The air in Wittenoom, Western Australia, is so toxic, just breathing it could kill you - yet tourists continue to flock to the town despite official warnings.

Due to deadly levels of asbestos, Wittenoom's residents have been evacuated and signs have been put up all around, warning people to avoid the area. The town has been taken off maps and disconnected from the power grid, to avoid adding to the thousands of deaths caused by asbestos over the years.

Most of the victims were miners who lived in the Western Australian town.

Now, in a form of "extreme tourism", tourists continue to flock to the former mining town, located about 300km inland of Port Hedland.

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They take photos of Doc Holiday's Cafe, the gem shop with the caved in roof, the abandoned cars and homes and the deserted streets of the former mining town.

Tourists continue to flock to an abandoned mine in Western Australia (pictured), despite the town being so heavily contaminated with asbestos thousands of people have died. Photo / Instagram
Tourists continue to flock to an abandoned mine in Western Australia (pictured), despite the town being so heavily contaminated with asbestos thousands of people have died. Photo / Instagram

Families and groups of friends all risk their lives breathing in the deadly air, posting their holiday snaps to social media.

Some of them even take their pets with them on holiday to the deadly town.

Australia's Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Lands Ben Wyatt told Nine Honey the town will never be a safe place to visit, due to the high level of asbestos in the air.

According to Wyatt, when the local mine closed in 1966, there were three million tonnes of asbestos residue - known as tailings - left behind in the gorge and surrounding area.

Warning signs surround the town, but those desperate for an Instagram shot appear to pay no attention. Photo / Instagram
Warning signs surround the town, but those desperate for an Instagram shot appear to pay no attention. Photo / Instagram

"Exposure to a single fibre of these tailings could prove fatal," he explained.

"I have a simple message for anyone thinking of travelling to Wittenoom. Don't," he said.

"These warnings signs are not there for decoration or to add your Instagram collection. They are serious warnings about serious health consequences.

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"I can't stress enough that it is particularly foolish to travel to Wittenoom. There are plenty of gorges in WA which do not bring with them the threat of a fatal consequences."