Kalgoorlie Things to Do

  • Late afternoon at the Super Pit
    Late afternoon at the Super Pit
    by sirgaw
  • This is the actual size of the shovel!
    This is the actual size of the shovel!
    by Kathrin_E
  • Super Pit
    Super Pit
    by Kathrin_E

Best Rated Things to Do in Kalgoorlie

  • bijo69's Profile Photo

    Mining Hall of Fame

    by bijo69 Written Jul 6, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is the place to visit if you want to learn more about mining.
    You can tour an old underground goldmine and try to wash your own gold. I wouldn't have been too successful in this, soon lost my patience in the sun with all the flies around.
    There museum has a large collection of different minerals and a gallery to the most prominent prospectors.

    The Mining Hall of fame is open from 9am to 4.30pm daily and admission is 24 AU$ for the full tour.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • bijo69's Profile Photo

    Super Pit Lookout

    by bijo69 Written Jul 6, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To see how gold is mined these days, go to the Super Pit lookout. The Fimiston Mine is the largest open cut mine in Australia and it's still growing. When finished it will be 3,8km long, 1,35km wide and 500m deep and is suppossed to produce 300 tonnes of gold until its lifespan is thought to run out in 2018.
    It's really impressing watching those giant trucks appearing like toys.
    The lookout is open from 7am-9pm. Contact the tourist centre in Kalgoorlie for info about the blast times.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • bijo69's Profile Photo

    Museum of the Goldfields

    by bijo69 Written Jul 6, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The museum is the place to learn about the history of Kalgoorlie and to admire a lot of gold in their underground vault. Of course you also can marvel at artefacts from the days of the goldrush and learn that Kalgoorlie is also an important producer of Sandalwood!
    A huge headframe stands in front of the museum, you can go up there and enjoy excellent views over the town.
    The museum is open from 10am to 4.30pm and admission is by donation

    Ivanhoe headframe
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Hannan Street in Kalgoorlie

    by Kathrin_E Updated May 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The main street of Kalgoorlie, named after Paddy Hannan, the Irishman who discovered the Golden Mile, is framed by carefully restored heritage buildings from the gold rush times. The architecture can be described as a mix of Wild West and Victorian historism. The wide street once provided enough room for the camel caravans that were used for transport.

    Mt Charlotte gold mine and hotel on Hannan Street Hannan Street Exchange Hotel Local newspaper: The Kalgoorlie Miner
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo

    Superpit

    by robertgaz Updated Sep 8, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Super Pit is a part of the 'Golden Mile', reputed to be the richest square mile of gold bearing earth in the world.

    It is 320 metres deep, about 3km long and 1.4km wide which operates 24 hours a day.
    You can see the giant mining trucks with tyres taller than the average person.

    Super Pit Super Pit Super Pit Super Pit
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo

    Boulder Town Hall

    by robertgaz Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Boulder Town Hall is an historic hall with pressed tin ceilings and wrought iron balustrades.

    You can see the last surviving example of a working Phillip Goatcher stage curtain. This curtain depicts the scene of the Bay of Naples and has hung in the hall since 1908. I

    t has been restored and is lowered by its original pulley system every Wednesday 10:00am to 12:00pm and 13:00pm to 15:00pm.

    Stage curtain Wrought iron balustrades
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Bring your wide angled lens for the Superpit!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Dec 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well, there are no prizes for guessing why the Superpit is called the Superpit!

    The Fimiston Pit (aka The Superpit) has no 'Guiness Book of Records' claim to fame in that it is not the deepest or widest pit in the world, and neither is it the only one located smack bang in the suburbs of a town. However, at 3.5km long x 1.5km wide x 400m deep, there is no doubting that it is a colossal great hole in the ground, and well worth a look, especially if you've never had the opportunity to get up close and personal with an open pit mine before.

    The Superpit is actually quite a recent phenomenon, which only came into being in 1989 as a result of the consolidation of a number of earlier pits into one big hole by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM). To date the Superpit (including the earlier previous pits) has generated 50 million oz of gold - that's a staggering 1,550 tonnes of gold!

    The orebody in Kal is located quite close to surface (which is why they mine the ore in an open pit, rather than from underground), but because the orebody is quite complex and controlled by geological structures, it's quite a trick to mine the minimum of waste (barren) rock to expose the gold-bearing ore, whilst maintaining a stable pit that provides safe working conditions. Obviously the deeper the pit extends, the more waste rock they have to mine to expose new ore and maintain stable sidewalls and the higher the operating costs become.

