Port Hedland sits at the heart of a region that’s as rich in Indigenous culture and history as it is natural wonders, including the spectacle of the Staircase to the Moon.
To take the direct route, you can fly to Port Hedland from Perth in just over two hours. Or to make the journey half of the adventure, why not fly to Broome or Exmouth and discover the mysteries of local legends driving the Warlu Way interpretive trail.
Following the path of the warlu, or Dreamtime sea serpent, the Warlu Way traverses 2,480 kilometre through the ancient landscapes of the Pilbara and Kimberley. From sapphire seas to lush oases and soaring gorges to ancient Aboriginal art, it will take you back to the Dreamtime when the warlu emerged from the sea and travelled through the red heart of the outback, forming magnificent waterways as he moved.
While you’re in Port Hedland, be sure to enjoy another natural spectacle that’s unique to the North West – the Staircase to the Moon. Best viewed from Cooke Point between March and October, this natural phenomenon occurs when the full moon rises over the exposed mudflats at extremely low tide, creating the optical illusion of a staircase reaching to the moon.
As a bustling Indian Ocean port, Port Hedland is home to enormous ships and huge trains. It’s also a great base for ocean-based activities, including fishing, crabbing and whale watching (in season). Visit during turtle nesting season, and you may even catch a glimpse of females laying eggs or babies making their maiden voyage.
To find out more about Port Hedland’s history, hit the award-winning Cultural and Heritage Trail, which maps out the early times of European settlement. Or visit Dalgety House Museum, Don Rhodes Open Air Train Museum and the Courthouse Arts Centre and Gallery.
Port Hedland is a place of contrasts, with an equally diverse range of accommodation options, from backpackers and self-catering chalets to motels and hotel rooms. Bookings are essential, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance.