Road Tripping around the Pilbara

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Literally billions of years old, the Pilbara both astounds and welcomes you in a way that makes you instantly feel a part of its majesty. It is a place where you slowly let go and allow yourself to be immersed in its magnetic charm. Here are some important points that will support you to enjoy and appreciate the area

It is essential to take into account both the sustainability and efficiency of your trip when travelling. Given the remoteness and distance between towns throughout the Shire of Ashburton, it is critical to ensure you plan your stops and rest-breaks.

While there are many things to consider when planning a trip, we have picked out some key elements to assist you in planning.

Welcome Rest Stops:

You won’t miss the eye-catching designs of Welcome Rest Stops as you navigate your way through the Pilbara. In addition to shelter and seating, most offer toilet facilities, and many also provide free Wi-Fi hotspots so you can catch up with friends, plan the next leg of your trip or simply relax, recharge and take in the unique landscapes.

Visitor Centres:

Onslow and Tom Price both have Visitor Centres located in the heart of their respective towns and are great sources of information, especially for those looking for something unique to see or do during their trip. Each Visitor Centre will be able to assist you with specific information regarding their particular area, but also provide advice and guidance for the next leg of your trip. Onslow Visitor Centre can be contacted on +61 8 9184 6644 and Tom Price Visitor Centre on +61 8 9188 5488.

Roads and Reports:

It is important to keep an eye on road conditions due to weather and road works as these can change very quickly particularly in the case of bad weather and bushfires. We recommend you check Main Roads WA reports regularly – especially when driving on un-sealed roads.

Rio Tinto’s rail access roads are privately-owned and run parallel to the train network throughout the Pilbara, providing maintenance access to the railway.  Rio Tinto allow the public to drive on the rail access roads as long as you hold a valid permit which can be obtained via the Rio Tinto website or at the Karratha, Roebourne and Tom Price Visitor Centres.

Whilst being aware of the road conditions is an essential factor when planning the next leg of your trip, it is also vital to be aware of other dangers such as wandering cattle and other wildlife especially when driving at dawn and dusk.

Dump Points:

Visiting a dump point is the most environmentally friendly method of emptying waste from a caravan or campervan. There are several dump points throughout the Shire of Ashburton including:

  • Tom Price Caravan Park
  • Barradale Yannarie River, road side rest NW highway
  • Robe River, road side rest NW Highway
  • Dales Gorge Campground Karijini National Park
  • Onslow, beside Multipurpose Courts, Cameron Ave
  • Old Onslow, next to historic jail (Welcome Rest Stop)
  • Halfway Bridge Rest Area, Paraburdoo-Tom Price Road (Welcome Rest Stop)
  • Paraburdoo Caravan Park

Camping and Caravan Parks:

There is an abundance of camping locations throughout the Shire of Ashburton, as well as Caravan Parks located in each town. Here are some of the more common locations, however if you are looking for something off the beaten track, contact one of our Visitor Centres for some local knowledge:

National Parks:

  • Karijini National Park:
    • Dales Gorge Campsite
    • Karijini Eco Retreat – Savannah Campground
  • Millstream Chichester National Park:
    • Miliyanha Campground
    • Stargazers Campground

Station Stays:

  • Emu Creek Station
  • Cheela Plains Station

Caravan Parks:

  • Tom Price Tourist Park
  • Paraburdoo Caravan Park (limited availability)
  • Ocean View Caravan Park, Onslow
  • Discovery Park, Onslow
  • Pannawonica Caravan Park (limited availability)

24 Hour Rest Areas:

  • Barradale Yannarie River Road Rest Area, North West Coastal Highway
  • Beasley River Rest Area, Nanutarra Wittenoom Rd
  • House Creek Bridge Rest Area, Nanutarra Wittenoom Rd
  • Burkett Road Rest Area, North West Coastal Highway
  • Halfway Bridge Rest Area, Paraburdoo-Tom Price Road (Welcome Rest Stop)
  • Old Onslow, next to historic jail (Welcome Rest Stop)

For more information on camping, accommodation and more click here.

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