    For those interested in the mining process, the pit has long since extended past the zone where the ore can be 'free dug' with earth moving equipment, and so regular blasting is required. If you look at the main photo, you can just see a tiny drill rig on the large flat bench, which is drilling blastholes in which the explosive will be placed. Once the blast has taken place, the broken rock is loaded with massive bulldozers onto equally massive trucks and driven up the access ramps. The waste rock (which contains no gold) is discarded onto waste rock dumps, and the gold-bearing ore is driven to the metalllurgical plant.

    At the plant, the rock is ground down into small fragments in a mill, and then mixed with water and a cocktail of chemicals, most notably cyanide. The cyanide chemically bonds with the gold and the 'pregnant' solution (containing the gold complexes) is then passed through an electrowinning circuit, where the gold metal is extracted from solution by electrolysis.

    So far, so good. But what's most mindboggling about the operation are the economics. The average gold grade of ore mined from the Superpit is about 2g/tonne. That probably doesn't mean much to most people, so let's put it into layman's terms. In other words, every tonne of ore mined contains less than a teaspoonful of gold, which has to pay for all the activities outlined above AND make some sort of profit. Moreover, the Superpit's stripping ratio (less exciting than it sounds, even in a town full of skimpies!) is about 5.5:1, which means that for every tonne of ore mined, they need to remove an extra 5.5 tonnes of waste rock. In practical terms, this means that 6.5 tonnes of rock need to be drilled, blasted, loaded and transported just to generate that half teaspoon of gold. Even at the all time high gold price at the time of writing (September 2011), that's what the Aussies would call, "A big ask"!

    There are some really excellent information boards displayed at the Superpit vantage point. Note that access to the viewpoint is usually not possible during blasting for safety reasons, but check at the tourist office in town just in case, as it's quite a sight to see.

    See the website below on details of guided tours of the Superpit.

    Kalgoorlie Superpit Information board at the Superpit

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Super Pit Lookout

    by Kathrin_E Written May 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The open-cut mine in the area that once was the Golden Mile is the largest man-dug hole on Earth. The view from the lookout is impressive.
    Observe the drills, shovels and trucks at work. It's hard to imagine how huge the machines which move down there like toys actually are.

    Blasting occurs 3-4 times a week, enquire times at the Super Pit Shop (Baoulder, 2 Burt Street).

    The lookout is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., no entrance fee.

    Super Pit Super Pit Colours and structures Shovel, truck and bulldozer at work This is the actual size of the shovel!

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    REFUGE CHAMBER - TOURIST MINE # 2

    by balhannah Written Oct 29, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hannan's North Tourist Mine did have some different, interesting displays to other mining Museums.

    The one I am referring to now, is the Refuge Chamber. I had never seen one of these before, so I was quite interested! The idea of the mine rescue chamber, is that its an emergency shelter, explosion proofed, installed in underground environments near where miners are working.

    The one here was big enough to hold 12 people. I am not sure how long they can stay in the Chamber for, it could be 4 days or longer that they have air, food and water. Communication equipment is also available.

    I went inside and had a look, sat on the seat - quite comfortable and watched a little of the DVD.
    In my opinion, it would be good if all mines could have these, then there may not be as many deaths. Whether this will happen or not, who knows!

    Refuge chambers have only been around for approx. 15 years, so new ideas on how to improve them is always in the pipeline.

    Refuge chamber Refuge chamber Inside Refuge chamber
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Mount Charlotte Lookout

    by Kathrin_E Written May 2, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mount Charlotte is the lookout closest to the town and provides a great overview of the landscape with the two towns, old gold mines, superpit and the surrounding bushland.

    The hilltop is used as a water reservoir that stores a good more precious than gold. Water is delivered through a pipeline from the Perth hills.

    View of Kalgoorlie Exploited gold mine Mt Charlotte Lookout View of the Super Pit
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Goldfields History: Miners' Hall of Fame

    by Kathrin_E Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The open-air museum shows original heritage buildings from the gold rush era. Here you'll understand that the life of a gold digger was not romantic at all...

    The modern building known as the actual Miners' hall of Fame includes a museum which shows prospecting methods in the past and present, minerals and ores, machinery and interactive presentations.

    Guided tours take you into 35 m deep into an underground mine (see separate tip).

    If the gold fever bug bites you, you can try your luck at gold panning.

