Kalgoorlie Town Hall (1908)
is located 40 kilometres east of Coolgardie, 595 kilometres east
of Perth and 200 kilometres north of Norseman.
traditional landowners of the Kalgoorlie area are the Maduwangka
people and the name Kalgoorlie is said to mean "Silky Pear Bush"
in the local aboriginal language.
settlement of Kalgoorlie began in June 1893 with the discovery
of rich alluvial gold deposits near Mount Charlotte. The three
Irish gold prospectors credited with the discovery were Paddy
Hannan, Dan Shea and Tom Flanagan. Paddy Hannan later reported
discovering 8 pounds of gold nuggets to the mining warden in Coolgardie,
and within a matter of days 700 gold diggers were frantically
pegging out mining claims around Kalgoorlie. Kalgoorlie's gold
rush had begun and by 1903 the town boasted a population of 30,000,
along with 93 hotels and 8 breweries.
Kalgoorlie's pioneering gold diggers the pickings were rich indeed,
but if the pickings were rich, so too were the costs of essential
miner's supplies. Early reports of the time indicate that Kalgoorlie's
miners were forced to live on overpriced "tinned dog" - a commonly
eaten but universally detested canned meat product. For the digger
even basic foodstuffs such as flour were extravagantly priced.
At the time Kalgoorlie's wholesale price for flour was 120 pounds
per ton whilst the going rate in Perth was a mere 10 pounds. Water
too was almost more precious than gold. Chronic water shortages
allowed owners of water desalination plants to sell water for
anywhere between 6 pence and one shilling and sixpence per gallon.
It was little wonder then, that many diggers died of typhoid -
the inevitable result of drinking contaminated water.
the late 1890s Kalgoorlie's rich alluvial gold deposits had been
largely worked out. With the discovery of deep gold reefs and
rich telluride minerals at nearby Boulder the age of the independent
digger soon drew to a close.
saw the Kalgoorlie Boulder gold fields riding the crest of an
investment wave largely financed by British speculators. The stage
was set for the creation of a highly capitalised modern gold mining
industry. Literally hundreds of companies were floated, fortunes
were won and lost, and for many years Kalgoorlie's metallurgists
led the world in developing commercial treatments of gold bearing
1902 deep underground mining of gold leads had become the norm
with the Great Boulder Mine continuing to discover payable gold
1500 feet below the surface. Later Boulder Mining leases came
to be known as "The Golden Mile" and by all accounts this area
contained the richest square mile of gold reserves in the world.
the Golden Mile continues to be actively worked by Kalgoorlie
Consolidated Gold Mines. During the past 20 years the use of modern
open cut mining technologies has seen the Golden Mile transform
itself into a Super Pit. Current dimensions of the "Super Pit"
are 290 metres deep by 1.5 kilometres wide and 4 kilometres long.
At current extraction rates KCGM has proven reserves that
should last beyond the year 2013 - by which time the Super Pit
will have expanded considerably.
Old Mining Equipment and Mullock Heaps
Goldfields Visitor Centre
When visiting Western Australia's Goldfields Nullarbor Net recommends
your first port of call should be the Kalgoorlie Goldfields Visitor
Centre. The Goldfields Visitor Centre has 2 branch offices, one
naturally enough located in Kalgoorlie, and the other in nearby
Boulder. From the Kalgoorlie Goldfields Visitor Centre travellers
can obtain a free copy of the Kalgoorlie Boulder visitors guide
and map. This brochure will definitely be an indispensable aid
in helping you navigate your way about town. Marked on the map
are a number of business services and all attractions that would
be of interest to the traveller. Opening hours for the tourist
information bureaus are 8-30am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, and 9am
to 5pm on weekends. The main Kalgoorlie Branch of the Goldfields
Visitor Centre is located on 250 Hannan Street, telephone (08)
9021 1966; and likewise the Boulder Office can be found at 106
Burt Street, contact telephone (08) 9093 1083. Alternatively telephone
Freecall 1800 001 880. For further information send an email to
View over Hannan Street
- W.A. Goldfields
is definitely well served by an extensive network of bus, rail
and air services linking through to Perth, the eastern states,
Esperance and other points in south western australia. .
operates a weekly service between Kalgoorlie and Laverton.
For further information telephone Freecall 1800 620 440 or (08) 9092 6000.
