The road network in the region is well connected with high quality major freeways connecting most of the tourist locations. Karratha is well connected, but to the nature of the region it is important to take care and precautions when driving. Signage within the area is good, however we suggest to carry a road map on you at all times.
It is important to take breaks and not to try to cover too much distance at a time, enjoy the experience. When travelling on unsealed roads, four-wheel drives and off-road camper trailers / caravans are recommended.
During the summer period (November to April) sealed and unsealed roads can be open for travel one day and completely flooded the next. Authorities provide road updates and weather warnings accordingly to assist travelers. Regardless of your vehicle, do not attempt to traverse roads that have been closed by the authorities under any condition. Not only do you put your own safety at risk, you also put at risk those you come to assist you.
Road trains are a unique part of travelling in Northern Australia. Extra caution is advised when overtaking road trains that can be more than 50 metres in length. On unsealed roads dust can be kicked up completely obscuring vision and throwing stones – the only time to overtake is when you can clearly see ahead.
Many stations and farms are unfenced and it’s not uncommon to encounter wandering stock and wildlife, serious accidents can occur due to collisions with kangaroos, cows and various other animals. Take particular care when traveling at dawn and dusk as these are the most dangerous times. Slow down, keep a lookout, and if possible, avoid driving at night.
Rio Tinto Access Road
Rio Tinto’s rail access roads are privately-owned and run parallel to the train network throughout the Pilbara, providing maintenance access to the railway. Rio Tinto allow the public to drive on the rail access roads as long as you hold a valid permit. 30 day general public permits are available at the Karratha Visitor Centre, Roebourne Visitor Centre, Tom Price Visitor Centre and the Pannawonica Library or by completing a short online training module.