Unique outback experience
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder covers an area of some 95,228 square kilometres, thus laying claim to being the biggest outback City in the world! Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s appeal to visitors is its charming mix of heritage with the exciting wonders of modern mining.
It retains the feel of a frontier town, with a rich and fascinating heritage that is reflected on every corner, from majestic turn of the century buildings to the huge expanse of the Golden Mile Super Pit, and streets wide enough to turn a camel train. Its pioneering spirit is epitomised in the two-up school, pubs, brothels and unique annual events, such as the Racing Round and St Barbara’s Festival.
The $21 million dollar Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame opened in October 2001. This interactive, educational facility will showcase Australia’s mining industry – its past, present and future. The attraction will be a national icon and a gateway to Western Australia, linking with the Stockmans Hall of Fame in Longreach, Queensland, via the Outback Highway.
Golden Mile Super Pit
This is the biggest gold mine in Australia and the largest open cut gold mine in the Southern Hemisphere. Located on Kalgoorlie’s famous ‘Golden Mile’ this enormous pit is currently three kilometres in length, one and a half kilometres wide and 260 metres deep.The processing plant operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year producing in excess of 800 thousand tonnes of gold per annum! Since its discovery in 1893, the ‘Golden Mile’ has produced more than 45 million ounces or 1,500 tonnes of gold!
Rich nickel deposits were first discovered around Kambalda in the WA Goldfields in 1966 following years of geological, geophysical and geochemical work. The find surpassed the dreams of even the most optimistic geologists and the nickel boom that followed transformed the Goldfields and Western Australia’s economy.
The Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter was commissioned in 1972 and today is the world’s largest nickel producer. More than 107,000 tonnes of nickel concentrate are produced per annum, establishing nickel as a major industry for the region.
The City’s own railway
At the turn of the 19th century, the Loopline was the busiest railway in Western Australia. Opened in 1897, with a single track from Hannan Street in Kalgoorlie to Kamballie, the Loopline operated to carry passengers and freight.
Later the line ran in a big loop, that gave it its name, from Kalgoorlie around the southern end of the Golden Mile and back. At its busiest, there were 12 stations in the 11 miles of track that carried 9,000 passengers a week and up to 61 trains a day!
Today the Loopline operates as a tourist railway ferrying passengers to the Super Pit Lookout and the old Chaffers Power Station and was recently upgraded at a cost of half a million dollars. The Loopline has recently acquired the oldest operating Australian built steam locomotive the ‘Leschenault Lady’. The Loopline Heritage Restoration Project is looking to further preserve the historic railway through re-establishing the rail link between Hannan Street and the Boulder Railway Station.
This link is expected to be completed by September 2004.