Timetable information can be viewed at www.goldrushtours.com.au.
Golden Lines Bus Service operates the local Kalgoorlie-Boulder
bus network with an added daily service to nearby Coolgardie.
Info contact for Golden Lines bus service is (08) 9021 2655. Alternatively
you can email Goldrush Tours at firstname.lastname@example.org
operates the newly upgraded Prospector train service which links
Perth to Kalgoorlie several times a week and the journey takes
about 6 hours. Westrail's booking office is located in Forrest
Street Kalgoorlie and reservations can be made by telephoning
131053. Further details about the Prospector train service can be viewed at
the Trans WA website.
Please note that Transwa also operates a coach service between Kalgoorlie and Esperance,
and that further coach connections are available linking Esperance through to Perth.
For those of you crossing the Nullarbor, the Indian Pacific
Rail service may well be a transport option. Stopovers can be
made in Kalgoorlie and Nullarbor Net suggests you consider doing
this for a couple of days or so. Reservations for the Indian Pacific
service can be made by telephoning Great Southern Railways on
132147. Reservations can also be made in most Australian capital
cities. For further information email email@example.com
or check out the Indian Pacific web site at www.gsr.com.au.
Kalgoorlie is well served by air routes with connections through
to Perth and other points in Western Australia. Both Qantas and
Skywest operate into and out of Kalgoorlie. Services operate most
days of the week and the airport is located 7 kilometres from the centre of Kalgoorlie.
If you are in Kalgoorlie bookings can be made at the Kalgoorlie Goldfields
Visitor Centre which is now located in the Town Hall. Alternatively bookings
can be made through Kalgoorlie's Flight Centre which is located on Hannan Street.
Kalgoorlie's Flight Centre can be contacted on (08) 9091 1999. For out of town
visitors you can also make bookings at www.skywest.com.au or www.qantas.com.au.
Backpackers is located on 166 Hay Street and has dormitory,
twin share and single accommodation. Barbecue, swimming pool and
pool room facilities are available. Goldfields Backpackers is
open 24 hours a day, offers free transfers and VIP/YHA and Nomads
discounts. Internet facilities are available 24 hours a day. Email
Gold Dust Backpackers is located on 192 Hay Street Kalgoorlie
and offers dormitiry, twin share and single accommodation. Barbecue,
swimming pool and games room facilities are provided. Gold Dust
Backpackers offers free bike hire, free transgfer facilities and
VIP/YHA discounts. Internet facilities are also available. For
free pick up telephone (08) 9091 3737. Email contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caravan Parks and Self Contained Accommodation
Accommodation Village is located on 201 Lane Street in Boulder.
Within the village visitors will find grassed camp sites, caravan
sites and a number of self contained swiss style family chalets.
Facilities include a salt water swimming pool, playground and
internet access. Dogs permitted in your own van. Telephone
(08) 9093 1266 or Freecall 1800 01266. Email email@example.com.
Web site information can be found at www.bestonparks.com.au.
Kalgoorlie Accommodation Village is located on 286 Burt
Street in Boulder. Camp sites, caravan sites, self contained swiss
family chalets and self contained park cabins are provided for
travelers. Facilities include a garden with barbecues. A supermarket
is located nearby. Please note no dogs are allowed. Telphone
(08) 9039 4800 or Tollfree call 1800 004 800. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web site information can be found at www.bestonparks.com.au.
4 Prospector Holiday Park is located on the Great Eastern
Highway in Kalgoorlie. Camping sites, caravan sites, and self
contained famil and budget cabins are available. Facilities include
a camp kitchen, swimming pool, playground and TV room. No dogs
permitted. The Prospector Holiday Park also offer travellers the
use of a cassette tapes for self drive tours of Kalgoorlie. Telephone
(08) 9021 2524 or Tollfree 1800 800 907. Email contact email@example.com.
Caravan Park is located on the corner of the Great Eastern
Highway and Atbara Street in Kalgoorlie. Camp sites, onsite budget
vans, ensuite caravan sites, park cabins and chalets are available.
The owners are on site 24 hours a day. Barbecue and kiosk facilities
are available. Telephone/Fax (08) 9021 3713.
Village Caravan Park is located on 406 Hay Street in Kalgoorlie.
Traveler's accommodation options include camp sites, caravan sites,
budget vans and park homes. Facilities include a swimming pool
and the caravan park is located close to a cycle way and parklands.
