Nestled in the heart of the Central Pilbara Coast, Karratha is one of Australia’s most isolated cities, making it the perfect destination for a true escape into the Western Australia wilderness. The city is separated from the Timor Sea by tidal salt flats and dense mangroves, while the centre reveals a smattering of bars and restaurants and a large shopping mall.
Things to do in Karratha
Begin your Karratha holiday by exploring the rugged coastline at Hearson’s Cove, a secluded white-sand beach with crystal-clear water and dramatic headlands. From May to October, Hearson’s Cove showcases a natural phenomenon called the “Staircase to the Moon” when the rising full moon reflects off the exposed mudflats.
Do you love getting out onto the water? The Dampier Archipelago, comprised of 42 islands, is right off the Karratha’s coastline. Hire a boat or join a guided cruise to experience the unique beaches, animals and inland wilderness of these islands. Take the three-hour drive out to Millstream Chichester National Park, where you can discover palm-fringed rock pools, tranquil lakes and rich Indigenous culture.
For more Aboriginal history, walk or cycle along the Yaburara Heritage Trail, an extensive footpath with Indigenous rock carvings, artefacts and stories. When it’s time for a break, rest under shady trees at Cattral Park, which also has walking paths and a children’s playground.
If you’re keen for some shopping, don’t miss Karratha City shopping mall, where Australian fashion boutiques and jewellery stores sit alongside bakeries, cafes and fast-food outlets. Just a short drive away is the Karratha Country Club, an 18-hole golf course great for beginners and experienced golfers.
Getting around Karratha
Karratha Airport, about a 15-minute drive from town, is serviced by daily flights from Perth, which take about two hours. Karratha’s city centre is pedestrian friendly, but it’s best to have your own vehicle to explore further. You can also use the local taxi services to get around.