The town of Weipa has grown over the last 40 years. The first commercial shipments of bauxite from Weipa were made in 1963. Since that year, operations have developed to such an extent that the original accommodation of 12 houses and single quarters for 90 people has increased to more than 700 accommodation units.
In the past most of the accommodation in town was owned by Comalco (now RTA Weipa) and rented to staff. However, in recent times as more of the area has become freehold, individuals have decided to build or buy their own homes. Data gathered in April 2013 shows that 85% of homes in Weipa are now privately owned.
Rio Tinto is responsible for the administration of the town, which it does through Town Office. The Town Office acts in the role of Local Authority and has staff which one would normally associate with a local council. The services supplied and maintained through Town Office are of a similar nature to those supplied by local councils throughout Australia such as road maintenance, water supply, town planning, public swimming pool, public library, parks and ovals and garbage collection.
Weipa has a public library, visitor's centre, swimming pool, bowling green, golf club, tennis and squash courts. There are netball and basketball courts as well as football fields. At Nanum the shopping precinct has a Woolworths supermarket, bakery, coffee shop, travel agent, clothing shop, post office, newsagency / sports shop and butchers. There is also a chemist, camping and fishing store and within walking distance is a gift shop, furniture and whitegoods store, credit union and Centrelink office. At Evans Landing you will find a hardware store and a number of mechanical workshops
Weipa is located on the west coast of Cape York Peninsular, about 200 kilometres from the tip of Australia and just less than 200 kilometres from the east coast. It is approximately 804 road kilometres and 580 air kilometres from Cairns.
The tropical/monsoonal climate gives hot, wet summers and mild dry winters. The average rainfall is 2,051mm, with 97% of the rainfall falling 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 18-30 degrees celsius in July and 24-33 degrees celsius in December. Winds blow predominantly from the east and south during the dry season and from the west and north during the wet season.
Weipa is situated within Australia's cyclone belt, but fortunately has not experienced a major cyclone since meterological records were first kept in 1911.