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Kalgoorlie, WA

An hour’s flight east from Perth, Kalgoorlie Boulder is the hub of the goldfields and one of Western Australia’s largest cities. Still active as a mining town, Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s wide streets and grand old buildings are full of people living the prospecting dream.

Travel to the region by bus, train, plane or car. Kalgoorlie Boulder is a place like no other. From wild and heady origins as a frontier town where fortunes were sought, to the prosperous, bustling ‘Kal’ of today, Kalgoorlie’s rich heritage permeates the town and gives it a distinctive character.

Turn of the century architecture, including the magnificent Boulder Town Hall, the red outback just beyond the settlement’s streets and nearby ghost towns make this area fascinating to visitors.

Kalgoorlie Boulder is one of the most important mining areas in the world. After Paddy Hannan found gold in the area in 1893, the town’s population soared to 30,000. Today the population is again up to 30,000, after the discovery of nickel deposits in the north of the goldfields.

The towns Kalgoorlie and Boulder amalgamated in 1989. Until then they were separate towns side by side. Boulder’s main street, Burt Street, is five kilometres from Kalgoorlie’s centre, Hannan Street. Boulder was named after The Great Boulder Mine, the first mine on the Golden Mile.

In September, renowned horse race the Boulder and Kalgoorlie Cup takes place at the 100 year old Racing Round. Crowds from all over the State come to enjoy the town’s festive atmosphere.

The largest indoor pool in Western Australia, great for a cooling dip to escape the outback heat, is on Johnston Street.

The town has a number of pubs and nightclubs, and live music is popular around town. Visiting artists perform regularly at the Arts Centre.

Kalgoorlie Boulder offers the visitor a wide range of restaurants and cafes and a variety of cuisines. Chinese, vegetarian, and Italian foods are available as well as pub counter meals, fast foods and pizzas.

Kalgoorlie Boulder offers many styles of accommodation, including caravan parks, camping grounds, hostels, hotels and motels.

Outback civilisation

A truly fascinating region, the Goldfields are steeped in history and legend. Here you can see relics of the gold rush that made the area famous, plus mines that are the largest gold producers in Australia. Ghost towns, majestic old buildings and historic streetscapes create a virtual museum of a golden era.

In the middle of the vast outback you’ll find the goldmining capital of Kalgoorlie. A pleasant, welcoming place with lovely architecture, countless bars and nostalgic hotels laced with wrought-iron verandas. The town is almost perched on the Super Pit, the world’s largest open-cut goldmine. You can watch the action from the safety of a viewing platform.

The Northern Goldfields abound with the romance of two eras of goldmining. Don’t miss the restored historic town of Gwalia adjacent to the huge open-cut mine. Or Kookynie – where all that remains of a glorious past are some ruins, a rambling hotel and a museum situated in a row of beautifully restored shops built in pioneering days.

Many historic towns such as Coolgardie and ghost towns like Kanowna offer a glimpse of what life must have been years ago. Just north of Kalgoorlie you will find historic Ora Branda Inn and Broad Arrow, where the only building offering proof that the town exists is the rough and boisterous Broad Arrow Hotel.

Elsewhere, deserts and open plains create a landscape that is vast and unique, where the annual wildflower season – from July to September – transforms the land with brightly coloured blooms. It’s a spectacular contrast to the rich, red earth.

An option not to be missed is one of Australia’s great road journeys across the Nullarbor on the Eyre Highway. Stop at the Great Australian Bight and marvel at the sweeping coastline … rugged and spectacular. Or, do it by train – the famous Indian Pacific passes through the Nullarbor on its way from Sydney to Perth.

It’s features such as these that make the goldfields region a real outback adventure.

Prospectors boom

Covering nearly one third of Western Australia, the Goldfields/South East is the ‘real Australia’. Its appeal ranges from the outback northern goldfields to the authentic frontier town of Kalgoorlie – the ‘gold capital of the world’, rich in heritage and pioneering history – through to the spectacular coastal landscape of Esperance and the unique and haunting Nullarbor Plain.

Many historic towns such as Coolgardie and ghost towns like Kanowna offer a glimpse of what life must have been in the gold rush days of the 1880s. Kalgoorlie, with its distinctive architecture and character, is the home of the traditional two-up game. To play, toss two coins and gamble on both ending up heads or tails – it’s a game unique to Australia.

The gold rush set off by Paddy Hannan’s discovery of gold in Kalgoolie-Boulder was one of the biggest in Australian history. Today, more than 100 years after that first discovery, the world’s biggest open-cut goldmine – the Super Pit – operates 24 hours a day. From the observation platform here you can watch the miners at work – the dozens of trucks look like toys in the distance.

Just north of Kalgoorlie you will find historic Ora Branda Inn and Broad Arrow, where the only building offering proof that the town exists is the Broad Arrow Hotel – rough and boisterous, where people flock for the legendary Sunday Opening.

The northern Goldfields abound with the romance of two eras of gold mining. Don’t miss the restored historic town of Gwalia adjacent to the huge open cut mine. Or Kookynie – where all that remains of a glorious past are some ruins, the old rambling hotel and the museum situated in a row of beautifully restored shops built in the pioneering days.

Kalgoorlie is 600 kilometres from Perth and can be accessed by air, road, coach and train from both Perth and the eastern states. There are flights from Adelaide, and the Indian Pacific transcontinental train stops here too.

To the south you will find the town of Norseman, rich in goldmining history and the gateway to Western Australia’s Eyre Highway. Take your time to drive the Eyre Highway and onto the Nullarbor Plain which links the east to the west and features stretches of pure straight road such as the ‘ninety mile straight’.

Visit Eucla, the Western Australian border town too. It’s situated near the coast and features ruins slowly being covered by sand dunes – a fascinating subject for photographers. Roadhouses are dotted along the highway, offering good accommodation.

Nearest Airport: Kalgoorlie Boulder Airport

Kalgoorlie Map

Experiences

  • Rural/Country
  • Cultural
  • Historic/Heritage

About Kalgoorlie

  • Locality: Major urban locality
  • Kalgoorlie Postcode: 6430
  • State: Western Australia
  • Region: Esperance & the Golden Outback
  • Latitude: -30.74767
  • Longitude: 121.4723
  • Elevation: 383m
  • Population: 3901
  • Median Income: $49400
  • Area (Sq/km): 4.04
  • Timezone: Australia/Perth

Tours In Kalgoorlie

Discover some of the tours options around Kalgoorlie

Explore The Outback

Australia has a vast remote interior, much of it largely untouched. By night, the outback is deathly quiet, with the only light provided by the stars and the moon - a perfect oportunity for stargazing. Explore the isolated heart of the country, meet and connect with Aboriginal people and experience one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Go ‘walk-about’ and immerse yourself with Australia’s endless outback horizons.

Outback Experiences

Luxe Accommodation

Enjoy a distinctly Australian luxury experience, such as the unforgettable reefs, islands, beaches and coast; rugged mountain ranges, rainforests and vast national parks; and the many vibrant food and wine regions. Take a once in a lifetime adventure and discover the sheer indulgence of experiencing the wonders of Australia in style and stay in total luxury.

Australia has wide variety of accommodation options to suit most budgets and travelling preferences. Choose from luxury lodges, boutique hotels, serviced apartments, motels, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks as well as youth and backpacker hostels.

Accommodation

Glasshouse Mountains

The Glasshouse Mountains in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast are actually the cores of 20 million year old volcanoes. The sides of the volcanoes have eroded away leaving only the hardened rock spiremountain cores we see today. Learn more about this awe-inspiring landscape.

Glasshouse Mountains