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Information Centres in Kalgoorlie Goldfields Region


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Coolgardie Visitor Centre

Mother of the Western Australian Goldfields

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“Mother of the Western Australian Goldfields”


The name Coolgardie is said to be derived from the aboriginal word “Coolcaby,” which is in reference to the area’s mulga vegetation and gnamma waterholes. Over the years, Coolgardie was known by various names such as Bayley's Find, Fly Flat, The Old Camp and The Old Diggings.

The Coolgardie area was first explored by H.M. Lefroy in 1863 and then by C.C. Hunt in 1864. As a result of Hunt’s efforts, the area became accessible to Europeans. But Coolgardie owes its existence to the discovery of gold at nearby Fly Flat, 120 miles to the east of Southern Cross, back in 1892.

According to all accounts, gold was discovered in the area by Arthur Bayley and William Ford on the 17 September 1892. Bayley hastily reported the discovery of 554 ounces of gold to J.M. Finnerty, then the resident mining warden at Southern Cross. At the time 554 ounces of gold was worth 2200 pounds ($4,400) and in accordance with Western Australian mining regulations, Bailey was offered a reward claim covering 20 acres of land at Fly Flat. Bayley’s reward claim proved to be very profitable, and during the 70 years of existence, this mining claim recovered over 500,000 ounces of gold.

From an historical perspective, the Coolgardie gold find proved to be one of immense national significance. During the 1890’s, Eastern Australia experienced a severe depression and people flocked to the areas around Coolgardie in the hope of a better life. However, while some found gold, many only found hardship, sickness and death caused by inadequate housing, lack of fresh water and food, insufficient medical attention and supplies. Despite early hardships, within the short space of ten years, Coolgardie’s population had grown to a staggering 16,000.

By 1896, the railway had arrived and by 1898, Coolgardie was the third largest town in Western Australia (after Perth and Fremantle). Two stock exchanges, three breweries, six newspapers, 60 stores, 26 hotels and many churches were evident during this time. The town was named in 1893 and became a municipality the following year. The Post Office opened in 1895 and the following year electricity and a swimming pool enhanced the hard life of the miners. By 1897, the level of enthusiasm about the potential of the region was such that over 700 mining companies had been floated in London. The water pipeline arrived in 1903 and a year earlier the town had seen the construction of the State Battery.

As the surface gold ran out, many prospectors left the fields disillusioned and penniless. Others headed to Kalgoorlie (East Coolgardie as it was known then) and later worked for mining companies for as little as $6.00 per week.

Coolgardie still continues its long association with the gold industry by more efficient open pit mining and recovery methods. The Coolgardie of today is a pleasant inland town which has retained many aspects of its rich and colourful past. Once the centre of Australia's greatest gold rush, Coolgardie is now the nation's best preserved gold mining town. Coolgardie has carefully preserved the best of its past. Its wide streets are lined by grand stone and brick buildings mixed with corrugated iron and timber homes reflecting both the wealth and importance of the gold rush.

Kalgoorlie Boulder Pure Gold

Kalgoorlie Boulder Pure Gold is the local accredited Visitor Centre, and your complete guide to the Goldfields region. Offering a wealth of information from local experts to provide information to tourists, locals & corporate visitors on local attractions, events, tours, accommodation, businesses & much more! Pop in to check out the great range of unique gift ideas inspired by the Goldfields region, and pick up some great local tips while you're there. Come and Discover!

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Whatever the length of your stay, you are guaranteed to uncover a wealth of treasures in Australia's largest outback city. There is so much to see and do - unearthing the "gold rush" stories of yesteryear whilst discovering a modern, exciting and vibrant community.

Kalgoorlie Boulder overflows with an abundance of cultural, leisure and sporting activities. Visit the Goldfields Oasis Leisure Centre which provides a children's pool, infant's wading pool, 50m heated pool, waterslide, playing fields and even the man made wave affectionately known as the "Flow Rider" - meaning you can actually surf in the outback!

Be sure to view the KCGM Super Pit Lookout. This manmade wonder can be seen from space! A massive gouge carving into the red earth, where trucks the size of houses move hundreds of tons of rock in the hope of extracting a few ounces of gold at a time.

