Industrial Tourism: A Unique Attraction  

Industrial Tourism: A Unique Attraction  


Industrial Tourism: A Unique Attraction  

Want to do a different take on your next trip to Pilbara? While most trips in Pilbara focus on scenic and wildlife tours or Cultural Heritage tours, there is another one that you can explore – Industrial Tours. 

I know, what can one expect in doing an Industrial Tour in Pilbara? Hear me out – and I promise this will be a quick one. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how things work and how resources are sourced from their natural state? Wouldn’t it be great to have an insider’s perspective and be able to answer a five year old’s “How does ocean water become salt?” or maybe how does invisible air become fire on the stove?” If you are like me, who watches scads of documentaries and a few episodes of Discovery’s “How It’s Made” this type of tour will be right up your alley! 

Okay, so get your map and your pen and paper as I list down some of the industrial tours you can explore up north, and maybe they don’t compare with the largest frying pan in the world, I am sure you will be blown away by some of the statistics. 

The BIG 3 Industrial Attractions to Visit in Pilbara 

Salt, Iron Ore and Oil & Gas. 

Dampier Salt – Want to witness the process of seawater becoming salt? You can book a half-day tour at one of the largest salt producers in the world. We went on the guided bus tour of Rio Tinto Dampier Salt. It was amazing to see how the seawater from the Indian Ocean became salt. (takes 18 months) We were even allowed to visit the production area to take photos and shovel a bag of raw salt. Yes you can put it on your steak, but not really clean and white, especially with the iron ore up the road. Did you know that table salt makes up only 5% of the salt used? All the other salt is used in chemical compounds and manufacturing. 

Port Hedland Iron Ore and Shipping Port Tour – Port Hedland is the largest tonnage port in Australia. You can witness the busy port with ships and small boats arriving all day long from the main street jetty and they pass within a few feet of you, several times a day. You will also see up to 30 ore ships waiting offshore (demurrage) to come in and load. 

    • Harbour tour – a tour that is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 AM. The Harbour tour provides information about the processes, and you get to see the seafarers’ launch. 
    • Twilight Industry Tour – a tour which happens in the latter part of the day. You get to see boats coming in and out and the port light up as the night shift begins – this was a one-of-a-kind sight to see (PS one of my favourites).

Burrup Peninsula- Check out the visitors centre provided by Woodside and overlooking Pluto and the Karratha Gas Plant. The KGP built in the early 70’s has been going strong. A Gas plant ‘factory’ is called a train. There are 5 trains and the 5th one is 3 times the size of the original one built 30 years before it. Producing LNG, LPG and Domestic Gas. 

The Pluto LNG plant on the Burrup Peninsula is earmarked to process gas from Woodside’s Scarorough project.

     Time to venture into Pilbara and make a few additional unique stops? Book your tours and enjoy seeing how things work. Mix up your holiday with insightful Industrial Tours and discover more top destinations you can visit on our blog!