Things to do in Port Hedland

Australian wildlife: who you can meet in port hedland

Discover the fascinating wildlife of Port Hedland, from soaring birds to playful sea creatures, and plan your stay at The Hedland Hotel for easy access to these memorable encounters.

Port Hedland is the gateway to the Pilbara. A two billion-year-old landscape, it’s a place of rugged beauty. Ranging from rich red dirt desert to lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by clear blue oceans, it’s unlike any other place in the world.

It’s also the perfect spot to meet some of Western Australia’s most interesting wildlife, which is one of the most Port Hedland things to do that there is.

In the skiesLong-billed Corella - The Australian Museum

Image credit: Australian Museum

Port Hedland is a surprisingly good location for birdwatchers.

As well as the usual suspects like djidi djidi (Willy Wagtail), magpie larks, honey eaters, and corellas, there are also some less familiar faces that might catch your eye.

Birds of prey, like hawks, eagles, and kites ride the wind. You may be able to catch an eastern reef egret out stalking the shallow water of the beaches, along with eastern ospreys who make striking visitors to the Port Hedland coastline.

And out over the waves, if you’re lucky, you may even see the awe-inspiring frigate bird. With a wingspan up to 75cm wide, these large black shapes glide gently over the surrounding water—they’re quite the sight to behold. 

On the land10 Incredible Facts About Kangaroos

Image credit: Treehugger

Surrounded by WA’s iconic landscape, Port Hedland is home to some of our most well-known native animals. While less common within the town itself, if you head a little further out you may be able to see kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, and geckoes. 

To get up close and face-to-face with a native animal experience, head to Lisa’s Kangaroo Retreat. Here they rescue injured wildlife, nurse them back to health, help them rehabilitate and recover, and then release them back into the wild. Just a six-minute drive out of town, it’s staffed by a team of caring individuals, and you can even book a tour and feed young kangaroo joeys yourself.

As well as kangaroos and wallabies, some more elusive things to see in Port Hedland can sometimes make an appearance.

You might be lucky to see an emu or two, or even the occasional wild pig (one of which made national headlines in 2013 for stealing into a campsite and drinking 18 cans of beer from a tent).

Further out there’s the mysterious northern quoll, known to inhabit areas around mine sites. And in a truly exceptional turn of events, Port Hedland is the location of the first-ever discovery of an albino quoll in 2018. This one may be less likely—but never say never.

In the ocean

Humpback Whale Watching Tours | Whale Watch Western Australia

Image credit: Whale Watch Western Australia

Port Hedland is known in parts for its abundant sea life. Curious crabs live in the sand and the mud flats. Out in the water, under the waves, you’ll find a huge variety of fish species, including kingfish, bream, whiting, and barramundi during the summer months. You might even be lucky to see an octopus or two, and families of Australian humpback dolphins cresting the waves.

Further out, you can find some of the ocean’s most stunning creatures. Between the months of June and October, humpback whales migrate up WA’s coastline to breed in warmer northern waters. One of the truly iconic Port Hedland things to do, you can sometimes see these majestic animals from land, breaching the water and slapping their tails.

Check in with the Port Hedland Visitor Centre to find the best whale and dolphin-watching trips to take.

Explore the unique wildlife of the Pilbara at The Hedland Hotel

So the next time you’re looking for things to see in Port Hedland, take some time to slow down, and spend your time seeing which different members of the Pilbara’s abundant wildlife you can spot.

The Hedland Hotel is centrally located in Port Hedland, making it easy to get to where your favourite animals are found. 

Book your stay at our Port Hedland accommodation today.

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Our top things to do in Port Hedland


At The Hedland Hotel, there’s always something exciting happening. Whether you’re looking to lounge poolside or eager to explore the vibrant offerings of Port Hedland, there’s an experience tailored to everyone’s tastes.


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