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Coppins Gap; peaceful, free camping near Marble Bar

The Pilbara is a truly incredible region. The huge red rocks, amazing gorges and pristine waterfalls are like something from another planet.

This year, we made a commitment to explore more of the Pilbara, given its only about 12 hours drive from our doorstep, and we found some pretty spectacular places.

Coppins Gap was our first destination after Barn Hill Station, heading south towards Perth, and we jagged a pretty amazing camp site overlooking the gap. I have to say I was quite sad about departing Barn Hill, but the Pilbara turned it on and I soon forgot about it!

Coppins Gap

Coppins Gap is a pretty spectacular location

Where is Coppins Gap?

You’ll find Coppins Gap south east of Port Hedland, roughly 70km from Marble Bar. The gap itself can be seen from a very long way away, with a huge gap in the range sticking out like a sore thumb.

On the way to Coppins Gap

You’ll see the gap from miles away

How do you get there, and what’s the road like?

To get to Coppins Gap, you can either head East from Marble Bar, or come from the Great Northern Highway. We took the latter from Barn Hill, and turned off. The first part of the road was fantastic, with well graded sections and the occasional corrugated section

We didn’t even let our tyres down initially, but then the road started to get worse once we approached the main ranges (which are spectacular by the way). We pulled over and deflated after getting more and more stray rocks, and corrugations that were starting to shake things around a fair bit.

Gravel roads in the Pilbara

Let your tyres down and adjust your speed and you’ll be fine

We probably sat on 80 – 90km/h for a lot of the road, slowing down for the grids, dips, rises and random humps in the road. Overall, its decent condition but you need to drive accordingly.

Make sure you stick on your side of the road too. We had a private ambulance come flying around one of the bends on our side of the road with limited time to move over which wasn’t the best feeling in the world.

You can take caravans here, and we saw a number of people doing just this, along with a Holden Commodore ticking along the main road.

Gravel in the Dmax

There’s plenty of gravel roads to explore in the Pilbara

What are the camp sites like, and what do they cost?

There are a couple of more private camp sites, along with one main area above the gap, and a short walk down. The camp site is free, and there are no amenities provided.

The main camp ground has very limited shade, but some of the other, smaller ones had enough to be more than comfortable. The gap also provides some shade early in the morning, and late in the afternoon.

The cost is a whopping $0 per night. Yep, like a number of the other spots around Marble bar, its completely free.

Coppins Gap, Marble bar

The scenery is pretty amazing

Sunset at Coppins Gap

The closest camp site, down a little hill

More on Coppins Gap

We had a lot of fun exploring this great place. The water was freezing, which meant a pretty quick dip, but its clear, clean and beautiful. You can walk through the gap and you’ll pop out on the other side where a heap of cattle graze, but the water was starting to dry up and wasn’t overly inviting down that end.

Looking down Coppins Gap

Looking down the middle of Coppins Gap

Coppins Gap Water

The water was seriously cold, but refreshing

Coppins Gap Beach

A little beach to kick back at

Pilbara Camping

Coppins Gap is a great Pilbara Camp Site

Nearby attractions

There’s a heap of attractions near Marble Bar. You have Glen Herring Gorge, Carawine Gorge, Coongan Pool, Doolena Gorge, Chinamans Pool, Marble Bar Pool and Running Waters.

Chinamans Pool

Chinamans Pool is easy to access, and quite pretty

Jasper at Marble Bar

The Jasper at Marble Bar Pool

Dooleena Gorge

Dooleena Gorge is another great camp site

Coongan Pool

Coongan Pool was packed like sardines

The entire Marble Bar area blew me away. I probably should have expected more given the other incredible places in the Pilbara, but it was a huge highlight of our trip and I’d be more than happy to do a trip to Marble Bar on its own.

If you haven’t been to this magic location, check it out; its pristine, quiet, free and absolutely stunning.

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