See the red heart of Australia and the country's largest gold mine.
By Cole Latimer
An oasis in the desert, Kalgoorlie-Boulder gives you the real red dust, wild west experience of Australia.
- See Australia's largest mine
- Hit the Golden Trail
- Visit the Gold Rush ghost towns
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Top things to do in Kalgoorlie-Boulder
Go on a driving adventure
If you fancy going down the road less travelled, there are a number of Goldfields self-drive trails around the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region. The award-winning Golden Quest Discovery Trail spans a distance of 965 kilometres (600 miles), travelling through Western Australia's Goldfields from Coolgardie to Laverton. The trail takes in mining towns, wildflowers (from mid July to late October) and the Gwalia ghost town, where abandoned homes and businesses provide a snapshot of a bygone era. Alternatively, the Golden Pipeline route follows the Goldfield's water supply scheme, which today is celebrated as one of the world's greatest engineering feats – a 650 kilometre (404 mile) long pipeline, built to supply Kalgoorlie-Boulder with water, and which engineers at the time thought impossible.
Celebrate St Barbara's Festival
Kalgoorlie-Boulder has a one-of-a-kind event in Australia, St Barbara's Festival, celebrating the local mining industry. Occurring every 4 December, the event offers the opportunity to get up close to huge trucks. The festival culminates in a parade down Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s main road, Hannan Street, and features enormous mining equipment such as six metre (20 foot) tall, eight metre (26 foot) wide, and 13 metre (43 foot) long trucks. Community organisations, schools and animals take part in the parade, which also showcases mine rescue demonstrations.
See the art
The extraordinary Lake Ballard is dotted with 51 steel sculptures, which have been created by artist Sir Antony Gormley, better known for his Angel of the North sculpture in Tyne and Wear, England. The installation, entitled Inside Australia, were commissioned for the 2003 Perth International Arts Festival and have attracted art lovers ever since. You can also visit the Last of the Nomads statue, dedicated to Warri and Yatungka of the Mandildjara tribe, who ran away together and spent 40 years living in the desert.
Visit the Super Pit
As you fly into Kalgoorlie-Boulder you’ll be struck by the sheer size of the Super Pit, right next to the town. At 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) long, 1.5 kilometres (one mile) wide, and nearly 700 metres (half a mile) deep, the pit was built by combining all the nearby small operations into a single huge mine. A lookout near the southern end of the mine gives you an overview of the massive scale of the pit, with enormous mining trucks appearing tiny on the pit floor. The lookout also has mining vehicles with which you can pose for photos.
How to get there
There are daily one hour flights between Perth and Kalgoorlie-Boulder, as well as a twice daily train from Perth. The Indian Pacific also stops once a week in Kalgoorlie-Boulder on its journey between Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Driving directly from Perth to Kalgoorlie-Boulder takes about 6 1/2 hours.