Towns in Australia

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12 Interesting Facts About The Pilbara, Western Australia

The Pilbara is a region in the northern part of Western Australia. The sparsely populated region is mostly known for its three national parks; Karijini, Millstream-Chichester and Karlamilyi.

The Pilbara plays an important role in Australia’s finances. The oil and gas industry in the region produces billions of dollars per year.

12 very interesting facts about the Pilbara


Pilbara derives its name from the Aboriginal word bilybara. Bilybara means “dry” in the Nyamal and Banyjima languages. The Pilbara sure is a dry place too!


The Pilbara is one of the oldest places on Earth. Recent science results have proven the age of the Pilbara to be around 3.6 billion years old.


Here’s a very interesting fact about this special region. The Pilbara is home to fossilised evidence of the Earth’s oldest lifeforms.


With an estimated population of 58,243 people and a size of 502,000 km², the Pilbara region has 8.6 square kilometres for each person. Yes, kilometres per person, not the other way around!


Another interesting fact about the Pilbara is that there are 174 small islands lying 20km north of Barrow Island off the Pilbara coast, called the Montebello Islands.


Port Hedland’s port authority handles more than 400,000,000 tonnes of cargo in and out per year, making it one of the busiest ports in Australia.


A little known fact about the Pilbara is that in the 1940’s, the Pilbara had a secret airfield, which operated at the original site of the Corunna Downs homestead, 39km south of Marble Bar. It was used for staging aircraft and personnel for raids on Japanese bases and targets.


There is a famous race where the runners wear only underwear, called appropriately the ‘Undies Dash’. This year it was held at Roebourne.


New York City is 78,550 hectares in size. The Karijini national park in the Pilbara is 627,422 hectares, more than eight times the size!


The largest town in the Pilbara is Newman, which is located 15 kilometres north of the Tropic of Capricorn.


There are four local government authorities in the Pilbara. They are Ashburton, East Pilbara, Port Hedland and Karratha.


It gets very hot in the inland areas of the Pilbara. In towns like Marble Bar, temperatures exceeding 45° celsius are common in Summer. During winter (June to August), the average temperature is approximately 20°C across the Pilbara.


There you go – 12 very interesting facts about the Pilbara region of Western Australia. How many of these facts did you know?