Karratha and the surrounding areas of Dampier, Cossack and Roebourne boast a wide range of things to see and do from mine tours, ghost towns, aboriginal art, walking trails or roaming the Red Dog trail.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Karratha is a vibrant city with a variety of historical sights, artwork, museums and various other areas of interest surrounding it.
Aboriginal Rock Art
The Murujuga National Park is an ideal location to bask in the beauty of Aboriginal Rock Art as it is fortunate enough to be home to some of the highest concentrations of Aborigianl Rock Art in the country. For Guided tours you can choose between the Murujuga Rock Art & Cultural Experience or the Ngurrangga Tour. Alternatively, you can take one or all of the 4 walking trails that form the Yaburara Heritage Trail that weave around the hills of Karratha between the Visitor Centre Tank Lookout and the Leisureplex car park.
Cossack Historical Town
Cossack is a heritage listed town and regarded as the ghost town of the area. The town has many areas of aboriginal significance so completing the 3km Cossack Heritage Trail (walk/bike trail) is an ideal way to enjoy the area. Please ensure that you have adequate water if you walk the trail as there are no designated watering stations or shade shelters along the way.
After your long day’s walk you may wish to sit back, relax and watch the Staircase to the Moon.
Dampier & Red Dog
Dampier is a major industrial port in the Pilbara region and is part of the Dampier Archipelago. Although a working port, Dampier has a variety of attractions and sights to see.
Sam arrived in Dampier in the 1960’s and built a castle on Tidepole Island, hence is has since been known as Sam’s Island. Be sure to take time out to visit the island and explore the magnificent castle.
For the ‘Red Dog’ movie enthusiasts there is a Red Dog Statue at the entrance to Dampier. Red Dog was believed to have been born in Parabardoo, however he travelled and was well known by all the locals in the Pilbara Region. Since the Red Dog movie was made, his popularity has soared and many passionate fans have made the trip to the areas that Red Dog travelled. Dampier also has a Roaming with Red Dog Trail, this is a 10km walking trail through Dampier where you can explore many of the spots that Red Dog was known to visit.
The Old Gaol Museum in Roebourne has been beautifully restored and is definitely worth a visit. If by chance you are still up for more walking then Roebourne has the incredible Roebourne Heritage Trail which is a 5km walk capturing the most significant historical sites in Roebourne. The walk allows you to experience what life was like for early settlers and local aboriginals all those years ago.
Port to Port Tour
By this point, many of you would have had enough of all this walking. If so, you should definitely book a port to port tour with the Karratha Tourism and Visitor Centre. The tour will take you into the Rio Tinto Operation and allow you to look around the old goal. You can also drive around Wickham and take a trip to Cossack where you’ll have the option to get off the bus and have a look around.
WHERE TO STAY
There are different options for accommodation ranging from hotels to backpacker hostels depending on your personal budget. Most working on a tight budget opt for Karratha Backpackers which is close to the drop off point. If arriving at night then you can call the owner in advance who will pop over and walk you to the hostel. Another option is Cossack Budget Accommodation which offers a unique experience of staying in a ghost town. If you would prefer to stay in a hotel it is best to search online and locate the perfect hotel to suit your budget and preferences.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT AROUND TOWN
TransKarratha offer transport around Karratha and to the nearby towns of Dampier, Roebourne, Wickham and Port Sampson. View the timetable here.
HOW TO GET TO KARRATHA AND BACK
Perth to Broome
Integrity Coach Lines have a bus that travels from Perth to Karratha 3 times a week. The bus leaves Perth on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9.30pm and arrives in Karratha the following evening at 10.10pm. Another coach also leaves Perth on a Sunday evening at 7pm, this service takes a slightly different route to the other two and arrives in Karratha on Tuesday morning at 6.10am. Click here to see the full bus timetable. Passengers also have the option of getting on the bus at other departure points along the way including Geraldton, Carnarvon, Coral Bay and Exmouth.
The departure point in Perth is the Tourist Bus Stop on Wellington Street which is just out the front of the Perth City Train Station. This makes it very convenient if you are catching the train into the city.
Broome to Karratha
Integrity Coach Lines have a bus that travels from Broome to Karratha twice a week. The coach leaves the Broome Visitor Centre on Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm and arrives in Karratha the following morning at 6.10am. Click here for the full bus timetable.
Return from Karratha to Perth or Karratha to Broome
Passengers wishing to return from Karratha to their initial destination or to continue to a new destination need to wait at Welcome Road 20 minutes prior to departure. The departure point at Welcome Road is just up the steps from the MacDonald’s car park and opposite the church.
What to expect on an Integrity Coach Lines journey
- Short comfort stops every three hours - This allows you to stretch your legs, use facilities at the roadhouses (there is also a toilet on the coach) and purchase refreshments should you wish to do so.
- Capture a glimpse of the various towns along the way if you are using an Express ticket. If you are using a Hop on Hop off pass then you may wish to stop and enjoy the other towns for a couple of days rather than just passing through. The choice is yours!
- Friendly, Personal and Knowledgeable Drivers - Drivers are knowledgeable on all locations and can provide tips and advice when necessary. Two professional drivers per trip ensures they are always well rested to get you to your destination safely. Best of all, all of the drivers are friendly and approachable.
Why not catch a bus from Perth to Karratha or Broome to Karratha and explore Karratha’s iconic surroundings. Don’t be one of the many visitors that make the mistake of passing through without stopping to take a look. Get in touch with Integrity Coach Lines now on 08 92747464.