The Pilbara is a large, dry, thinly populated region in the north of Western Australia.
It is known for its Aboriginal peoples, its ancient landscapes, the red earth, its vast mineral deposits, in particular iron ore and as a global biodiversity hotspot for subterranean fauna.
which includes some of Earth's oldest rock formations.
The major settlements of the region are Port Hedland, Karratha and Newman.
The area is known for its petroleum, natural gas and iron ore deposits, which contribute significantly to Western Australia's economy.
Other than mining, pastoral activities as well as fishing and tourism are the main industries.
Alternatively, The Western Australia Gas Industry claims that the region takes its name from pilbarra, an Aboriginal word for the mullet (fish).
Mining in the area started in 1937 in Wittenoom Gorge, and following the discovery of iron ore in the Hamersley Ranges in the 1960s, the area became pivotal to the state's economy and towns built to accommodate mining and allied services boomed.
The Aboriginal population of the Pilbara considerably predates, by 30-40,000 years, the European colonisation of the region.The early history of the first peoples is held within an oral tradition, archeological evidence and petroglyphs.The Pilbara Creek (originally spelt "Pilbarra") is a tributary of the Yule River, a significant river in the region.Pilbarra (Sea Mullet (Mugil cephalus)) and barramundi (Lates calcarifer) can still be caught in the Yule River today.The first European to explore the area was Francis Thomas Gregory in 1861.Settlements along the coast at Cossack, Roebourne and Shellborough were established over ensuing decades as agricultural and pastoral centres. 1900, these largely went into decline with the growth of other, more productive agricultural areas of the state.