Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Onslow WA


Postcode: 6710

Onslow is a coastal town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, 1,386 kilometres (861 mi) north of Perth. It currently has a population of around 700 people and is located in the Shire of Ashburton Local Government Area.

Onslow is a quiet sleepy little town which would be very happy if it was never became a major tourist destination. It is a place where people go to fish and to have quiet holidays and in that sense is a very northern equivalent of Cervantes or Jurien.

In 1883 the town was founded and named after Sir Alexander Onslow (1842-1908), the chief justice of Western Australia at the time. Since the war, the declining purchasing power of wool, has, in spite of consistently good rainfall on the inland sheep stations since the late 1960s, led to a change in focus of Onslow’s economy from wool to tourism. Onslow is currently the major town of the “Coral Coast” and is a base for such activities as scuba diving on the coral reefs offshore from the town.

Although it was declared a reserve in 1908 petroleum exploration began in 1963 with production starting in 1967. Since then it has been an important supplier of Australia’s oil and gas requirements.