Why not tee off at the newly completed Kalgoorlie Golf Course in your spare time? A premier 18 hole championship grass golf course, it is anticipated to become one of the top ten desert golf courses in the world.

Outdoor nature lovers will delight in the natural woodlands, trails and leisure parks in and around the City. Take a picnic lunch to Hammond Park, the jewel of the City's parks and reserves; home to native animals, large duck & fish pond, miniature Bavarian castle, shady grassed areas, BBQ facilities and children's playground.

Or discover the flora and fauna while walking the Karlkurla Park trail or exploring the Arboretum.

Kalgoorlie Boulder has many beautiful examples of architecture to explore - walking down the main street is for some, like taking a step back in time. Kalgoorlie Boulder Pure Gold (the City's accredited Visitor Centre) offers a fantastic Audio Tour which encompasses 38 different sites in and around the Kalgoorlie City Centre, including Heritage Buildings and Hotels, the WA School of Mines, Statues, WA Museum and Town Hall. With plenty of photo opportunities along the way, it is a fun, inexpensive and educational way to experience all that Kalgoorlie has to offer.

Art comes naturally to the many locals who live and work in the community. Photography, painting, drawing, indigenous art, and sculpture are showcased at many retail outlets, exhibitions and competitions throughout the region. Speak with the team at Kalgoorlie Boulder Pure Gold for a complete list of where to find works from local artisans, or browse their large range of local works supported in store.

Kalgoorlie Boulder plays host to two market days each month. Boulder Market Day is held on the third Sunday of every month, along historic Burt Street & the Loopline Park, Boulder. The Kalgoorlie Markets are hosted by the Hannans Goldfields Lions Club, and are held in Saint Barbara's Square on Hannan Street, on the first Sunday of every month (excluding January). Both markets kick off at 9:00am.

Visitors to the City are often surprised by the wide range of retail outlets and boutique stores. Spend the day immersing yourself in the shopping delights, and frequenting one of the many cafes or restaurants for great day out.

For some good old fashioned outback hospitality, why not try one of the Goldfields outback pubs. Just a short drive from the city, they are steeped in history and overflowing with character.

Home to the "Golden Mile", the richest square mile of gold-bearing earth in the world, and the biggest open pit gold mine in the country - you could be forgiven for thinking this is just another "Mining Town". But, while mining is still the lifeblood of the community, Kalgoorlie Boulder offers this and so much more...

Join the local social media discussions through Kalgoorlie Boulder Pure Gold's Facebook and Twitter pages, to keep up to date on the City's news and events, as well as connect with other locals or visitors to the region.
 

Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre

A great opportunity to learn about the history of the Royal Flying Doctors and its continuing role today in regional WA. Can climb aboard a genuine RFDS aeroplane.

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The Great Beyond and Explorers’ Hall of Fame

The Great Beyond Visitor Centre - Home of the Explorers’ Hall of Fame. Come in and browse our gift shop and enjoy a coffee in the Horizon’s Café.

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Explorers’ Hall of Fame

Complementing the rich visual history of the Northern Goldfields, the Great Beyond Explorers’ Hall of Fame utilises cutting edge technology to bring to life the characters and stories of the past.
Step back in time with several notable explorers, who led challenging expeditions through Central Australia during the mid to late 19th Century, as they recount their stories of hardship and bravery.
Discover what it was like for women and pioneers, living and working on the Goldfields during the pioneer days, and learn about the valuable industries that sustain our inland.

Other features of the Great Beyond Visitor Centre:

•    Issue Entry Permits to Aboriginal Lands (WA and NT)
•    Issue National Parks Passes (to all National Parks across WA)
•    Book tickets for Goldfields Express and Goldrush Tours
•    Extensive range of Maps and Guidebooks
•    Huge range of locally made products, including Laverton Opals, gold nuggets/jewellery, art and beauty products
•    Unique collection of history books of the Laverton, Ngaanyatjarra and Goldfields areas
•    Large range of brochures for the Northern Goldfields area (Main contact point for Tourism Northern Goldfields)
•    Wide range of hot and cold drinks, cakes and slices, in the Horizons Café
•    Accredited Visitor Centre through the National Tourism Accreditation Program
•    Accredited Tourism Business through Tourism Council Western Australia
•    Member of the Visitor Centre Association of Western Australia

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