Port Hedland is a modern day Mining Town. The town exists primarily to mine, service and export iron ore for BHP. Port Hedland and the surrounding satellite suburbs are all very modern. Thirty years ago there was very little at Port Hedland, but the growth since then has been very rapid and still growing.
From a short term visitor perspective they seem to have got the growth right. Whilst 'new' Port Hedland, has a nice disjointed factor, where those planning characteristic are most prevalent in the older towns and communities.
Port Hedland is now a natural deep anchorage port which, as well as being the main fuel and container receival point for the region, was seen as perfect for shipment of the iron ore being mined in the ranges located inland from the town. The ore is moved by railway lines from four major iron ore deposits to the east and south of Port Hedland area in August 2010, the port exported 13.6 million tonnes of iron ore. Shipment of ore began on 27 May 1966 when the Harvey S Mudd sailed from Port Hedland to Japan with 24,900 tonnes of ore.
If you plan to visit the mine sites allow a minimum of three days for Port Hedland.