The Pilbara is Western Australia's second most northern region, defined by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Northern Territory border to the east. The Kimberley region lies to its north across the Great Sandy Desert and the Pilbara's southern reaches border the Midwest and Goldfields regions.
The region covers a total area of 507,896 sq km (including offshore islands). Most of the inhabitants are located in the western third, whereas the eastern third is largely desert with few inhabitants.
The Pilbara came to national and international prominence during the 1960s when the go-ahead was given to extract iron ore deposits in the region.
Today the Pilbara economy is crucial to the State, providing two of the State's largest export revenue earners; iron ore and liquefied natural gas.