Stay in Kalgoorlie, the busy heart of the Goldfields and the largest city in the Aussie outback. The Gold Rush started here in 1893 when prospector Paddy Hannan found gold in the area, and this city of about 31,000 people is still a bustling gold mining centre today. You can see it in action with a visit to The Super Pit. A whopping 3.5km-long and 400m-deep (large enough to be seen from space!), it has over 1000 employees mining 850,000 ounces of gold a year (that much gold could make a LOT of wristwatches). Visit the Super Pit Lookout during the day for an awesome view. Hannan Street is the place to go for a slice of history with modern convenience, with Federation-era buildings turned into modern cafes and shops, and lovely restored hotels where you can have a brew with the locals.
Coolgardie, founded in 1892, was the busiest town in the gold rush for a while and the third largest in the colony. But when the gold started running out in the early 1900s, prospectors left in droves. Find out more about the gold rush with a visit to the Goldfields Exhibition Museum, a massive collection of photos and other relics built in the lavish former Warden’s Court Building. You can also go prospecting on local land, drop into more outback pubs or explore the Holland Track, a piece of dusty bush land. Careful, the whole thing is over 700km long, and you’ll need a 4WD for half of it!
For an adventure off the beaten track, pay a visit to a Goldfields ghost town. Big Bell, a buzzing centre of activity in the early 1900s, is now an eerie set of ruins most famous for the shell of the Big Bell Hotel, which still stands on a dusty red road. Then there’s Gwalia, which sits beside a one-kilometre-wide hole in the ground (watch your step). It was abandoned in 1963 but still displays old relics like a steam engine and miners’ cottages. If you have a 4WD, travel the Gunbarrel Highway, a long red road through some of the most remote parts of the outback. And you can’t miss Lake Ballard, a salt plane with more than 51 human figurines sculpted by Anthony Gormley and spread across 10 square kilometres.
If you don’t have a car, you can get to Kalgoorlie from Perth with a daily rail service or book one of our flights to Kalgoorlie. Choose from our Goldfields accommodation below for a holiday that’s good as gold.
Hotels in Golden Outback start at AU$99 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.