One of the biggest and busiest mineral ports in the world, Port Hedland - up in the fascinating Pilbara region of WA, 1660km north of Perth via the Great Northern Highway - started life as a town servicing pearl luggers and provisioning the prospectors and miners who rushed to the goldfields around Marble Bar.
But it was iron ore that sent the town into a literal frenzy of building activity in the 1960s as BHP Iron Ore geared itself up to ship its valuable product to the international marketplace through the port.
No visit to this amazing frontier town is complete without a tour of the BHP facilities at Nelson Point where you’ll get a first-hand look at the giant machinery and extraordinary technology required to keep the mining and transportation operation going.
Port Hedland was discovered in 1829 but it was not until 1864 that the Pilbara’s first sheep station was established on the nearby De Grey River. By 1870, Port Hedland was home port to 150 pearling luggers.