Leonora and Gwalia are a two hours’ drive north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, on Goldfields Highway. Gwalia is located 2.5km south of Leonora.
Leonora is the largest commercial centre north of Kalgoorlie and offers many services and facilities for travellers to enjoy. Discovered and named in 1869 by the great pioneer of Western Australia, John Forrest, it has a picturesque main street and many historic buildings. Surrounding the town are old gold mining centres and cemeteries that are popular with visitors interested in Australian gold rush history and genealogy.
The town hosts many of the Northern Goldfields’ events, from outback horse race meetings to the annual Golden Gift – a weekend of entertainment and athletics event held on the Western Australian Day long weekend in June. The Golden Gift is Australia's richest mile running race.
Keen bird watchers should venture out to the Malcolm Dam, built-in 1902 to provide water for the railway it is a haven for many native bird species. Also visit the Terraces – a large breakaway formation about 40 kilometres north-east of Leonora, providing good bushwalking and magnificent views.
Gwalia ghost town and Museum
A real gem from the gold mining era is Gwalia Museum, one of the most fascinating places in the Western Australian Northern Goldfields. Its main points of interest include the magnificent Gwalia State Hotel, a large open cut mine, the old miners’ cottages and other commercial buildings, left by residents in December 1963 when the Sons of Gwalia Gold mine closed.
A very special attraction is Hoover House, now a guest house, but originally built in 1898 as a home for the mine manager. Herbert Hoover, who commissioned the house was later to become 31st President of the United States of America. Hoover designed the Oregon head-frame, now a landmark at the Museum, it is believed to be the only wooden incline head-frame left in Australia. The museum also houses the country’s largest steam winder (1000 hp), which was imported from England in 1912, as well as ‘Midland’, a woodline steam engine that carted over 30,000 tonnes of firewood a year to fire the boilers at the Sons of Gwalia Mine.
Now Available - Gwalia Interactive Map
Discover Gwalia Ghost Town & Museum with the Shire of Leonora's interactive map. The map is available in different formats which are best suited to different devices.
Smart Phone and Tablet users - Please use the web app version of the map by clicking here.
Computer users - Please use the flash version of the map by clicking here.
Flying to Leonora
Skippers Aviation is Western Australia's truly regional airline, offering regularly scheduled services to Leonora.
Things to see and do in and around Leonora and Gwalia
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