The discovery of gold in Western Australia in the 1890s heralded a population explosion as fortune-seekers from around the globe descended on the Goldfields region to cash in on its natural bounty.
Visit Kalgoorlie's massive Super Pit
Wander the ghost town of Gwalia
By Coach: Goldrush Tours operates a service linking Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Menzies, Leonora and Laverton. Tel: 1800 620 440. By Rail: Transwa operates the Prospector train, with daily services between Perth and Kalgoorlie. Tel: 1300 662 205. The coast to coast Indian Pacific rail service, travelling between Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, travels through Kalgoorlie weekly in each direction. Tel: 13 21 47. By Air: Kalgoorlie-Boulder is serviced by Qantas and Virgin Airlines with multiple daily flights from Perth. Virgin also flies Kalgoorlie to Melbourne. Skippers flies from Perth to Leonora, Laverton and Wiluna.
19 | Esperance & The Coast | australiasgoldenoutback.com Life was rough and tough for these early gold diggers, with disease rife and lawlessness commonplace. And while multi-million dollar mining corporations have replaced the early diggers, the region retains the sense of adventure, the character and the romance of the early gold rush.
Follow the Golden Quest Discovery Trail, which includes highlights such as the eerie Antony Gormley Sculptures decorating the white, sweeping salt plain at Lake Ballard, near Menzies, and the ghosts of the past at Leonora and Gwalia. Be sure to stop in at the Broad Arrow Tavern and Kookynie's Grand Hotel for a cold beer in these traditional Aussie Outback pubs. Further along the trail is Laverton, the gateway to the Outback Way. The gold rush story is evident in many small towns along the Discovery Trail, each one retaining some of that pioneering spirit. This is perhaps most evident at Coolgardie, which was founded in the late 1800s and offers character buildings that are reminiscent of its gold prospecting heyday.
This is particularly true in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Although the twin city is now a bustling and expanding place that offers a contemporary and cosmopolitan lifestyle, its collection of historical buildings, pubs, infamous Hay Street brothels and attractions provide a rich backdrop that spans more than a century of gold history. To gain a taste for this gold rush history, start your journey in Kalgoorlie-Boulder by visiting the Museum of the Goldfields on Hannan Street, or visit Hannans North Tourist Mine to wander the replica prospectors’ village and marvel at the huge haul packs, or unlock the City's gold rush secrets on the 'Heart of Gold Discovery Trail'. For an appreciation of the scale of modern day mining, visit the Super Pit, one of the largest open-cut mines in the world and forms part of the Golden Mile - said to be the richest square mile of gold bearing earth in the world.