The historic Goldfields city of Kalgoorlie sits on the western fringe of the Nullarbor Plain and the Great Victoria Desert in south-central Western Australia. In 1989, an administrative merger took place between Kalgoorlie and the neighbouring town of Boulder. The pair are now known as Kalgoorlie-Boulder. It’s the principal settlement of the East Coolgardie goldfield and the area has a fascinating gold rush past.
The largest city in the Australian Outback and part of WA’s Golden Outback, Kalgoorlie-Boulder remains one of the most important mining areas in the world. Perched at the edge of the famous Golden Mile, it has a local economy that has profited from gold since 1893. Kalgoorlie-Boulder is a pretty city lined with well-preserved colonial buildings and in springtime, the surrounding fields burst with the beauty of wildflowers.
Kalgoorlie was established in 1893 during the Western Australian gold rushes. The discovery of gold was made by prospector Paddy Hannan at a site 40 kilometres out of Coolgardie. It was developed as Hannan’s Find and the gold-rich surrounding area is referred to as the Golden Mile, the world's richest square mile of earth.
Since that first find, gold and other metals such as nickel have been mined in the area, creating a thriving industry that today employs around a quarter of Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s workforce and contributes significantly to its economy.
There are numerous large mining operations in and around the city, including the appropriately named ‘Super Pit.’ This gigantic mine is 3.5 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide and 600 metres deep and is so large, it can be seen from space!
For many years it held the honour of being Australia’s largest open-cut gold mine and is still one of the largest in the world, producing an incredible 900,000 ounces of gold every year. Visitors can take a fascinating guided tour of the Kalgoorlie Super Pit and learn of its history and daily operations.
Learn about WA’s gold rush history on a Kalgoorlie tour. Book your holiday with us today!
Kalgoorlie was once known for its illegal two-up gambling ring and Hay Street brothel district. Questa Casa is the only remaining brothel from the gold rush era and is still in operation some 120 years later. You can tour the business and hear the history of this profitable industry in Kalgoorlie. For a more traditional history of Kalgoorlie, you might like to visit the Museum of the Goldfields.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder sits on the First Nations lands of the Wangkatja people, and several traditional languages continue to be spoken in the area. The name ‘Kalgoorlie’ comes from the Aboriginal word Karlkurla or Kulgooluh, meaning ‘place of the silky pears,’ a local plant also called the bush banana. The town of Boulder was named after the Great Boulder Mine.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder has a semi-arid climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. From December to February, the city often experiences temperatures over 40°C so consider visiting outside the summer season to avoid this excessive heat.
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