Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Grand public architecture reflects the wealth drawn from the gold mining that the city is built on.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder is a regional city (pop. 30,000) in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

Understand

Kalgoorlie is a mining town with a long history that contains much of interest to the adventurous traveller. Over a hundred years of mining wealth has produced some beautiful old buildings that house pubs, post offices and general shops.

The largest open cut gold mine in Australia abuts the town, though you are unlikely to notice it except for the mountain of dirt along the mines edge or the reverberations of the daily blast.

Kalgoorlie makes an ideal base to explore the other towns in the region that have an equally rich history.

Get in

Kalgoorlie is about 600km east of Perth, 397km north of Esperance and 235km south of Leonora. To the east is the endless desert.

By bus

By car

Kalgoorlie is the end point for three major highways. From Perth, the Great Eastern Hwy is the most direct path (596km, 6-7 hours). From Esperance, the Coolgardie-Esperance Hwy (397km, 4.5 hours) connects up with the Great Eastern Hwy about 40km away from Kalgoorlie. A detour via Kambalda on the Goldfields Hwy is slightly shorter. From Leonora, the Goldfields Hwy is a fairly quick drive in from anywhere north (235, less than 3 hrs).

All the highways are sealed. There are frequent food and fuel stops at small towns along the way, except for on the Goldfields Hwy which has only one town, Menzies, along the way which doesn't have fuel at times. It would be a good idea to fill up in Leonora.

From Interstate

Norseman sits at the western side of the Eyre Hwy at the end of the long drive across the Nullabor plain. From here it's 191km north on the Coolgardie-Esperance Hwy to Kalgoorlie.

By plane

The small but modern airport (IATA: KGI) is 7km from the center of town and has several daily flights to and from Perth, interstate and a couple of regional centers. Parking can be a problem as the carpark is often full with cars left behind by fly-in/fly-out workers. Taxis wait for every arriving flight and cost around $10 to town. There isn't an airport bus service and the local bus doesn't pass anywhere near the airport.

From Perth

Daily Qantas flights leave from Terminal 1 at Perth Domestic Airport. Skywest has less frequent flights throughout the week.

From interstate

Skywest have a weekly flight from Melbourne and Qantas flys a similar amount from Adelaide.

By train

Kalgoorlie is on the interstate line that sees regular passenger services. The train station is in the main part of town within walking distance of backpackers and some hotels.

Get around

Most of the town attractions are clustered within walking distance in the centre of town. If you don't have a car it would be worth hiring one to get out to the spots on the outskirts.

Rental cars

All the major rental car companies have booths at the airport. There is a big demand from the mining companies, especially during trade exhibitions so it would be worthwhile to book well in advance. Generally there large sedans and 4WD are the most common type of cat but you might be able to get a hatchback if you are just running about town.

Taxi

There are plenty of taxis that operate late into the night in the entertainment areas along Hannan St. The usual taxi charges apply.

Bus

Three routes of Transperth buses circle around town about every hour during the daylight hours. Weekend services are limited to the mornings. Most useful is route 2 that runs between Kalgoorlie and Boulder. The terminal for all services is at the intersection of Maritana and Hannan St, out the front of the Exchange and Palace Hotels. Timetables and route maps are available on the bus or at the visitors centre.

See

The depth of the Super pit makes everything look small.

You don't have to walk too far to see a plethora of historic buildings from different architectural eras. Some of the best examples line the length of Hannan St and adjoining streets. The businesses that occupy them now have preserved the original interiors in varying degrees, through design or neglect.


Surrounding areas

The past 100 years has seen the activity in the surrounding region flourish and disappear with the whims of gold discoveries, leaving behind a few crumbling scraps of their existence.

Do

Some say there is nothing to do except drink. You can easily prove them wrong without much effort.

Buy

Kalgoorlie is famous for its gold, and so gold jewellery, nuggets or coins make excellent souvenirs. The business area in and around Hannan Street has a multitude of big name retail outlets and a smattering of local specialist stores.

Markets

Eat

There are quite a few good restaurants in the main part of town. Many are attached to motels but there are some fine 'stand alone' ones also. The usual fast food chains are scattered along Boulder Rd.

Restaurants

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Self catering

Independent travellers might want to take the opportunity restock supplies before heading as your options are limited till you reach Esperance or Perth.

Drink

There are around 25 operating pubs where you can have a 'middy' with the locals.

Coffee

Sleep

There are a myriad of places to rest. If you're planning to stay at a motel it may pay to book ahead as they can be filled with fly-in mine workers.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Caravan parks

Connect

Information and news

Internet

Free wifi can be found at the McDonalds on the corner of Roberts and Boulder Rd. The public library on Roberts Rd has paid internet terminals for $8 per hour.

Go next

Routes through Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Perth Southern Cross, Merredin, Northam  W  E  Rawlinna, Loongana, Cook, Tarcoola Port Augusta


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, November 30, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.