Historic building, Nick Rains / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 801

This town was the first settlement in the eastern goldfields. After alluvial gold was found in 1892, Coolgardie grew in ten years to a town of 15 000 people, 23 hotels, six banks and two stock exchanges. The main street, lined with some magnificent buildings, was made wide enough for camel trains to turn around in. As in many outback towns, the heat and the isolation led to innovation, in this case that of the Coolgardie safe, which used water and a breeze to keep food cool before the days of electricity.

Visitor Information

Goldfields Exhibition Building, Bayley St; (08) 9026 6090

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In Town

Historic buildings There are 23 buildings in the town centre that have been listed on the National Estate register, many of them on the main street, Bayley St. Over 100 markers are positioned at buildings and historic sites across the town, using stories and photographs to recapture the gold-rush days. The index to markers is in Bayley St next to the visitor centre.

Goldfields Exhibition MuseumLocal photographs and displays inside the old Warden's Court including a display on the famous Varischetti mine rescue. In 1907 Modesto Varischetti was trapped underground in a flooded mine for 9 days. Varischetti survived in an air pocket until divers eventually found him. The dramatic rescue captured world attention. Bayley St.

Ben Prior's Open-Air Museum: unusual collection of machinery and memorabilia; Cnr Bayley and Hunt sts.

Warden Finnerty's House: striking 1895 example of early Australian architecture and furnishings; open 11am–4pm Mon–Sun except Wed; McKenzie St.

C. Y. O'Connor Dedication: fountain and water course in memory of O'Connor, who masterminded the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme; McKenzie St.

Gaol tree: used for prisoners in early gold-rush days, before a gaol was built; Hunt St.

Lindsay's Pit Lookout: over open-cut goldmine; Ford St.


Coolgardie Cemetery The town cemetery gives you an inkling of the harshness of the early gold-rush years. The register of burials records that of the first 32 burials, the names of 15 were unknown, and many entries for 'male child' and 'female child' note 'fever' as the cause of death. One of the most significant graves is that of Ernest Giles, an Englishman whose name is associated with the exploration of inland Australia. 1 km W.

Coolgardie Camel Farm: offers rides on the 'ships of the desert'; (08) 9026 6159; 4 km W.

Gnarlbine Rock: originally an Aboriginal well, then one of the few water sources for the early prospectors; 30 km SW.

Kunanalling Hotel: once a town of over 800 people, the ruins of the hotel are all that remain; 32 km N.

Victoria Rock: camping, and spectacular views from the summit; 55 km SW.

Burra Rock: popular camping and picnic area (55 km S). Cave Hill, a similar destination, lies a further 40 km S (4WD only).

Rowles Lagoon Conservation Park: picnicking and camping spots available although recently there has been no water; 65 km N.

Wallaroo Rocks: 3 dams with scenic views and good bushwalking; 90 km W.

Golden Quest Discovery Trail: Coolgardie forms part of this 965 km self-guided drive trail of the goldfields; book, map and CD available at visitor centre.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Bushwalking in Karlkurla Bushland Park 37 km

On the outskirts of Kalgoorlie, in Riverina Way, is the Karlkurla Bushland Park, with 4 kilometres of walking tracks, masses of wildflowers, and native bananas. It is a great example of natural regrowth, demonstrating... Find out more

Campsites around town

Victoria Rock camping area 44 km

Victoria Rock camping area is on Victoria Rock Rd, 46 km south of Coolgardie via Gnarlbine Rock Rd, at the western end of town. Nestled beside the rock, visitors will find sites with basic facilities (bring drinking... Find out more

Burra Rock camping area 49 km

Burra Rock camping area is along Burra Rock Rd, 58 km south of Coolgardie via Hunt Rd. It provides campers with basic facilities (bring firewood and water) in a natural bush environment.... Find out more

Credo Homestead camping area 63 km

Credo Homestead camping area is located 70 km north of Coolgardie on Coolgardie North Rd, opposite Rowles Lagoon. Visitors who set up camp near the old homestead will be able to make use of the facilities there as well... Find out more

Rowles Lagoon camping area 69 km

Rowles Lagoon camping area is 6 km north-east of Coolgardie North Rd, 68 km north of Coolgardie. It has shady sites and a good range of facilities on the edge of the lagoon for campers who enjoy aquatic activities by day... Find out more

Cave Hill camping area 79 km

Cave Hill camping area is 50 km south-west of Widgiemooltha and 39 km south of Burra Rock via 4WD tracks. There are 2 camping areas on the western side of the granite outcrop, and another on the eastern side. Make the... Find out more

Boondi Rock camping area 80 km

Boondi Rock camping area is just off the Great Eastern Hwy, approximately 80 km west of Coolgardie. It provides campers with a few basic facilities (bring firewood and drinking water) near a granite rock outcrop in the... Find out more

Jaurdi Station Homestead camping area 97 km

Jaurdi Station Homestead camping area is 149 km north-east of Southern Cross via the Great Eastern Hwy, Mt Walton (Heath) and Ryans Find rds. Visitors have the use of a good range of facilities at the old homestead, a... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Goldminer Tourist Caravan Park 33 km

This park is conveniently located on the Coolgardie Road, about 4 km west of the city centre. It has good facilities and a range of accommodation.... Find out more

Prospector Holiday Park 35 km

Easily accessible from the Great Eastern Highway this is a spacious park with good amenities for touring caravanners. It is a good base from which to explore the historic region. There is little grass in Kalgoorlie and... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Kalgoorlie 35 km

Located off the main road, close to the airport and about 2 km from the centre of Boulder, this is a good base from which to explore the surrounding goldmining districts. Bookings are required in the winter months.... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Coolgardie Motel

The centrally located Coolgardie Motel is a popular spot for travellers, and with single, double, triple and family units available, the facilities cater well to all requirements. The rooms are comfortable and include... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Coolgardie park area

At Coolgardie

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

Yerdani Well rest area 55 km

129km E of Southern Cross (L) or 56km W of Coolgardie (R)

Secluded area well off the highway in the scrub.

Wattle Dam rest area 56 km

60km S of Coolgardie (R) or 106km N of Norseman (L)

In scrub just off the highway behind the parking bay.

Boondi rest area 75 km

108km E of Southern Cross (L) or 77km W of Coolgardie (R)

Just off the highway in the scrub.

Boondi Rock camping area 79 km

T/O 105km E of Southern Cross (L) or 80km W of Coolgardie (R)

Secluded in scrub 3km (unsealed) north of the highway in Goldfields Woodlands National Park.

Redross rest area 95 km

101km S of Coolgardie (R) or 65km N of Norseman (L)

In scrub behind the truck bay. 

What's on around town

Coolgardie Day: Sept.

Metal Detecting Championships: odd-numbered years, Sept/Oct.

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