Western Australia Goldfields Holidays
The Western Australian goldfields is a huge area stretching from the border of South Australia in the east, the Eyre Highway in the south, north into the Great Victoria Desert and west to the wheat belt area.
This is a vast expanse of inhospitable, dry desert and semi desert with a small area of interest around the sites of the goldmines. Much of the early history of Australia's gold mining rush is to be found in this area.
Gold was the major catalyst that brought settlers to the west. As with all gold rush eras the region had many short-lived gold mining ventures, mainly around the late 1800's and early 1900's.
The ventures that failed to survive became the many ghost towns that dot the region. Much of the history is still evident and gives an insight into the hardships of life in this environment.
Places Of Interest - The Goldfields
Coolgardie - one of the places where it all started. Unfortunately the gold did not last and Coolgardie declined. However, modern extraction processes have given the town a lift. The Goldfields Exhibition offers a good history of what the town was like at its prime.
Kalgoorlie - also known as Kalgoorlie-Boulder but usually called by just the first part. This is the other centre where it all started and gold is still being produced here. Kalgoorlie is a major station for the Transcontinental Railway after it emerges from the Nullabour Plain in the east.
There are many fine examples of extravagant Victorian era architecture. In fact the town has what is probably Australia's premier collection of historic buildings dating back to the gold rush period. In those days every corner boasted an impresive pub and the originals are still standing on many street corners, still serving a cold one on a hot day.
Underground mine tours operate at Hannan's North Mine and there is a railway circuit around the original Golden Mile. The history of the Kalgoorlie area is contained in the Museum of the Goldfields.
Kambalda - having died as a gold town, it has resurfaced as a major nickel mine. This is a mining town with little in the way of local attractions although the local salt lake, Lake Lefroy, is a venue for land sailing.
Leonora - a railhead for nickel from the nearby mines. Adjoining Gwalia was once a major gold mine but is now virtually a ghost town.
The Ghost Towns - the best known are Kanowna and Broad Arrow in the Kalgoorlie area, Gwalia (see above), Kookynie and Niagara in the Leonora area.