Port Hedland was established in 1896 on Kariyarra country on the Pilbara coast, 1765km north west of Perth. Today there are two main residential and business centres, Port Hedland (located on the coast) and South Hedland (13 km inland). The population of Port Hedland today is approximately 16,000 people who live in the main residential areas, as well as the industrial area Wedgefield, and surrounding pastoral stations and Indigenous communities.
The Pilbara is a bustling, dynamic region and Port Hedland is at its centre. Located on the worlds largest and busiest bulk mining port, which exports 372.3 million tonnes per annum, the town erupted and became what it is on the back bone of the mining industry.
Yet the town has so much more to offer historically and presently. Originally a port for the fledging pearling and pastoral industries, Port Hedland transformed into the internationally recognised, state of the art base for giant BHP Biliton facilities and hasn’t looked back, with FMG, Roy Hill Mining, Atlas Mining, Rio Tinto all becoming major players.
It’s a sight to be seen watching the continual flow of ships in and out of the harbour. The sheer size of these beasts can’t be adequately described and it’s something, as a local, you’ll never get sick of viewing. As a tourist I’d recommend taking the time to sit and watch the boats go by - you’ll find me doing just that on a Friday morning at Dome cafe over coffee and breakfast meetings.
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