The huge iron-ore deposit now known as Mount Tom Price was discovered in 1962 in the heart of the Pilbara, after which the Hamersley Iron Project was established. A mine, two towns (Dampier and Tom Price) and a railway line between them all followed. Today, the town is an oasis in a dry countryside. On the edge of the Hamersley Range at an altitude of 747 metres, this is the state's highest town, hence its nickname of 'Top Town in WA'.
Cnr Central Rd and Tamarind St; (08) 9188 1112
Nearby national parks
Karijini National Park Karijini was the name given to this area by the original inhabitants, the Banjima. The second largest national park in Western Australia, this park features ochre-coloured rock faces with bright-white snappy gums, bundles of spinifex dotting the red earth and chasms up to 100 m deep. The waterfalls and rockpools of Karijini offer some of the best swimming in the state. The park protects the many different wildlife habitats, plants and animals of the Pilbara. The landscape is dotted with huge termite mounds and the rock piles of the rare pebble mouse; other species include red kangaroos and rock wallabies, and reptiles from legless lizards to pythons. Kalamina Gorge and Pool is the most accessible gorge, while at Hamersley Gorge a wave of tectonic rock acts as a backdrop to a swimming hole and natural spa. Oxer Lookout reveals where the Joffre, Hancock, Weano and Red gorges meet. Mt Bruce, the second-tallest peak in the state, offers spectacular views and interpretive signs along the trail to the top. The Karijini Visitor Centre is located off the road to Dales Gorge and has information on camping. 50 km E.
Kings Lake: constructed lake with nearby park offering picnic and barbecue facilities (no swimming); 2 km W.
Mt Nameless Lookout: stunning views of district around Tom Price; 6 km W via walking trail or 4WD track.
Aboriginal carvings: thought to be 35 000 years old; 10 km S.
Mine tours: marvel at the sheer enormity of Hamersley Iron's open-cut iron-ore mine; bookings essential, arrange through visitor centre.
Hamersley Iron Access Road: this private road is the most direct route between Tom Price and Karratha via Karijini and Millstream national parks. It requires a permit to travel along it; available from visitor centre.
Travellers note: To the north-east is Wittenoom, an old asbestos-mining town. Although the mine was closed in 1966, there is still a health risk from microscopic asbestos fibres present in the abandoned mine tailings in and around Wittenoom. If disturbed and inhaled, blue asbestos dust may cause cancer. The Ashburton Shire Council advocates avoidance of the Wittenoom area.
Cafes & restaurants around town
Campsites around town
Find out more
Dales camping area 82 kmDales camping area is in a gorge among lush, shady vegetation near the Fortescue River, 9 km east of Banjima Dr and 8.4 km north of Karijini Dr. Visitors need to bring a gas/fuel stove and drinking water. Swimming at the... Find out more
Caravan parks around town
Auski Tourist Village 99 kmPart of the Auski Roadhouse complex, this is a convenient base from which to explore Wittenoom and the gorges in Karijini National Park. It is a good basic park and accessible along bitumen roads, whereas access to some... Find out more
Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town
Karijini Eco RetreatLocated about an hour away from Tom Price, deep in spectacular Karijini National Park, the Karijini Eco Retreat offers a mixture of luxurious eco tents and more traditional campsites. Some of the eco tents have ensuites... Find out more
Rest areas around town
Dales Camp Area 82 km
T/O 158 km N of Newman (L) or 36 km S of Munjina (R)
In a natural bush setting 29 kilometres west of the highway and 17 kilometres north-east of Karijini Drive in Karijini National Park. Showers and water available at visitor centre.