About Port Hedland

On the North West coast of Western Australia, Port Hedland is1,761km from Perth via the North West Coastal Highway or a 120 minute flight.

Port Hedland is a dynamic town located in the Pilbara Region. The original inhabitants, the Karriyarra, call the place Marapikurrinya for the hand shaped formation of the tidal creeks coming off the shallow natural harbour. Port Hedland lies on an inlet, where mangrove lined creeks and mud flats have an abundance of fish and wildlife.

We are a Port Town, established in 1896 with mining being our primary industry. We attract residents from all over the world and Australia, so our population profile is somewhat transient due to the nature of a project based work and a fly-in/fly out workforce. Many residents work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. The lifestyle is relaxed and open.

Port Hedland industry is focused on the extraction, processing and exporting of iron-ore from huge reserves in its surrounding terrain. Port Hedland has had a thriving iron-ore industry since the 1960’s with it’s port handling the largest tonnage in Australia.

Population: 14,200 approximately (based on population growth trends)
Area: 10,587 square kilometres
Local Industries: Iron Ore Export, Salt, Tourism, Pastoral, Light Industrial

Port Hedland's area


The town's location on the ocean provides for a variety of aquatic leisure activities including superb fishing. Whales and nesting flat back turtles can be seen in season. The Hedland area is flanked by ranges, grasslands and rock formations. Karratha town, Millstream and Karijini National Parks are within easy driving distrance, while Broome and the Kimberley are also within easy reach.

The two main residential centres are Port Hedland and South Hedland. Each has a range of community services including cultural, recreation and shopping facilities. Wedgefield Industrial Area contains a variety of light and service industry premises.  The majority of the population lives at the satellite town, South Hedland. this suburb was developed 18 kilometres from Port Hedland to overcome the lack of suitable land above cyclone flood levels.

Iron Ore

The port handles the largest tonnage of any port in Australia and it is here that the iron-ore is unloaded, screened, crushed, stockpiled and transferred from wharf to ship to export. Mammoth iron-ore carriers frequent the port and dot the horizon, transporting the iron-ore to Japanese, European, Chinese and Korean markets. A 426km-long railway was built to carry ore from one of the world’s biggest mining facilities in Newman, southeast of Port Hedland. This busy line is visible along the road to Port Hedland and trains and their cars are up to 3km long.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Leanne Anderson.

Scroll to Top Call Now Button