Mount Magnet lives up to its role as the hub of the Murchison and the longest surviving gold mining settlement in Western Australia. Situated four and a half hours' drive east of Geraldton, on the Great Northern Highway, it’s the perfect base for exploring the Gascoyne-Murchison region and offers rich pickings for those interested in gold prospecting and fossicking.
The prominent hill rising above the township was named West Mount Magnet in 1854 by surveyor Robert Austin who noticed that its magnetic qualities interfered with his compass. It has since had its Indigenous name reinstated, 'Warramboo Hill', meaning campfire camping place.
The first pastoralists, Watson and Jones, herded their sheep from Geraldton in the late 1870s and settled at Yowergabbie and Boogardie stations respectively. Gold was discovered here in July 1891, including the legendary Poverty Flats mining site, marking the beginning of the region's gold rush history.
Mount Magnet attractions
- Follow the 37 kilometre Tourist Trail from the town centre, through old and new goldmine sites, to take in the spectacular views from Warrmboo Hill and explore the area’s magnificent granite rock formations, including a natural amphitheatre and cave.
- Catch a movie at the town’s original open air film theatre (summer months only), one of only three traditional outdoor cinemas still operating in Western Australia.
- Check out the Mining and Pastoral Museum and its extensive collection of mining and farming relics.
- Visit between May and October and attend one of the town’s many horseracing meetings.
- Try your luck at gold prospecting and fossicking.
- Explore the remains of abandoned settlements, such as Lennonville.
- Come in spring and see the spectacular carpets of wildflowers.
Mount Magnet accommodation and services
The town is well serviced by two service stations, a supermarket, cafe, butcher, nursing post and post office. Hotel, motel, backpacker and lodge accommodation is available In Mount Magnet, as well as a caravan park and nearby station stays. Search Gascoyne-Murchison accommodation.
Visit the Shire’s website www.mtmagnet.wa.gov.au for more details about Mount Magnet accommodation and attractions.
Suggested outback drive routes