City of Karratha Local History Archives

Karratha's local history

Located in the stunning Red Earth Arts Precinct built in 2018 that incorporates a public library, a dual-purpose theatre/cinema,rehearsal spaces and exhibition areas, the City of Karratha Local History Archives documents the history of the towns of Karratha, Dampier, Wickham, Roebourne, Point Samson, and Cossack. It follows the transformation of the region through the pastoral, pearling and mining booms. Despite its relative youth (Karratha was only established as a town in 1996 by Hamersley Iron), this rich collection of photographs, documents and files, well-provenanced and catalogued, is a stand-out , and is accessible for all who are interested in the region’s history. The local history staff provide a research and reference service for this history and will assist with family history enquiries.


Red Earth Arts Precinct
27 Welcome Road
Karratha WA 6714

Opening Hours

Mon, Wed & Friday 9am - 5pm; Tues & Thurs 9am - 6pm; Sat 9am - 2pm

Race day

Since the first towns were established in the north, social life has revolved around the annual races, with their associated balls, corral events and a multitude of other social gatherings. People...

Courageous costume

This remnant square of fabric was part of a fancy dress outfit created by Miss Clare Sophia Ollis in 1900 when she attended a ball held to raise money for the Rectory Fund in Roebourne. Titled...

A loyal friend

It is not only people that have made this region famous. The enigmatic Red Dog, now the subject of Louis de Bernières' book and a subsequent feature film, claimed his place in history as he hitchhiked...

More North West collections

Broome stories

The Broome Historical Museum reveals the character and history of the unique, multicultural town of Broome, dubbed 'the pearling capital of the world.' Originally housed in the Old Broome Lockup the...

Karijini - history, culture and nature

Twisting through the Hamersley Ranges, now famous for iron ore deposits, lies Karijini National Park, with Karijini being the Banyjima name for this area. Visitors can explore the ancient country of...

‘We do art and tell the story.’

Bringing desert and river artists together, Mangkaja has been the base for people such as Butcher Cherrel, Daisy Andrews, Tommy May, Mervyn Street, Sonia Kurrarra, Cory Surprise, John Prince Siddon...

Ochre and rust

Ochres of black, red and mustard yellow, mixed with greys and whites are the hallmarks of the very distinctive style of the Warmun community artists. One of the early engine rooms for the contemporary...

While you're in the area

TV Hill Lookout
TV Hill Lookout
TV Hill Lookout offers excellent views of Karratha. It is a very easily...
Off Millstream Road, Karratha, WA 6714
Econo Lodge Karratha
Econo Lodge Karratha
Econo Lodge Karratha is set within tranquil lush gardens and is located...
1 Dwyer Place, Karratha, WA 6714
Discovery Parks - Balmoral, Karratha
Discovery Parks - Balmoral, Karratha
Discovery Parks - Balmoral, Karratha is a seasonal park and opens normally...
Balmoral Road, Karratha, WA 6714
Hearson's Cove
Hearson's Cove
When the full moon rises over Hearson’s Cove between May and October, this...
Hearson Cove, Burrup, WA 6714