For further information please telephone (08) 9021 4162 or Fax
(08) 9021 1211.
and Boulder Goldfields Hotels and Motels
Boulder has a large number and variety of Hotel/Motel facilities.
Prices can range from four star to budget accommodation. Nullarbor
Net suggests you contact the Kalgoorlie Boulder Travel Centre
for a full list of accommodation options. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum of Kalgoorlie - Boulder - 17 Hannan Street
The Old Ivanoe Mine Head
The Kalgoolie - Boulder Museum
those of you who enjoy museums, Nullarbor Net definitely recommends
a visit to the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Goldfields museum. Located at
the top end of Hannan Street the museum is open daily from 10am
to 4-30 pm. The entrance to the museum is impossible to miss,
marked as it is by a huge headframe from the Old Ivanhoe mine.
Entry is by donation and for family and school groups the museum
represents possibly the best value on the goldfields. Highlights
from the museum include displays of restored miner's cottages,
a large chunk from the Mundrabilla meteorite, fine examples of
union tapestries, historical memorabilia and an extensive photographic
collection covering Kalgoorlie's early social history. Unusual
exhibits include an early prospector's wooden bicycle, and within
the gold vault a collection of gold nuggets and early federation
period jewellery pieces can be observed. Visitors can also obtain
good views of Kalgoorlie from the viewing platform of the Old
Ivanhoe Headframe. For any "pubophiles" out there, the British
Arms Hotel is also located within the museum and it's said to
have been the smallest pub in Australia. All in all this museum
really is an excellent display and definitely well worth visiting
for a couple of hours or so.
Mundrabilla Meteorite Exhibit
of Western Australia's Goldfields are justifiably proud of their
rich architectural heritage. Dotted throughout Kalgoorlie-Boulder
are a host of old miner's cottages and heritage buildings dating
from Australia's federation period of architecture - the late
1890s to early 1900s. Not surprisingly for a gold mining town
many of the finest examples of federation architecture include
lovingly restored hotels.
Perhaps Australia's Most Photographed Pub
Kalgoorlie's main thoroughfare is Hannan Street and here visitors
can view a number of fine old buildings such as the Exchange Hotel,
Palace Hotel, the Old Australia Hotel and the York Hotel. Important
civic buildings within the area include Kalgoorlie's Town Hall
which dates from 1908, and the School of Mines Bulding located
on nearby Cassidy Street.
The York Hotel
within nearby Boulder include the historic Court Hotel and Boulder
Townhall which dates from 1908. Within Boulder's Town Hall visitors
can discover ornately pressed tin ceilings and wrought iron balaustrading
styles typifying early goldfield architectural styles. An added
attraction within Boulder's Town Hall is the Goatcher Stage Curtain
which is on display every wednesday between 10am and 3 pm. Goatcher's
curtain was painted by the world famous theatre artist Phillip
Goatcher. According to all accounts this remarkable artwork is
said to be the last surviving Goatcher stage curtain in the world.
Both the Boulder Town Hall and Court Hotel are located on Burt
Street - central to Boulder's main shopping district.
Super Pit - Outram Street turnoff from the Goldfields Highway
The Kalgoorlie Boulder Super Pit
The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Super Pit is definitely one of the goldfields
outstanding attractions. Although really nothing more than a hole
in the ground, it is nevertheless a huge and expensive one by
any standards. During the past 100 years this goldfield has produced
over 1000 tonnes of precious metal, and not for nothing has it
been recognized as the richest square mile on earth. In terms
of output the "Golden Mile" ranks second only the vastly more
extensive Rand Goldfields of South Africa, and Canada's Porcupine
mine. A point to ponder: Nullarbor Net suggests the next time
you're in the market for a wedding ring spare a thought for the
guys working in the Super Pit!
to the Super Pit viewing platform is made by taking the Outram
Street turnoff from the Goldfields Highway. Admission is free
and opening hours are from 6am to 7pm daily. It's best to take
photographs of the Super Pit in the middle of the day - at other
times shadows can obscure large areas of the mine. Visitors might
be also interested to check with the Kalgoorlie Visitors Information
Centre for daily blast times.
