Heading out to Kalgoorlie through the golden outback from Perth or as a stopping point after a Nullarbor adventure from Adelaide, is a fabulous adventure with its mining, pioneer history and outback experiences.
From Perth, you drive through different landscapes and many quaint little towns, each with its own historic tales and most likely a granite rock nearby! You’ll be following the water pipeline, which at the time it was created was quite the controversy, but did bring much needed water to the outback goldfields.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Australia’s largest outback city, has thrived because of the nearby gold mine, known as the Super Pit. This is a large open cut mine where you can take a tour to learn how the mine works and get up close to the huge machinery used. Just one tyre on these machines makes a large 4WD vehicle look like a toy in a child’s sandpit! The logistics required to operate a mine of this size running 24 hours a day is astounding…and all this for 2 grams of gold per tonne of dirt! While we’d recommend doing a tour, if you are short on time or a tight budget, there is a public lookout which gives an excellent view of the mine. Make sure you pop into the information centre (located next to the town hall), to find out the times of the blasting for the day – being at the mine lookout when this happens is a real blast!
But it isn’t just the goldmine that this town has to offer – spend some time at the excellent museum which is great value for just a fiver! Learn more about the hard times of the early days and the pioneers which made Kalgoorlie-Boulder into what it is today, plus get an excellent view of the town if you choose to go to the very top level!
The historic town hall is open for a wander where you can see sporting memorabilia and learn more of the history of Kalgoorlie. The art galleries in Kalgoorlie are also worth a look. On the edge of Boulder, you’ll also find the remnants of the pioneer cemetery which is worth a wander if you have time.
You may be wondering why it is known as Kalgoorlie-Boulder? Basically the town of Kalgoorlie merged with Boulder in 1989 to create Kalgoorlie-Boulder which gave the area city status and more funding for infrastructure, amongst other reasons. The two towns were very close to each other, so this made perfect sense – previously Boulder was mainly where the mine workers lived and Kalgoorlie was the more affluent town. In terms of area, Kalgoorlie-Boulder is the largest city in Australia and here, the workers in the super pit mine, live in Kalgoorlie-Boulder – it is not a fly in, fly out mine (FIFO).
Relaxing and historic pubs in town are perfect to enjoy a drink or pop into a café which do a nice variety of food and is a welcome treat in the outback.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder loves motorhomers – there are some good caravan parks if you like full facilities, or if you’re self-contained, you’ll find a 24-hour rest stop on the city fringe where you are welcome to spend the night.
Just west of Kalgoorlie is the Lake Douglas Recreation Reserve (2 km dirt road) which also allows free camping in a beautiful area surrounded by beautiful bush that comes alive at sunrise and sunset. This is our pick unless you like to be right in the city action at Kalgoorlie.
If you’re planning on heading to the south-eastern corner of Western Australia and would like to find out more about campervan hire you can look at what your hire options are here or you can contact us.