The name Meekatharra is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of little water' – an apt description for a town sitting on the edge of a desert. Meekatharra is now the centre of a vast mining and pastoral area. It came into existence in the 1880s when gold was discovered in the area. However, the gold rush was short-lived and it was only the arrival of the railway in 1910 that ensured its survival. The town became the railhead at the end of the Canning Stock Route, a series of 54 wells stretching from the East Kimberleys to the Murchison. The railway was closed in 1978, but the town continues to provide necessary links to remote outback areas through its Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Shire offices, 54 Main St; (08) 9981 1002
Royal Flying Doctor Service: operates an important base in Meekatharra; open to public 9am–2pm Mon–Sun; Main St.
Old Courthouse: National Trust building; Darlot St.
Meekatharra Museum: photographic display and items of memorabilia from Meekatharra's past; open 8am–4.30pm Mon–Fri; shire offices, Main St.
State Battery: relocated to the town centre in recognition of the early prospectors and miners; Main St.
Meeka Rangelands Discovery Trail: walk or drive this trail for insight into the town's mining past, Aboriginal heritage and landscapes; maps at visitor centre.
Peace Gorge: this area of granite formations is an ideal picnic spot; 5 km N.
Meteorological Office: watch the launching of weather balloons twice daily at the airport; tours available on (08) 9981 1191; 5 km SE.
Bilyuin Pool: swimming (but check water level in summer); 88 km NW.
Old Police Station: remains of the first police station in the Murchison; Mt Gould; 156 km NW.
Cafes & restaurants around town
Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town
Rest areas around town
Adjacent to the highway and opposite a motel.
40km N of Meekatharra (L) or 216km S of Kumarina (R)
Well off the highway in scrub at an old well site.
Lake Nallan rest area 89 km
20km N of Cue (R) or 96km S of Meekatharra (L)
Just off the highway and overlooking the lake.
T/O 12km N of Cue (R) or 104km S of Meekatharra (L)
Around the homestead 3km (unsealed) east of the highway. Camp kitchen and some powered sites available.