Unearth history and the fascinating heritage of Australia’s largest outback city, and discover a wealth of treasures. Spend 4 nights’ in Kalgoorlie with a visit to one of the world’s oldest working brothels & a look into Australia’s largest gold producing mine, the Super Pit.
from $1,125 per person, twin share
Top things to do in Kalgoorlie
The Kalgoorlie Super Pit – Tour Included!
Top of the list of things to do in Kalgoorlie has to be the Super Pit. This is a massive, gargantuan, mammoth open cut gold mine on the edge of the city. But wait, didn’t I say Kalgoorlie was more than just gold? Yes, it is, but the city was made on gold, and in many ways still relies on gold. To begin to understand Kalgoorlie, you have to start at the Super Pit, and quite simply, it is huge.
The Super Pit is on the site of the Golden Mile, the original stretch of land that caused the gold rush in 1893 that drew people from across the world to try their luck earning their fortune here. Things have changed, and over time all the mines were consolidated into one massive Super Pit which has to be seen to be believed.
It’s an ugly scar, but at the same time it’s weirdly aesthetic. It works around the clock, 24 hours a day, and trucks continually drive in and out, removing rubble and precious metals. It’s over 500 metres deep and getting ever deeper, and is 3.5 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide.
The Super Pit is just a short drive from the city, and if you call ahead of your trip you can find out when the explosive blasts are scheduled. These are equally huge, with tonnes of explosives being used to dig even deeper for that gold.
The Museum Of The Goldfields
After seeing the mining in action at the Super Pit then the next best spot to really learn about Kalgoorlie’s past – mainly how the city and that giant hole in the ground came to exist hundreds of miles from anywhere – then it’s best to pay a visit to The Museum of the Goldfields.
This is Kalgoorlie’s premier museum, and collected here are stories from across the Goldfields, from the Indigenous local history to the mad gold rush that founded the city. Some of the stories are insightful, others are grimy or full of sleaze, and it’s easy to see how Kalgoorlie gained its reputation as a Wild West gold town from the exhibits on display.
But it’s not just about the gold. As important as it is, Kalgoorlie has other, more overlooked achievements which the museum emphasises, the main feat being the existence of a city of 30,000 people in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. A lot of that is down to an incredible feat of engineering called the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, and the museum is great at providing insightful facts and anecdotes about its construction and use to this day.
Fossicking for Gold In Kalgoorlie
Of course, Kalgoorlie is all about the gold. So why not give gold fossicking a go? You could strike it rich! It’s probably not quite the same as the gold rush era, and most of the gold has already been uncovered, but it would be a shame to leave Kalgoorlie without having at least tried to find some gold.
You need a permit to start looking- this costs $25 and you can find out more about that HERE– and you need permission to fossick on other people’s land. There’s rules to this game and some people still make it rich, but if you just want some fun then a few companies also offer day tours to well known fossicking sites and a solid introduction to the gold digging game.
Take a Stroll Down Hannan Street
Hanna Street is the main drag in Kalgoorlie. It’s named for the city’s prospecting founder, Paddy Hannan, who first discovered gold on The Golden Mile. Hannan street is as historic as it gets in Kalgoorlie, and strolling down here will give you a slight insight into the old Wild West days, as many of the frontier style hotels and buildings are still standing today.
More than that though, it’s the heart of the city, where the city hall, restaurants, bars and everything else you expect of a city is found.
When you’re ready, jump into some of the old hotel bars, and check out what all the fuss is about. They might have a reputation, and many still have regular Skimpies- scantily clad women– as entertainment for the miners but you’ll soon find it’s not so Wild West like, just a bit Outback is all
Craft Beer Bars in Boulder
Unknown to most of the world, there’s a thriving craft beer scene in the city. The pick of these micro breweries is found in Boulder, the other half of Kalgoorlie, and serves up a beautiful tasting paddle of locally brewed hops.
The Beaten Track Brewery is found in an unsuspecting little tin shed – like the best things in Kalgoorlie- on a side street in Boulder. Inside you will find an array of craft beers to choose from, everything from IPAs to German style Wheat Beers.
Casa Questa – Take A Tour Of Australia’s Oldest Brothel – Tour Included!
The city’s reputation for debauchery does of course have some basis in history. Casa Questa- The Pink House– is Australia’s oldest working brothel, and once you have had a few beers for courage, then the strangest of things to do in Kalgoorlie is to take a tour of this establishment.
This isn’t as seedy as it might sound, and in fact it was recommended to me by the Visitor’s Centre. Kalgoorlie has realised that this is an integral part of their history, and the Madame runs daily tours before the night’s work kicks off. It’s a strange situation, but the history and stories told by the Madame really give an insight to Kalgoorlie that is hard to find elsewhere- both of the city’s past and its future.
Whilst Lake Ballard is beautiful and unique year-round, we think the conditions in Spring are just perfect. No flies, the ground is normally dry and the salt is beginning to turn a shimmering white. This is the largest outdoor art installation in Australia; featuring 51 steel statues scattered across the salt lake. It’s a great day trip – but is especially magical at sunrise and sunset. So why not take advantage of their toilet facilities and firepits and camp for the night? It’s less than a 2 hour drive from Kalgoorlie Boulder and you can stop off in Menzies for a coffee on the way!