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Discover gold fields and ghost towns, history and high adventure in the heart of Western Australia's wild west.

Discover gold fields and ghost towns, history and high adventure in the heart of Western Australia's wild west.

If you love old westerns, you'll feel right in your element in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia's largest goldfields city. Its historic buildings and colourful pubs are the legacy of more than a hundred years of gold rush history.

Kalgoorlie was born in the gold rush of the 1880s, when hordes of fortunes-seekers from across the country descended on the region. It was a heady but tough period for the early diggers, with lawlessness and disease rife. By the 1960s the population had grown to more than 200,000 people, mainly prospectors, and the region had gained a reputation as a wild west with bandits and prostitutes.

Kalgoorlie, WA. © Tourism Western Australia

Kalgoorlie, WA

Today million dollar mining companies have replaced the starry-eyed prospectors, but the gold rush romance lives on in Kalgoorlie's grand old buildings, historic pubs and colourful characters. On Hannan Street - named after Irishman Paddy Hannan who struck gold in 1893 - you can stay at the Hannan hotel and even drink a pint of Hannan lager. Explore a prospector's campsite and heritage buildings in the Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame. See Aboriginal and Goldfields art in the Flying Doctor's Visitor Centre. See relics of the gold mine dream in the abandoned cottages, huts and shops of the dusty ghost town of Gwalia.

If you want to explore more recent gold mining history, visit the vast Super Pit Mine, which produces about 800,000 ounces of gold a year. At 3.5 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide, it's as deep as Uluru is high and about the same circumference.

This area is also rich in natural bounty. Explore the tranquil eucalyptus forests, wide sweeping plains, dry lake beds, low lying scrub land and spinifex fields on a trek or four wheel drive, but make sure you pack your pioneering spirit. As well as striking landscapes, you'll find an abundance of bird life, including the chuditch, mallee fowl and dunnart.

Back in town, it's hard to resist the friendly locals and their unique outback spirit. Join the festivities for their famous horse race, The Boulder to Kalgoorlie Cup. Or have a yarn with an old-timer in the pub. With one on just about every street corner, you're guaranteed an entertaining night out.

Out here adventure, golden history, outback landscapes and colourful characters are the real treasure.

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See what else there is near here to inspire your holiday planning.

Perth

Perth

Perth

Embrace Perth's relaxed magic with a sunset drink on Cottlesloe Beach, a cruise down the Swan River or live music in inner-city enclaves. Walk Kings Park and visit historic Fremantle. Swim, bike and catch rock lobster along Rottnest Island's secluded bays. Combine Perth with a journey to the Pinnacles, Monkey Mia or the beaches and goldfields of the state's south-west.

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Crossing the Nullarbor

Crossing the Nullarbor

Crossing the Nullarbor

Widen your horizons driving the Eyre Highway across the vast, treeless and mesmerising Nullarbor Plain. You can connect to this journey from Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth and drive west to east or east to west along the highway. Whatever your direction, the scale of the scenery has a powerful impact. Watch wooded hills flatten into bluebush-studded plateaus and see mobs of kangaroos lining the road. Visit vast cattle stations, historic homesteads and remote railway outposts. Get up close to rare birds in Eyre, spot southern right whales from the rugged Bunda Cliffs and fish in Fowlers Bay. Sleep overnight in the roadhouses and campsites dotted across the highway. While this is a sealed road, it travels through remote areas and requires thorough preparation. You’ll need a 4WD vehicle to venture off the highway.

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Margaret River

Margaret River

Margaret River

With many world-class wineries and award-winning restaurants, Margaret River is one of Western Australia's most famous food and wine regions. Tour the cellar doors and taste local brews at the boutique breweries. Here you can eat fresh crayfish straight from the ocean or dine on the local organic beef and truffles. Visit the farmer's markets and try the artisan cheeses. Indulge in local handmade chocolates and delicious fudge. When you've finished your culinary journey, take time to explore Western Australia's Great South West. In a few hours you can go from wineries to stunning beaches with world-class surf breaks, snorkelling and diving or walk amongst ancient forests and caves.

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South-West, Beaches and Goldfields

South-West, Beaches and Goldfields

South-West, Beaches and Goldfields

Discover the diverse and theatrical landscapes of Australia’s south-west corner. Drive from Perth through the buzzing historic port of Fremantle and swim with dolphins in Mandurah and Bunbury. Explore wineries, surf beaches, ancient limestone caves and towering karri forests in the Margaret River region. Walk through a canopy of sky-scraping trees in the Valley of the Giants, near Walpole. Swim and surf from Esperance’s clean, empty white beaches and cruise to the pristine islands of the Recherche Archipelago. Soak up gold fever in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and trace the path of pioneers on historic gold trails. Watch golden sand morph to green valley as you drive back into Perth.

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