Getting to the Mackerel Islands

Map of where the Mackerel Islands areLocation

The Mackerel Islands are situated 22km offshore from the town of Onslow, Western Australia approximately 1,400km north of Perth in the spectacular Pilbara region. Accommodation is available on both Thevenard and Direction Islands.

Getting Here

The Mackerel Islands can be accessed via Exmouth, Carnarvon or Karratha through Onslow. Options for getting here include by air, boat or road.


Road travel from Perth to Onslow is a comfortable drive of about 1.5 days on fully sealed roads.

The distance from Karratha to Exmouth is 550km, and we sit almost right in the middle being a 3 hour drive south of Karratha, or 4.5 hours drive from Exmouth.

Onslow Road runs about 80km off the North West Coastal Highway, which connects the main towns of Port Hedland, Carnarvon, Broome and Karratha.

If you’re adventuring through the stunning Karijini National Park, Nanutarra Wittenoom Road will connect you with Onslow Road, and take approximately 4 – 5 hours drive time.

Approximate Distances

Perth to Onslow: 1400km

Karratha to Onslow: 300km

Karijini National Park to Onslow: 430km

Carnarvon to Onslow: 495km

Exmouth to Onslow: 400km

Broome to Onslow: 1,130km

Port Hedland to Onslow: 540km


Pilbara Gateway (Karratha and Onslow)

Perth to Onslow: Virgin Australia offer competitive flights on several days per week, making it a short 2 hour hop from Perth.

Perth to Karratha: Qantas and Virgin Australia fly daily – travel time is just over 2 hours.

Exmouth Gateway

Perth to Learmonth (Exmouth): Qantas and Virgin fly between Perth and Exmouth (Learmonth).

Charter planes are then available to transfer guests directly to Thevenard Island on a light plane scenic tour. Flight time from Exmouth to Thevenard Island is approximately 35 minutes.

Please contact us for more details and availability.

Private Aircraft

Thevenard Island has a 1,000m brick paved airstrip. Should you require further information on airstrip access, please contact the Thevenard Island manager on (08) 9184 6444.

Boat Transfers

Transfers to Thevenard and Direction Island depart daily from the Mackerel Islands private departure jetty at Beadon Creek, Onslow. The boat takes 20 minutes to Direction Island; 45 minutes to Thevenard Island.

Departure time for guest transfers with luggage is typically 12:00 pm from Onslow to the islands, and 10:00am from the islands back to Onslow. Times are subject to demand and weather conditions.  Should you require any assistance with your transfer arrangements, please contact our reservation staff who will be happy to help.

Cost of boat transfers are:

  • $90 return for adults
  • $60 return for children

Car Hire Services

Car hire is available from Onslow, Karratha, Learmonth and Exmouth. Avis Onslow has a convenient pick up and drop off location at Onslow Airport and the Onslow Beach Resort.