Thoughts on Karratha

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 29, 2010 at 23:19
ThreadID: 79741 Views:3239 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Looking at spending a 3 or 4 months working in Karratha from november & wonder what people think of the place

Drove through in 96 but don't remember much about it

Any thoughts on what the town is like,things to do,cost of living,van parks etc would be appreciated

Regards Don
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Reply By: Member - lyndon NT - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 07:47

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 07:47
From what I have heard you will need to have GOOD qualifications to be able to afford to live there. Van parks are all full and to rent a house will set you back $2000 + per week. The weather is also a real stinker most of the year. As said, just what I’ve heard, haven’t been there for almost 20 years myself.
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Follow Up By: wato35 - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 07:53

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 07:53
I was there last year and I agree with Lyndon.
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 08:26

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 08:26
I also agree, however the weather was realistic when I was there as it was mid winter and I was just north (24 Klm) of there for 2 months.
You need deep pockets now because of the mining boom, the rents are way over the top and a bit more.
Remember when there it gets very windy, and caravans not 'tied to the ground' tend to get moved around.

Maîneÿ . . .
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Reply By: oz doc - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:43

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:43
HI Donk, we spent 2 years up there recently. Pretty much as everyone has already said. Your biggest problem is getting accomodation. It is next to non existant and very expensive. Housing costs aren't just the rent either. At that time of the year you will need to run the a/c most of the time and power bills can reach $1400/2 months depending on which type of a/c the house has.(Maybe more now that tarrifs have risen). Fuel is also more expensive. At that time of the year it will be unpleasant to try camping. Having said that I found Karratha a fantastic town to live and work in. Heaps of fishing/camping/4wding at the appropriate times of the year. Heaps of sporting facilities too. Very limited dining/drinking out opportunities though. There is a fair bit of sightseeing that can be done, but once again- hot and windy at the time you are talking about.If you check out "Karrathaclassies" website you may find some accomodation for a short stay. Some people will rent out their driveways for a caravan- still pretty dear though- $300/week and pay amenities on top.Cheers, doc.
AnswerID: 422559

Follow Up By: oz doc - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:45

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:45
ps- caravan parks are almost always choccas with long waiting lists.doc.
FollowupID: 692944

Follow Up By: tam16 - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:57

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:57
Yep thats exactly how it is, we lived there for 16 years and loved it..very expensive but the Pilbara is an amazing place to live..I miss everything thing about it..even the wind!!
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Follow Up By: DEANO WA - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:59

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:59
Living in Port Hedland, I can confirm all of the above. you may be able to house share in a rental but you will have to be constantly looking at the local paper or notice boards at shopping centres.
Good luck
P.S. it will be hotter than anything you have EVER experienced especially Jan-Feb
FollowupID: 692949

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:46

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 09:46
I was also there last year and found the same.

Rents $2,000 a week for 4 bed house. Cost of buying a house terrible for what they are.

One Caravan Park constantly full of workers going to work on shifts at odd hours.

Windy as a lot of the time.

Saw a job driving a bus out to the Ammonia plant. $36 an hour split shift like school work.

Not enough to pay the rent never mind food which, while expensive is no worse than anywhere else on the west coast outback areas.

Possibly ok for single guys living in Dongas but prohibitive for a family.

AnswerID: 422560

Reply By: Member - Barnesy SA - Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:11

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:11
I f you are lucky enough to have accommodation supplied you will be far better off. Govermnent employees, teachers, nurses etc get almost free rent. But for many people their income barely covers rent and it isn't worth their time.

I have spent time in Pt Hedland, some blokes are lucky enough to have wives who are nurses and their pay covers living expenses and the blokes very good pay goes straight into the bank. By the time they are 30 they own a house and land outright back home and renting another one out!

That time of year it is almost too hot to do anything. With your days off sitting in front of the a/c seems like the best place.
AnswerID: 422566

Reply By: Dan - Yal - Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 00:49

Thursday, Jul 01, 2010 at 00:49
Hi Donk,
the Pilbara is an amazing place, no question about it.

Unfortunately you are coming up at the hottest time of the year. Expect it to be around 40 degrees by 7am most mornings.

As others have said, accomodation can be the biggest problem. A lot of employers will subsidise your accomodation, depending on what you do for work, and who you work for.
Power bills of $750/month are pretty standard when you've got the air con blasting all day. For this reason, electricity allowances are also common place for a lot of employers.
There is a new classifieds site,
This was set up by someone in Karratha and often has rentals and shared housing options.

Caravan parks generally have waiting lists of 4+ months

The people in the Pilbara are what make it a great place. Everyone will make you feel welcome. Once you get to know people, you will find good accomodation at a decent rate.

Enjoy your stint. You might find yourself staying a lot longer than a few months.


AnswerID: 422652

Reply By: Member - BUNDY BOY (WA) - Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 15:13

Saturday, Jul 03, 2010 at 15:13
im up there every few weeks ,,,just a suport for all the said will cost you big for anything up there.......a real rip off.
AnswerID: 422888

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