Malcolm railhead, Australian Geographic

Population 400

Leonora is the busy railhead for the north-eastern goldfields and the surrounding pastoral region. Mount Leonora was discovered in 1869 by John Forrest. Gold was later found in the area and, in 1896, the first claims were pegged. By 1908 Leonora boasted seven hotels and was the largest centre on the north-eastern goldfields. Many of the original buildings were constructed of corrugated iron and hessian, as these were versatile materials and light to transport. You can get a glimpse of these structures at nearby Gwalia, a town once linked to Leonora by tram.

Visitor Information

Rural Transaction Centre, cnr Tower and Trump sts; (08) 9037 7016


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In Town

Historic buildings: buildings from the turn of the century include the police station, courthouse, fire station and Masonic Lodge; details at visitor centre.

Tank Hill: excellent view over town; Queen Victoria St.

Miners Cottages: miners camps, auctioned and restored by locals; around town.


Gwalia Gwalia is a mining ghost town that has been restored to show visitors what life was like in the pioneering gold-rush days. The original mine manager's office now houses the Gwalia Historical Museum with displays of memorabilia that include the largest steam winding engine in the world and a headframe designed by Herbert Hoover, the first mine manager of the Sons of Gwalia mine and eventually the 31st President of the United States. Self-guided heritage walk available. 4km S.

Mt Leonora: sweeping views of the surrounding plains and mining operations; 4km S.

Malcolm Dam: picnic spot at the dam, which was built in 1902 to provide water for the railway; 15km E.

Kookynie: tiny township with restored shopfronts, and historic memorabilia on display at the Grand Hotel. The nearby Niagara Dam was built in 1897 with cement carried by camel from Coolgardie; 92km SE.

Menzies: small goldmining town with an interesting historic cemetery. View 'stick figure' sculptures, for which locals posed, about 55km west of town on bed of Lake Ballard; 110km S.

Golden Quest Discovery Trail: self-guided drive trail of 965km takes in many of the towns of the northern goldfields; maps, book and CD available at visitor centre, or visit www.goldenquesttrail.com

Cafes & restaurants around town

White House Hotel

The heritage-listed White House Hotel is a prime example of the architecture from the gold-rush days, and so well preserved that you can imagine miners sharing tall tales from the bar. Although these days you will find... Find out more

Campsites around town

Malcolm Dam camping area 11 km

Malcolm 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 57 km

Niagara 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

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Hoover House B&B

Live like a mining tycoon and stay at Hoover House, the residence of the former mine manager of the Sons of Gwalia Mine. There are three uniquely decorated rooms, furnished in the era of the historic building, and all... Find out more

What's on around town

Leonora Golden Gift and Festival: May/June.

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