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Introducing Port Hedland

Port Hedland ain't the prettiest place. Confronted by its railway yards, iron-ore stockpiles, salt mountains, furnaces and massive deepwater port, the average tourist might instinctively floor the accelerator. Yet Hedland is not just another bland prefab Pilbara town. With a heritage spanning over 115 years, it's been battered by cyclones, plundered by pearlers and bombed by the Japanese – it's even hosted royalty.

Iron ore plays a huge part in the town's fortunes, and Port Hedland is riding the current resources boom. While this pushes up prices and squeezes accommodation, it's also sparked a renaissance. Old pubs are being renovated, the art and cafe (real coffee!) scenes are expanding, fine dining is flourishing, cocktail and tapas bars are sprouting and cycle paths are spreading along the foreshore. Just don't mind the red dust.