What to expect when moving to Karratha

So you’re moving to Karratha? Perhaps you’ve scored a job in the mining industry and it’s your first time heading to the Pilbara city. Or maybe you work in an unrelated industry but you’re pursuing a wonderful opportunity in the north of outback Australia. Or maybe you just wanted a break from the hustle and bustle of city living.

Whatever the reason you’re moving, Karratha is a city where you will soon feel right at home.

We spoke to two people who’d made the move recently. Here’s what they had to say.

Steph, 27, Health and Safety Coordinator

Steph works in the mining industry as health and safety coordinator with a contractor. She made the move from her hometown of Newcastle, New South Wales in November 2016 for a two-year contract. “Everyone I speak to who has moved to Karratha says ‘if you come here for two years, you’ll be here for at least seven’,” she said and expects that perhaps will happen.


Despite having to adjust to leaving her family and friends behind and needing to find a new social circle in her adopted home, Steph said she is loving Karratha “more and more every day”. “For me, Karratha is a great mix of rural Pilbara town meets city living,” she said. “I love how remote the town is but I also enjoy that everything I need is still close by. I’m also enjoying the friendly and welcoming nature of the people in Karratha — once someone knows you’ve just moved into town, everyone is keen to get you involved in Karratha life and make sure you’re never stuck for something to do.”

What surprised her most? “Seeing the Pelago buildings springing up from the middle of town was surprising — the expectations you have moving to remote towns and communities is definitely not to see high rise buildings, but was definitely a pleasant surprise as a city girl,” Steph said. “I was very impressed by the options available for things to do and see — although it’s a remote town, there are plenty of activities to get involved in and interesting places to explore nearby, like the hidden waterhole at Python Pools, the beautiful beaches at Port Walcott, and the old settlers buildings out at Cossack.”

What advice would she give to someone thinking about moving to Karratha? “Karratha has a lot to offer, so make sure you get involved. If you’re interested in fitness, check out the Leisureplex for group fitness classes and weekly group sports. Become a member of the local RSL or get involved helping out local groups and charities that assist and give back to the local community,” she said. “If you’re into outdoor adventuring and have a boat (or friends with a boat) the nearby islands are absolutely amazing, or go and explore some of the nearby waterholes and surrounding beaches. Or just kick back with a beer and watch one of the many killer WA sunsets that are truly spectacular.”

Guy, 59, works for the Army

Guy moved to Karratha in January 2017 when he was posted to the Pilbara Regiment of the Australian Army. Like many people, his plan was to be here for just a short period of time. While some people find the move challenging, Guy said he found the adjustment quite easy. “I expected a dusty old abandoned town,” he joked, “but there are excellent facilities — including the amazing facilities around Sharpe Avenue, next to Pelago.”

“Pelago is fantastic,” Guy said. “The facilities are incredible: pool, games room, sauna, gym and coffee shops right out the front door.” It really is a little slice of Perth in the outback.

His advice to someone moving to Karratha?: “Do it. And stay at Pelago if you can.”

Why is Pelago winning such big fans?

Steph says Pelago is her “own little paradise” which had become her home away from home. “I open the door after a long, hot day at work, kick off my boots in the air conditioning and get to sit down in the peace and quiet,” she said. “It’s a place where I can escape from work, the heat and the flies, but with awesome views overlooking the Burrup Peninsula and only meters from the shops, including my favourite café, Empire6714, I can still feel like I’m part of it all! The pool is pretty awesome too, and very welcome on those hot Pilbara days.”

If you’re moving to Karratha and want to make the best of what the local lifestyle has to offer, take a look at Pelago.

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