The great north west of Australia is bound by the Indian ocean, the Great Sandy Desert and the Northern Territory to the east. It is rugged landscape with gorges, red earth and breathtaking coastal plains.
Ire ore and natural gas mining has been the economy for the Pilbara in recent times and with the downturn in contracts, local people have been going through tough times. Like many Australian mining towns, housing prices and rent were inflated. People spent beyond their sustainable means. The earning bubble burst and many driven and ambitious people were left with unmanageable debt. I treated a lot of patients with depression and many local industries including medical centres now rely on government incentives to survive.
Despite this, it is a beautiful place to be. Karratha particularly, is the indigenous word for "good country" and wears the name well, being the most quintessential Australian landscape I've found. Weekends are spent on boats fishing across the Dampier Archipelago, or on any of the multiple pristine beaches. It's a vantage point to see the stairway to the moon, where the golden reflection of light from mudflats creates the optical illusion of rising steps.
The perfect place to pack a 4WD and have an outback adventure.