The 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. European settlement of Kalgoorlie began in June with the discovery of rich alluvial gold deposits near Mount Charlotte.
Paddy Hannan later reported discovering 8 pounds of gold nuggets to the mining warden in Coolgardie, and within a matter of days gold diggers were frantically pegging out mining claims around Kalgoorlie. Kalgoorlie's gold rush had begun and by the town boasted a population of 30, along with 93 hotels and 8 breweries. For 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.
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At the time Kalgoorlie's wholesale price for flour was 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. By the late s 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.
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 ores. By deep underground mining of gold leads had become the norm with the Great Boulder Mine continuing to discover payable gold 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. 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 metres deep by 1. 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 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on weekends. The main Kalgoorlie Branch of the Goldfields Visitor Centre is located on Hannan Street, telephone 08 ; and likewise the Boulder Office can be found at Burt Street, contact telephone 08 Alternatively telephone Freecall For further information send an email to visitors kalgoorlie.
View over Hannan Street Transport - W. Goldfields Kalgoorlie 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.
Bus Services Goldrushtours operates a weekly service between Kalgoorlie and Laverton. For further information telephone Freecall or 08 Timetable information can be viewed at www. 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 Alternatively you can email Goldrush Tours at info goldrushtours.
Westrail's booking office is located in Forrest Street Kalgoorlie and reservations can be made by telephoning 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 Reservations can also be made in most Australian capital cities.
For further information email salesagent gsr. Air Travel 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. 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 For out of town visitors you can also make bookings at www.
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Kalgoorlie Backpackers Accommodation Goldfields Backpackers is located on Hay Street and has dormitory, twin share and single accommodation. Barbecue, swimming pool and pool room facilities are available. Internet facilities are available 24 hours a day. Gold Dust Backpackers is located on Hay Street Kalgoorlie and offers dormitiry, twin share and single accommodation.
Barbecue, swimming pool and games room facilities are provided. Internet facilities are also available. For free pick up telephone 08 Email contact golddust aurum. 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 or Freecall Web site information can be found at www. 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 or Tollfree call Camping sites, caravan sites, and self contained famil and budget cabins are available. Facilities include a camp kitchen, swimming pool, playground and TV room.
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The Prospector Holiday Park also offer travellers the use of a cassette tapes for self drive tours of Kalgoorlie. Telephone 08 or Tollfree Email contact prospect iinet. 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. 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 or Fax 08 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.
Located at the top end of Hannan Street the museum is open daily from 10am to 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. 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 s to early s.
Not surprisingly for a gold mining town many of the finest examples of federation architecture include lovingly restored hotels.
Important civic buildings within the area include Kalgoorlie's Town Hall which dates fromand the School of Mines Bulding located on nearby Cassidy Street. 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. Although really nothing more than a hole in the ground, it is nevertheless a huge and expensive one by any standards.
During the past years this goldfield has produced over tonnes of precious metal, and not for nothing has it been recognized as the richest square mile on earth. 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!
Admission is free and opening hours are from 6am to 7pm daily.