The goldfields loop heading north from Coolgardie and finishing at Kalgoorlie is probably one of the most interesting routes in this region. Travelling over excellent formed gravel roads, you pass through a region that is filled with history, European and Aboriginal culture and the stunning, yet unbelievably dry and harsh environment that is the Eastern goldfields of outback WA.
The discovery of gold in Coolgardie in 1892 by Arthur Bayley and William Ford, started the gold rush and this was encouraged by further discoveries in Kalgoorlie (East Coolgardie at that time) by Patrick "Paddy" Hannan, Tom Flanagan and Dan Shea in 1893. 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. Stories of hardship occurred at Menzies with a deadly typhoid outbreak and also during the ill-fated Siberia rush where many prospectors suffered from dehydration due to an extreme lack of water in the area. Towns like Kunanalling were bustling at one stage only to turn to ghost towns when the gold dried up. This route has many of these old towns now in ruins with cemeteries and mining relics near its midst. They each have a fascinating story to tell and are worth exploring around. Some of the other sites well worth visiting and exploring are: Lake Ballard with the surreal sculptures by Antony Gormley, Rowles Lagoon Conservation Park, Ularring Rock and definitely Niagara Dam Nature Reserve.
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
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The tracks are very well graded with excellent formed gravel roads providing a more authentic outback goldfields tour. The tranquil forests comprises of more than a hundred species of eucalyptus including marble-coloured salmon gums, bronze-barked gimlets, and a variety of blackbutts. This provides a superbly unique and fascinating view contrasting against the rich, red earth and the blue skies. There is nowhere else in Australia
where there are so many different tall trees in such an arid environment.
There are many bird species that flourish here such as the threatened bilby or rabbit-eared bandicoot, chuditch, mallee fowl, scarlet chested parrot, sandhill dunnart and mulgara. The inhabitants of the area include ornate lizards, emus, echidnas, carpet pythons, honey-eaters, yellow-throated miners, rainbow
bee-eaters and budgerigars.
The region is very popular during Spring with the start of the spectacular wildflower season that transforms the normally desolate landscape into a blanket of colour. Flowers such as the emblem of the state - the Kangaroo Paw and wattles, daisies and everlastings are some of the variety of flowers seen for at least five months of the year. Guided wildflower tours are available so please contact the Kalgoorlie-Boulder
Tourist Centre for wildflower conditions and tour availability.
The Kalgoorlie Goldfields Visitor Centre250 Hannan Street, Kalgoorlie and 106 Burt Street, Boulder
Phone: (08) 9021 1966