Weipa & Western Cape Tourism

About Weipa

Weipa, the Capital of the Cape, is a small but vibrant coastal community with a population of approximately 3,5000 and forms part of the Western Cape York Peninsula - an area rich in geographical beauty and cultural heritage.

Weipa is located approximately 850 road kilometres and 580 air kilometres from Cairns and about 200 kilometres from the tip of Australia. The region boasts some of the last untouched wilderness of Australia with stunning beaches and out-of-the way waterholes and camping destinations.

The region has a rich and unique Aboriginal Heritage. The first contact the people of Western Cape York Peninsula had with Europeans probably came with the voyage of the Dutch ship, Duyfken in 1606. Further contact with Europeans came about in the last 1800s when exploration of the region’s natural resources began.

Weipa township development began in 1965 when Comalco began to mine the extensive bauxite deposits that had been discovered in the area. The mine is now operated by Rio Tinto and is the largest bauxite mine in the world.

Weipa is also a world-renowned fishing destination and is referred to as the Barramundi capital of Queensland. Fishing options however are not limited just to barra, and many of Australia's tropical sportfish and reef fish call these pristine waters home. It's a truly amazing fishery.

The town boasts the best and most comprehensive facilities on the Cape and offers all the conveniences of modern city living and is well serviced with Woolworths shopping centre and specialty shops, a hotel/motel, a resort, a dedicated fishing lodge and a camping ground with self contained cabins. A new hospital, a daily plane service (Qantas Link) from Cairns, a nine hole golf course, bowls club, pistol range, squash courts, motorcycle and speedway racing also compliment the town's services.

Weipa has several types of accommodation available for visitors, ranging from motel rooms at the Albatross Hotel or Heritage Resort, to camping and cabin facilities at the Weipa Camping Grounds and Caravan Park.

As the majority of land around Weipa is Rio Tinto mining lease or under indigenous control, visitors need to ensure they observe access restrictions, and have all the necessary permits required when venturing out.

The land of the Western Cape belongs to local Traditional Owner groups. Waypundun or Waypa is the original name of this area and is home of the Alngith people. The surrounding areas belong to a number of different groups.

The tropical/monsoonal climate gives hot, wet summers and mild dry winters. The average rainfall is 1700mm, 97% of the rainfall occurs between November and April. The seasons can be divided into just two – the ‘wet’ season between November and April, and the ‘dry’ season between May and October. Minimum and maximum temperatures range, on average, from 18ºC to 30ºC in July, and 24ºC to 36ºC in December.

Did You Know that –

  1. Weipa is the site of the world's largest bauxite mine.
  2. Weipa is the Barramundi Capital of Queensland
  3. The first recorded contact between Aboriginal and European people occurred near the Pennefather River about 50km north of the township in 1606.