNG Festival will be celebrating its 50th birthday, with plenty of family friendly fun over the weekend including rides, carnival games, stalls and a spectacular fireworks display.
And when we say the whole family – we mean the whole family! Bring your pooch to pay tribute to the legendary Red Dog’s statue, then follow the trail to explore Dampier. Finish off at Dampier’s dog beach (between Hampton Oval and the marina) and a cold one at SOAK.
There’s Boating, Camping And Fishing Fun All Around
If you’re into any of the BCFs, you’ll need no introduction to the Pilbara. The dramatic tidal changes make for exciting shore fishing, but spearfishing is also hugely popular – you’ll see trevally, emperor, queenfish and cod amongst others. Prefer to head out into the big blue to try your luck? Rent a boat at Cossack for the day or hit up one of the local charters to take you out.
It’s An Area Steeped In History And Culture
The Pilbara is rich with a history that goes back tens of thousands of years – and a culture that remains strong today. Discover just some of the amazing culture and history of Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi country with fully Aboriginal owned and operated Ngurrangga Tours – whether you’re being lead through the world’s largest concentration of rock art, learning to forage for bush tucker and bush medicine, or coastal foraging at one of the most spectacular Staircase to the Moon viewing points, Hearsons Cove.
A visit to the Ganalili Centre is also a must-do, celebrating Yindjibarndi culture, country and people in a beautiful centre filled with interactive displays and artworks, with plenty of products to purchase to keep a little slice of inspiration for yourself. It also hosts regular workshops, art exhibitions and events to get involved with.
The Community Vibes Are Strong…
It’s an understatement to say Karratha is sports obsessed. Catch one of the many footy games, or get involved with a team yourself. Not so into AFL? There’s soccer, basketball, netball and dance teams – plus, this year saw the return of the Karratha Water Polo Association to the salty ocean waters of the Dampier Archipelago. If you’re thinking about making the move up north, it’s also a great way to make new friends in town.
There’s Plenty Of Jobs To Go Around
While mining plays a big part of the Pilbara’s job market, that’s just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to Karratha. With the lowest unemployment rate in Australia, developments like the region’s $200m hospital, the arts precinct and educational institutions means there’s jobs on offer across a huge range of fields.
…And There’s Always Something Going On Around Town
As well as all the great outdoors and adventuring, the Pilbara is host to plenty of live performances. The Red Earth Arts Precinct has something on every week – with past artists including Bangarra Dance Theatre, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Amy Shark, Xavier Rudd and many more. You can also catch a movie at the precinct’s theatre, from arthouse picks to brand-new blockbusters.
If you prefer your live music even more up-close and personal, you can check out local and touring musicians at the local joints just about every night of the week – whether you’re stopping in at Karratha’s first craft brewery North West Brewing Co., cocktail and tapas bar Blanche, the Tambrey’s lively beer garden, or Dampier pub the Mermaid.
Whether you’re thinking of a sea change to the Pilbara or just a holiday, head to the Karratha Is Calling Website to start planning today.
This article is sponsored by City Of Karratha and very happily endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.