Surrounded by old mine workings and modern mines, Laverton is on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert. In 1900 Laverton was a booming district of gold strikes and mines, yet gold price fluctuations in the late 1950s made it almost a ghost town. In 1969 nickel was discovered at Mount Windarra, which sparked a nickel boom. Early in 1995 a cyclone blew through Laverton, leaving it flooded and isolated for three months. Mines closed down and supplies were brought in by air. During this time, locals held a 'wheelie bin' race from the pub to the sports club, which is now an annual event. Today the town has two major gold mines and one of the world's largest nickel-mining operations. Wildflowers are brilliant in season.
Great Beyond Explorers Hall of Fame, Augusta St; (08) 9031 1361
Historic buildings Restored buildings include the courthouse, the Old Police Station and Gaol, and the Mt Crawford Homestead. The original Police Sergeant's House is now the local museum with displays of local memorabilia. Contact visitor centre for details.
Great Beyond Explorers Hall of Fame: uses cutting-edge technology to bring to life the characters and stories of the early explorers of the region. It also houses the visitor centre; Augusta St.
Cross-Cultural Centre: houses the Laverton Outback Gallery, a collection of art and artefacts made and sold by the local Wongi people; Augusta St.
Giles Breakaway: scenic area with interesting rock formation; 25km E.
Lake Carey: swimming and picnic spot exhibiting starkly contrasting scenery; 26km W.
Windarra Heritage Trail: walk includes rehabilitated mine site and interpretive plaques; Windarra Minesite Rd; 28km NW.
Empress Springs: discovered in 1896 by explorer David Carnegie and named after Queen Victoria. The spring is in limestone at the end of a tunnel that runs from the base of a 7m deep cave. A chain ladder allows access to the cave. Enclosed shoes and torch required; 305km NE.
Warburton: the Tjulyuru Arts and Culture Regional Gallery showcases the art and culture of the Ngaanyatjarraku people; 565km NE.
Golden Quest Discovery Trail: Laverton forms part of the 965km self-guided drive trail of the goldfields; book, map and CD available.
Outback Highway: travel the 1200km to Uluru from Laverton via the Great Central Rd. All roads are unsealed but regularly maintained.
Travellers note: Permits are required to travel through Aboriginal reserves and communities – they can be obtained from the Dept of Indigenous Affairs in Perth, and the Central Lands Council in Alice Springs. Water is scarce. Fuel, supplies and accommodation are available at the Tjukayirla, Warburton and Warakurna roadhouses. Check road conditions before departure at the Laverton Police Station or Laverton Shire Offices; road can be closed due to heavy rain.
Cafes & restaurants around town
Campsites around town
Malcolm Dam camping area 98 kmMalcolm Dam camping area is a little oasis in the outback, with sites set in native bushland around the 1902 dam. Built to provide water for the outback trains, the dam is now a haven for birdlife and anglers. To get... Find out more
Niagara Dam camping area 126 kmNiagara Dam camping area is 60 km north-east of Menzies via the Goldfields Hwy and Kookynie Rd. An oasis in the outback, it embraces a large, shady area among the trees on the edge of the dam. Visitors can explore the... Find out more
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Rowles Lagoon camping area 247 kmRowles 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
Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town
What's on around town
Race Day: June.
Laverton Day and Wheelie Bin Race: Nov.