Australia's Golden Outback 2023 Holiday Planner

While its wild west reality has tempered over time, the richness of Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s gold rush origins flow

through the city’s veins and can be felt all around.

A Rich History

Runs Deep


I n a state full of such beautiful extremes, from tropical climates in the north to snow-capped peaks in the south, many a WA bolthole can claim to be unique. But, with apologies to grammar obsessives, there is one spot that can claim to be the most unique of them all – and that’s Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Here’s a city that, unlike so many of its Aussie counterparts, is a long, long way from the nearest ocean — some 340km to be precise, meaning it’s surrounded by the kind of dry, red, unforgiving bush

realised that they were going to be very, very rich men. News of their luck spread quickly and pretty soon hundreds of fortune hunters descended on the area and the town of Hannan’s Find was born. The early settlement grew and grew — by 1901 it was 4,800-strong and had been rechristened Kalgoorlie, a corruption of karlkurla, the native Aboriginal word for silky pear and a bush tucker staple abundant in the area. Now, though, there was a new natural treasure

that only the hardiest of souls would brave. So why is it there then? The answer’s glitteringly simple. Gold. The story goes that, back in 1893, a pair of gung-ho prospectors by the name of Paddy Hannan and Tom Flanagan were trudging through the land of the Wangkatja people when one of their horses threw a shoe. The curses and despair of the forced halt, however, quickly turned to whoops of delight as they spotted signs of gold where that fortuitous horseshoe landed and

74 | Kalgoorlie-Boulder & the Goldfields |

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