16,796 (2007 ABS)
Pilbara Region, WA
  Local Council
Shire of Roebourne
  State Electorate
North West
  Federal Electorate

WA \ Pilbara \ Karratha


The town of Karratha is located in the north of WA in what is known as the Pilbara region. It is best known as a mining town.

Karratha's population at the 2006 census was almost 17,000 although that number can fluctuate depending on the flow of workers in the area, especially FIFO (fly in fly out) workers.

The name Karratha comes from the Aboriginal language and means 'God's Country' or 'Sacred Earth'.

Karratha Suburbs

Karratha is made up of nine main suburbs as well as an industrial area. The suburbs are as follows:

  • Karratha Town Centre
  • Bulgarra
  • Pegs Creek
  • Millars Well
  • Nickol
  • Nickol West
  • Baynton
  • Baynton West
  • Tambrey

The industrial area of Karratha is known as the LIA (Light Industrial Area) or KIE (Karratha Industrial Estate).


Karratha is best known for the surrounding mining areas that have brought huge wealth to Western Australia over many years.

Some of the mining operations in the area include Rio Tinto's iron ore operations, the North West Shelf Natural Gas Project and the Pluto LNG project.

Other local mining operations include sea-salt mining and ammonia exporting.

Mining has brought large number of people into the Karratha area. Some of these workers operate on a FIFO basis, whilst others have chosen to make Karratha their adopted home.

Karratha Facilities

With Karratha's growth has come plenty of development and the addition of new facilities and services.

Karratha Airport is the second busiest in WA and handles flights to and from Perth as well as other major Australian cities. It is also home to a large number of private planes and helicopters used by the mining operators.

The Nickol Bay Hospital is the largest medical facility in the town, and there are also a number of primary and secondary schools servicing the local population.

As would be expected for a town of its size, Karratha is also home to a selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as a number of shopping centres.