Fishermen love it, archaeologists are in awe of it, and divers can't get enough of it. Where are these three gob-smacked by beauty? That would in the plains and hills of the Pilbara region. Our set-up at Discovery Parks - Pilbara, Karratha is a convenient base to get out to the action. If you're curious on what to do fill up the days, our helpful guide will surely be a helpful start to your plans.
A chain of 42 islands dotted along the north west coast of Australia, the Dampier Archipelago is a dream for many wanderlust travellers. Twitchers, bring your best binoculars. You will have a field day spotting the 26 species of birds in this important refuge for aviary life. For a flashback into the region's history, visit the remains old whaling and pearling stations that operated on Malus Island in the late 19th century. We don't want to overwhelm you with choises, but the islands are also ideal for snorkelling, diving, fishing, and even indigenous rock art.
Dampier Archipelago, including the Burrup Peninsula, has one of the highest concentrations of rock art in the world and is home to the oldest works created by humans. An ancient outdoor art gallery, the indigenous Ngarda-Ngarli people marked their stories of Dreamtime, spirits, and native animals. With more than a million engravings in the rocks, this region is like none other in Australia to learn about ancient history.
Paying respect to the traditional owners of the land, the Yaburara Heritage Trail passes through sacred sites for the local Ngarluma people. Scattered along the trail are ancient tools, petroglyphs, euros, echidnas, and white trumpet flowers. Allow yourself one to three hours to complete the trail and wear a wide-brim hat and sturdy shoes. The 5km trail is of moderate difficulty, with loose rocks and minimal shade.
Everyone - and we mean everyone - who is shown photos of the gorges, waterfalls, and lookouts at Karijini National Park immediately get travel-envy. Best to see in winter during the dry season, enjoy long hikes and swims in natural swimming pools. Like adrenaline but not much for heights? That's a-okay, canyoning could be your day's adventure. Guided canyoning tours include paddling, tubing, abseiling and walking through high water. Tip: it's not necessary to have a 4WD, but it is helpful to get out to several spots.
You don't think we would tell you all the things to do around here and not mention fishing, did you? Every night as they fall asleep, anglers count fish swimming by along the Pilbara coast. While the Dampier Archipelago is certain to top your list, the creeks and mud flats host a range of fish species. You'll be set to catch some big barra and monster threadfin in the muddy red water of the Pilbara estuaries. Luckily the estuaries are too far south, so the crocodiles shouldn't make an appearance!