Port Hedland

Iron ore carrier, Ken Stepnell

Population 11557

Port Hedland was named after Captain Peter Hedland, who reached this deep-water harbour in 1863. An iron-ore boom that began in the early 1960s saw the town grow at a remarkable rate. Today, Port Hedland handles the largest iron-ore export tonnage of any Australian port. Iron ore is loaded onto huge ore carriers; the 2.6-kilometre trains operated by BHP Iron Ore are hard to miss. Salt production is another major industry with about 2 million tonnes exported per annum.

Visitor Information

13 Wedge St; (08) 9173 1711.

Nearby national parks

  • Millstream Chichester National Park

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  • Karijini National Park

    Set in the Hamersley Range in the heart of the Pilbara, the vast Karijini National Park is an ancient landscape of massive mountains and...more

Nearby towns

  • Marble Bar

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  • Roebourne

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  • Karratha

    Karratha is the Aboriginal word for 'good country'. Founded in 1968 as a result of expansion of the iron-ore industry, Karratha was...more

In Town

Don Rhodes Mining Museum: open-air museum with displays of historic railway and mining machinery; Wilson St.

Pioneer and Pearlers Cemetery: used between 1912 and 1968, it has graves of early gold prospectors and Japanese pearl divers; off Stevens St.

Town tour: visit the town's many attractions; 11am Mon, Wed and Fri June–Oct; book through visitor centre.

BHP Iron Ore Tour: see the enormous machinery required to run this industrial giant; departs 9.30am Mon–Fri from visitor centre.

Heritage trail: 1.8 km self-guided walk around the town; contact visitor centre for map.


Stairway to the Moon Like the Broome version, this beautiful illusion is created when a full moon rises over the ocean at low tide. The moon's rays hit pools of water left by the receding tide, creating the image of a stairway leading up to the moon. It lasts for about 15min. Check with visitor centre for dates and times. Coastal side of Goode St; 7 km E.

Pretty Pool: picnic, fish and swim at this scenic tidal pool; 8 km NE.

Dampier Salt: see giant cone-shaped mounds of salt awaiting export; 8 km S.

Royal Flying Doctor Service: operates an important base in Port Hedland at the airport; open to public 8–11am Mon–Fri; closed public/school holidays and weekends; 15 km S.

School of the Air: experience schooling outback-style at the airport; open to public 8–11am Mon–Fri; closed public/school holidays; 15 km S.

Turtle-watching: flatback turtles nest in the area Oct–Mar at Pretty Pool, Cooke Point and Cemetery Beach.

Cruises: scenic harbour and sunset cruises; contact visitor centre for details.

Travellers note: Poisonous stonefish frequent this stretch of coast, especially Nov–Mar, so wear strong shoes when walking on rocky reef areas and make local inquiries before swimming in the sea.

Cafes & restaurants around town

Heddy's Bar & Bistro

Dine by the stunning Indian Ocean at the All Seasons' bistro, where the al fresco dining is as popular as the local seafood. For a more casual experience, enjoy a counter meal at the bar or a cocktail by the pool.... Find out more

The Pilbara Room

Centrally located and situated within the Hospitality Inn Port Hedland, the Pilbara Room Restaurant is one the best dining options in town. Prime cuts of meat and fresh seafood complement the friendly service and... Find out more

Wedge Street Coffee Shop

Inside a newsagency, the Wedge Street Coffee Shop is a popular place to stop for coffee and a magazine or to the sample the menu of salads, sandwiches and a selection of Asian-inspired fare. This busy spot also has a... Find out more

Campsites around town

Balla Balla (Bulla Bulla) camping area 96 km

This small camping area is 20 km north of North West Coastal Hwy, set among trees on the river. It suits self-sufficient campers who enjoy fishing. You need to bring firewood, drinking water and, preferably, a portable... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Blackrock Tourist Park 9 km

Typical of parks in mining areas, the park has a sizeable population of semi-permanent residents, but it also has a large number of tourist sites and provides a convenient stopover for a short period.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

All Seasons Port Hedland

With endless views of the Indian Ocean, the Hotel All Seasons Port Hedland is also located close to town. The rooms are comfortably appointed and include all-important air-conditioning. Bistro patrons can dine on the... Find out more

Cooke Point Holiday Park

With a variety of units and powered sites, the Cooke Point Holiday Park offers clean and modern accommodation and facilities. Geared well towards families, the park has a playground, swimming pool, recreation room,... Find out more

Hospitality Inn Port Hedland

Offering motel-style accommodation, the rooms are air-conditioned, comfortable and clean. On-site are barbecue facilities, a licensed restaurant and a swimming pool. Centrally situated, you are close to the beach, the... Find out more

The Lodge Motel

The Lodge Motel is well located to the business district in South Hedland and offers standard hotel rooms and self-contained apartments. Included in the rate are meals, access to the gymnasium and swimming pool.... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Yule River rest area 54 km

62km SW of Port Hedland (R) or 56km NE of Whim Creek (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

De Grey River rest area 67 km

79km E of South Hedland (R) or 71km SW of Pardoo (L)

Just off the highway under trees on the riverbank.

Peawah rest area 82 km

92km SW of Port Hedland (R) or 26km NE of Whim Creek (L)

Just off the highway on a riverbank.

What's on around town

Australia Day Festival: Jan.

Port Hedland Cup: Aug.

Pilbara Music Festival: Sept.

Welcome to Hedland Night: every few months.

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