City of Karratha

Name Origins

Finding a name is always hard work, luckily the original inhabitants of the area (the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi people) and the early settlers managed to come up with some good ones.

Here's the story behind the names that make this great place.

PILBARA - Aboriginal word meaning "mullet" it was first applied to Pilbara Creek because of the fish found there.


COSSACK - HMS Cossack which bought Governor Sir Fredrick Weld to the Tien Tsin Harbour in 1871.


ROEBOURNE - Named in 1866 after WA’s first Surveyor, General John Septimus Roe.


POINT SAMSON - Michael Samson, who accompanied Walter Padbury on his 1863 coastal expedition. Originally gazetted (2/7/09) as Point Sampson.


WICKHAM - John Clement Wickham, Commander survey ship HMS "Beagle".


KARRATHA - Aboriginal word, meaning "good country" or "soft earth".


DAMPIER - William Dampier, Buccaneer and explorer who explored the North West Coast in 1699.


BURRUP - Henry Thomas Burrup, Bank Clerk, in the Union Bank Roebourne, who was murdered in January 1885.


BULGARRA - Aboriginal word meaning "Grassy Plains".


PEGS CREEK - Named by Bill Leslie of Karratha Station, after Peg Ingram (nee McCamey) who lived at Croydon Station with her family. It was the custom then to name creeks and wells after girls.


NICKOL - Named by Phillip Parker King at the request of J S Roe to honour a sailor who was lost overboard on the expedition.


TAMBREY - After Station of same name which was established by Samuel Viveash in 1880 - name derived from nearby "Tanberry" Creek.


BAYNTON - Dr Baynton was a well known pastoralist and founder of Karratha Station.


MILLARS WELL - After the well near the oval which was named after Frank Miller, a local Well Sinker.