    Open air museum Gold diggers' tents Paddy Hannan telling his tale Inside the historic bank Steam engine
    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kathrin_E's Profile Photo

    Burt Street in Boulder

    by Kathrin_E Updated Jun 19, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The main street in Boulder is kind of a smaller edition of Kalgoorlie's Hannan Street. Heritage buildings tell the tale of the gold rush era. Today it's a bit run down, though. Not exactly pleasant in the evening.

    Good cappuccino and the hugest Hamburgers I've ever seen to be obtained at Mama Maria's cafe (if I remember the name of the place correctly).

    Burt Street Hotel in Burt Street Shopping in Burt Street Burt Street: detail
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • scrooge1947's Profile Photo

    Boulder

    by scrooge1947 Updated May 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The town of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia joins onto the town of Boulder, the area is referred to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, although each had its own identity, the first photos are of Boulder.
    The towns were amalganated in 1989 to become the City Kalgoorlie -Boulder.
    This photo is of the town hall built in 1908, originally was a theatre.

    Town Hall

    Was this review helpful?

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo

    Induct yourself into the Mining Hall of Fame!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 1, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Welcome to the hugely enjoyable Mining Hall of Fame, which showcases not only the technical side of mining, but also the larger-than-life cast of visionaries, entrepreneurs, robber barons and rogues that it has spawned.

    One of the things that I most like about Kalgoorlie (and, for that matter, my adopted home town, Johannesburg) is that they are towns that have always remained true to their mining roots. The Mining Hall of fame is an excellent example of Kal's willingness to embrace its colourful (and often less than cultured) heritage, and is a 'must see' for anyone wanting to understand the history of Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields.

    The Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame (to give it its full and rather cumbersome title) provides a nice mix of historical context and interactive displays that allow the visitor to gain a basic understanding of mining and marvel at the immense physical challenges that needed to be overcome to develop mines and settlements in this hostile environment. As with most mining museums, it is possible to go underground and to watch a gold pour, although for me, the highlight was the series of exhibits on the giant personalities of yesteryear who have dominated the Australian mining industry (but then that's my community, so I'm biased). It also boasts a "world class minerals gallery", although I can never work out why people get so excited about these: I'm a geologist by profession and rows of mineral specimens bore me rigid (but maybe that's why I'm a lapsed geologist ...)

    A collection of old mining equipment and buildings has been assembled outside the museum building and it's also possible to try your hand at gold panning should you feel the urge (although don't expect the proceeds to cover the cost of your trip!)

    The museum is perched up on a hill just outside town and the Observation Deck lends an unusual bird's eye view out over Kal - a perspective that you only otherwise get from a plane in this pancake-flat landscape. There's also an indigenous Eremophila (emu bush) garden as well as a Chinese garden whose relevance in this setting I struggle to fathom, although it is a pleasant place to bring a picnic. If you're not organised enough to bring your own, then there's is also a cafe, which proudly boasts of "an alfresco dining area with sweeping views to our new Giant 793C Truck exhibit!". Well, how could you possibly resist the prospect of such a captivating view??? ... I think you've got to be a seriously hardcore miner to consider that attribute to be a drawcard :)

    Old cocoa pans at Kalgoorlie

    Was this review helpful?

  • balhannah's Profile Photo

    THE GOLDEN PIPELINE

    by balhannah Updated Oct 26, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Golden Pipeline - Water is gold when your located in the middle of the desert like Kalgoorlie-Boulder was and had no permanent fresh water supply.

    A clever man, by the name of Charles Yelverton O‟Connor saw the realisation of the Goldfields Pipeline. He set about making it a reality, even though most people thought his scheme was madness. O'Conner believed water could be pumped so far and lifted so high through a steel pipeline that it would reach the goldfields. This amazing engineering feat was completed in 1903 and worked as he imagined.

    When we were at Mt. Charlotte lookout, we read the interpretive signs and found out this famous pipeline culminates in the Mt Charlotte Reservoir where the lookout is. This site is the final destination for the water that is piped 563kms from Mundaring Weir in Perth, to the Goldfields.

    If you interested in seeing and learning more about the Golden Pipeline, then follow the self-drive trail and discover the importance of water and how its availability has shaped settlement and development in Western Australia.
    This trail will take in 25 stops and also include other sites significant to the story of water in Western Australia, including the magnificent dams built to catch runoff from granite outcrops

    Golden Pipeline memorial
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Kalgoorlie

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

42 travelers online now

Comments

Kalgoorlie Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Kalgoorlie things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Kalgoorlie sightseeing.

View all Kalgoorlie hotels