Laverton, with over 100 years of fascinating gold rush history, is the starting point of the Outback Way which links Kalgoorlie and the Northern Goldfields with Alice Springs and Winton in Queensland. It lies at the western edge of the Great Victoria Desert and is also the start point for the Anne Beadell Highway leading to Coober Pedy in South Australia.
The great Australian gold rush
Originally established as the British Flag Mine in the gold rush era, Laverton was gazetted in 1900, in recognition of Dr Charles Laver who rode into town on a pushbike from Coolgardie in 1896 and remained as the town’s doctor. A statue in the main park stands as a tribute to his contribution to the town.
The town’s people suffered many hardships following the end of the gold rush, not least the removal of the train line in 1956 and the depression in the 1930s. But when nickel was discovered at nearby Windarra in 1969, the town gained a new lease of life and today is a fascinating mix of modern mine operations, history and Indigenous culture.
Laverton explorers and pioneers
In the mid to late 19th century, several heroic explorers, including John Forrest and Ludwig Leichhardt, led expeditions through the areas in and around Laverton. Leichhardt’s expedition vanished and Forrest followed in search of the explorer’s remains and his large gold deposit.
The fearless explorers and pioneers of the region are honoured in a splendid state-of-the-art exhibition, aptly named The Great Beyond – Explorers’ Hall of Fame. Here you can step back in time, listen to the explorers’ personal stories of hardship and discover what it was like for the early pioneers living and working on the Goldfields during the Australian gold rush. This innovative centre also houses the Laverton Visitor Centre.
Other Laverton attractions
- See the wonderful exhibition of local Indigenous art and artefacts for sale at the Laverton Outback Art Gallery. Silk scarves by the local Aboriginal group, Malukurukuru Enterprises, are also displayed. Silk dying demonstrations can be organised by prior arrangement.
- Check out the historic Police Station Complex, which features the refurbished, original Police Sergeant’s House, police station and gaol.
- Explore the rugged surrounding countryside, home to the historic sites of former outback towns such as Burtville. With a reputation as one of the wildest settlements in the goldfields, it is claimed that the only person buried in the local cemetery as a result of natural causes is a six-week old baby.
- Look to the skies above Laverton and the road to Leonora to see wedge-tailed eagles soaring majestically.
- Head out to the scenic Giles Breakaway for some great photo opportunities.
Hotel, motel and caravan park accommodation is available if you're spending the night. Search for Laverton accommodation.
For more information contact the Laverton Visitor Centre by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org