Coolgardie is world-famous for two major events in Western Australia’s mining history. It’s the birthplace of the great gold rush of 1892 and the site of Varischetti's amazing mine rescue after nine days trapped in a flooded underground mine.
It was once the third largest town in Western Australia with 2 stock exchanges, 3 breweries, 7 newspapers and 26 hotels. Today, reminders of Coolgardie’s colourful gold rush history can be found in its charming grand heritage buildings and wide main street and is also the starting point for the Golden Quest Discovery Trail self drive adventure.
- Explore the town’s fascinating pioneering and gold rush history at the Goldfields Exhibition Museum and Ben Prior’s Park.
- Discover the exciting story of the Varischetti rescue at the Varischetti Mine Rescue Display.
- Visit the Famous Waghorn Bottle Collection to see Australia's largest display of bottles and curiosities.
- Check out the historic Warden Finnerty’s Residence and read the town’s tragic history on headstones at the Pioneer Cemetery and Coolgardie Cemetery.
- Enjoy a picnic and take in the view the first gold prospectors would have seen from Lion’s Lookout.
- Explore nearby ghost towns and outback nature reserves such as Burra Rocks, Cave Hill and the freshwater wetlands at Rowles Lagoon.
- Celebrate Coolgardie's birthday with the friendly locals and thousands of visitors at the annual Coolgardie Day festival.
Kambalda was Australia’s first nickel town, built by Western Mining in the 1960s and designed by one of the country’s most innovative town planners. Today, it’s a booming mining hub made up of two separate towns that lay seven kilometres apart, Kambalda East and Kambalda West, and is surrounded by a diverse landscape of salt lakes and bushland.
- Visit Red Hill Lookout and take in the sweeping views of Lake Lefroy, a 40 kilometre salt pan lake, and the surrounding active mining operations. The bush trails take you around the hill, showcasing mining history and rare flora and fauna.
- Experience the thrill of land sailing on Lake Lefroy, the location of many land speed record attempts. Cabins, land yacht hire and tuition are available by prior arrangement.
Coolgardie and Kambalda accommodation
For accommodation options in Coolgardie and Kambalda and the surrounding area, search accommodation by location.
For further information about Coolgardie and Kambalda, visit the Shire of Coolgardie website www.coolgardie.wa.gov.au
Things to see and do in and around Coolgardie and Kambalda
Golden Quest Discovery Trail
Embark on your Outback adventure along the Golden Quest Discovery Trail, spanning 965 kilometres through Western Australia's Goldfields from Coolgardie through to Laverton. This popular drive route traverses 25 interpretive sites highlighting the 1890s gold rush region, classic pubs, outback ghost towns and changing natural landscapes including nature reserves and campsites.
Follow the video links below to view some of the amazing attractions you'll encounter along the Golden Quest Discovery Trail