Haul Trucks carry 200 tons per load
of Mines Museum - Cassidy Street Kalgoorlie
WA School of Mines Museum will definitely appeal to those of you
with a keen interest in geology and mineralogy. This museum houses
a collection of approximatel 3000 mineral specimens along with
replicas of famous gold nuggets. The School of Mines Museum is
located on the corner of Cassidy Street and McDonald's Street
in Kalgoorlie. Opening hours are 8-30am to 12-30 pm Monday to
Friday. Please note the museum is closed for public and school
holidays. Admission is free. For further information please telephone
(08) 9088 6001.
Loopline Tourist Railway - Boulder Railway Station
Stationary Exhibit At The Loopline Railway
a short diversion of an hour or so Boulder's Loopline Tourist
Railway might prove to be of interest to travellers. Boulder's
Loopline Railway was established in 1897 and for many years it
served as transport for miners who needed to commute between Boulder
and the Golden Mile. Exclusive to the Loopline Railway tour is
a visit to the Old Chaffers Power Station where visitors can also
view displays of old gold mining machinery. The return journey
to Boulder Railway Station sees the train make a short detour
to the Super Pit. Throughout the journey a taped commentary details
much of the colourful and seedy social history of the Golden Mile.
Within Boulder Railway Station itself are a number of interesting
displays of gold mining memorabilia. Boulder's Loopline Railway
tour would be of interest to both railway buffs and those with
an interest in Western Australia's Gold Mining history. Adjacent
to the Railway station is a pleasant picnic area and playground
suitable for the use of children.
Old Drilling Equipment at Chaffers Power Station
Railway Station is located at the top end of Burt Street and tours
depart daily at 10 am. On Sundays extra services depart at 11-45
am. Admission to the tour costs $27-50 for families, $9-90 for
adults, $7-70 for pensioners and $5-50 for children. (Prices valid
as at October 2001). For the most up to date information please
email email@example.com or telephone
(09) 9093 3055. Alternatively just visit the Loopline
Pharmacy Museum - 46 Burt Street Boulder
Museum is located within a chemist shop that has been continuously
operating for over 100 years. The museum's collection includes
a vast array of medicines and original pharmaceutical bottles
dating from the 19th century. Essential medical tools dating from
the period are also on display. If you find this display interesting
we recommend you pay a visit to Coolgardie's Pharmacy museum.
Boulder's Pharmacy museum is open from 8-50 am to 5-30 pm Monday
to Friday, and 8-50 am to 12-30 pm on Saturdays.
Goldfields War Museum - 106 Burt
Boulder War Museum Armoured Car Display
history enthusiasts will definitely find the Goldfields War Museum
worth a visit for an hour or two. Exhibits within the museum include
a large number of armoured vehicles, weapons, uniforms and an
extensive collection of wartime relics and memorabilia. Of particular
interest is the photographic collection which documents the widespread
participation of the Goldfields community in every campaign from
the Boer War to Vietnam. Other displays include a large number
of moving letters written by Australian soldiers to their loved
ones, with many of the detailing the daily hardships of a soldier's
life. Opening hours for the museum are 10 am to 4 pm Monday to
Friday, and 10 am to 2 pm on weekends and public holidays. Co-located
with the war museum is the Boulder Branch of the Tourist Information
Centre. For further information please contact (08) 9093 1083.
Prospecting - Wherever You're Lucky To Find It
Australia's Goldfields are popular haunts for gold fossickers.
These days casual fossickers resort to high tech metal detectors
when searching for gold lying near the surface. When prospecting
for gold a miner's right is essential as this permits the holder
to prospect on vacant crown land. It is also possible to prospect
on pastoral leases and mining claims with the permission of the
leaseholder or tenement holder. Always request permission however,
and be prepared to accept no for an answer, otherwise you might
find yourself in trouble. For further information on Miner's Rights
we recommend you contact the Western Australian Department of
Minerals and Energy. For local advice we recommend you visit International
Lapidary which is located at 67 Hannan Street in Kalgoorlie. International
Lapidary stocks Minelab metal detectors and can be contacted n
(08) 9021 3017.
Net Travel Tips
conscious motorists will appreciate viewing Fuel
Watch for regularly updated petrol, diesel and LPG prices
on the Western Australian Goldfields. This site is regularly updated
and covers the Perth metropolitan area along with most country
areas within the state. Also well worth a look is ExplorOz's fuel
price pages for Western
Australia and South
Australia. In the interests of travellers Nullarbor Net encourages
people to take the time to update these pages.