Port Hedland,Pilbara Region

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2800 Views:8337 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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My wife and I will be traveling to the Port Hedland--Pilbara for a short vacation late next week. My wife has an opportunity to teach at a HS in the region. Could anyone from the area offer some insight about the living conditions, schools etc.? Would really appreciate it.
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00

Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00
Hi William,

The area you refer to is very large. Port Headland is not really generally considered part of the Pilbara proper but is certainly in the region. In itself, Port Headland is not the prettiest of towns and is a bit rough. In old Headland, iron ore stockpiles are right in town so when the wind blows, dust can be quite a problem. South Headland is better. Further away from the stockpile and a little more modern.

Having said that, Port headland is one of those places you either love or hate. A lot of people go there and have a great life. Others can't get out of the place quick enough.

My cousin and her husband lived there for 6 years straight out of Melbourne. Had to do a minimum 3 year stint with their company, then would have a choice of better postings. They loved it and applied for another 3 year stint. Apparently this was a first for the company.

Anyway, they had a 4WD and did a lot of camping etc in the Pilbara region proper (which is absolutely wonderful) at every opportunity. They reckoned the best thing about Headland was the social life. I don't mean restaurants, cinema etc...rather socialising with friends, BBQ's etc. They said had a great group of friends and just loved the laid back atmosphere.

I hope this is of some help but perhaps just raises more questions for you. I really think it's a case of life in headland being what you make it. Oh, and the climates great.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 10574

Reply By: Allyn - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
as soon as I can work out a way to get you my phone number or you yours to me then you can ask all the questions you like.
Port Hedland area is great for 4WDing & camping (winter months only) and is a genuine gateway to the Pilbara & Kimberley regions.
It's a true working town, does little to endear itself to the potential tourist trade, has an extremely high cost of living and the highest crime rate in WA. Having said that we have been in PH for 5 years now and have had a pretty good life. Probably leaving within a year or two as we've seen everything around the area and the town itself offers NOTHING and has done little to improve itself since we've been here.
I would still do it all over again but would (as you are trying to do) gain the benefit of some local knowledge first hand. If you wish to see the NW of WA then by all means head on over and if you're coming next week you won't need to pack your warm clothes that's for sure. It's been 40+ all week.
AnswerID: 10581

Reply By: TonyY - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
I lived in Port Hedland for 12 months in '94/'95 and absolutely loved it. Must disagree with a couple of Michelle's points (no offence).

You are much better off living in Port Hedland than South. Most of the crime is in South Hedland, it is 20km inland and so is much hotter, and is one of the worst designed towns in history.

The Port has much more character, try to get a house near the beach, preferably Pt Cooke area.

Port Hedland is part of the Pilbara.

While I was there I joined the SES and got into the local community which is very important. Had a ball.

There is so much excellent country to explore in the Pilbara, a lot of places that the tourist traffic just doesn't get to as well as the more well known spots.

Go for it. You won't regret it.
AnswerID: 10591

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
No offence taken

:o) Melissa
FollowupID: 5587

Follow Up By: Tonyy - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Sorry Melissa, I even got your name wrong! 8-0
FollowupID: 5588

Reply By: Allyn - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Will you have rental assistance? Houses to rent in Port Hedland (much better than South as pointed out above) are minimum $350 and that for a very untidy fibro home. South Hedland rents not much better I'm afraid.
What line of work are you in? Without double or high income you could struggle.
Good points as already mentioned:
some great stuff to see that only locals know about.
Broome is a leisurely 7 hour drive and you get good accomodation deals there in wet season (ie. air conditioned units)
Coral Bay/Exmouth is a nice 7-8 hour drive
Karajini National Park is only 3 hours away
e-mail me on allyn@wn.com.au and I can give you phone number of so desired
AnswerID: 10597

Reply By: Member - William - Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
Thanks to all of those who have responded.It does help!
AnswerID: 10624

Reply By: Nordave - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
William. I have lived in South Hedland for 13 years. When we first got here it was for a short stay but we have enjoyed the place and have brought up two kids here. Most of what the previous people have said is true with a few corrections. South Hedland has had millions of $ spent over the last few years and is starting to look good. Port Hedland would be the place to live if you could but most of the GEHA housing is in South. They have spent some money doing a lot of the GEHA houses up but there are still a few which leave a bit to be desired. The schools are quite good for the country and having been associated with two Primary’s and the High school I can say you would enjoy the HS if you like to mix.. There are I believe 14 new teachers this year so there will be a few changes. ( I have been involved with the P&C's of the HS and the Primary's) Like any school there have been problems but there have been some very positive steps to straighten them out over the last few years and in that respect there has been great success. In fact from what I hear the school is a lot better than a lot of Perth schools.
As a regional center the area has a lot going for it and if you like 4wd ing and fishing camping type of life stile its hard to beat. Night life is mostly in your own groups as the club restaurant scene is a bit patchy.
Good luck.
By the way there is a very good Golf course if you are into that as well as a very active sports coverage and participation all over.
AnswerID: 10643

Reply By: Member - Bob - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
I was there in the early 80's briefly with the Navy. The most memorable thing for me was the police being a law unto themselves. I hope they have changed, because they were bloody awful then. I think it was not far away at Roebourne where the police beat a young aboriginal lad to death (John Pat). Other than that it was pretty hot (>40), the red dust from the ore stockpiles blew everywhere, but the beer was cold.
AnswerID: 10674

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