15 things to do in Boulder (Australia)

Now absorbed by Kalgoorlie, the gold mining settlement of Boulder was an independent town until 1989. The famous City Hall and historic buildings on Burt Street illustrate Boulder’s historic independence and the money created by gold.

Boulder was born during the Gold Rush of the 1890s, and today gold mining is still going on in the giant super pit across the Gold Mine Highway.

There’s a lookout where you can set your sights on this 600m-deep clearing, while in the surrounding goldfields you can visit a display mine, a mining museum, ghost towns, remote outback pubs and what’s now covered in eucalyptus trees Forest reclamation local area.

1. Hannan North Tourism Mine

Hannanbei Tourism Mine

Located 5 minutes off the Goldfields Highway, this attraction is a veritable gold mine, providing information on Kalgoorlie-Boulder mining past and present.

The lease application for Hannans North was made in 1893, just five months after the first gold discovery in the area.

The mine was mined through a deepening shaft between 1934 and 1991, when the mine was turned into a tourist mine.

Now you can tour historic buildings and evaluate some important Caterpillar hardware, such as the 994K large wheel loader and 793C haul truck.

Smaller prospectors can try their hand at panning for gold, and there is a peaceful Chinese memorial garden on site for a moment of contemplation.

2. Super pit

super pit

Boulder is next door to an incredibly large open-pit gold mine that is 600 meters deep, 3.5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide.

The Fimiston open pit or super pit mine is relatively new and did not begin to take shape until 1989 with the creation of the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mine (KCGM). Before that, various independently operating mines dating back to 1893. KCGM schedules free tours at 09:00, 10:00 and 11:00 on Boulder Market Day (third Sunday of the month). Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and allow you to ride the bus into the mine.

You will see Fimiston Mill and Workshop Yard through the security gate.

The best part is the inner lookout inside the pit for an awe-inspiring view of the massive action.

3. KCGM Super Pit Lookout

KCGM Super Pit Lookout

Outram Street in Boulder is a public lookout outside the Super Pit.

This vantage point has shifted over the years as the mine has grown and from the fenced area equipped with information panels you will clearly see this huge hole in the ground.

Eventually, your eyes will adjust, and you’ll see the small blobs slowly moving along the mine terraces are identical to the giant vehicles on display at the Hannanbei Tourism Mine.

Before you come, check online for details on blasting times, which take place three to four times a week, when you can see and feel the excavation in progress.

4. Gold Mine Museum

Gold Mine Museum

In the shadow of the massive Ivanhoe Head Frame, the museum on Hannan Street offers panoramic views of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Great Western Woods from a glass elevator.

The Gold Mine Museum also houses the bulk of Western Australia’s gold collection, with a variety of sparkling gold bars, nuggets, jewellery and ingots displayed in the underground vault.

Equally important are architecture and interiors reminiscent of the Gold Rush, such as entrepreneur Claude de Bernales’ jarrah office and boardroom, Woodline offices, Hainault Shed, The Bank of Western Australia and a well-preserved miners’ hut.

Throughout the process, there are numerous documents, photos, tools and mayflies dating back 130 years.

5. Burt Street

Burt Street

This east-west street runs through downtown Boulder, from the Goldfields Highway to Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport.

Burt Street’s eastern block is steeped in history, and the beautiful heritage-listed façades, hallways and railings have been collectively transformed in recent years.

In addition to Boulder City Hall (more on that next), look for the Federal Filigree-style Albion Hotel, built in 1898. Not only is it the oldest part of town, it’s also the busiest, with rows of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops on either side.

Beyond the east end is the heritage-listed 1903 Boulder Railway Station building, while nearby, the art deco former Boulder Power Station (1939) is now home to the Eastern Gold Mining Historical Society.

6. Boulder City Hall

Boulder City Hall

Boulder’s greatest Gold Rush surviving monument is the beautiful City Hall, which dates back to 1908 and was once a mainstay of community life.

On Tuesdays and the third Sunday of the month (Boulder Market Day) at 10:30, you can enter to see the magnificent theatre in the Great Hall, graced by the pressed tin ceilings and filigree wrought iron balustrades in the galleries.

From Dame Nellie Melba to AC/DC, real performers have mixed the space.

The theatre’s most famous original details are the curtains created by the famous Victorian scene painter Philip Goatcher (1851-1931).

Depicting the Bay of Naples, this is believed to be Goatcher’s last theater curtain on the scene.

City Hall also hosts museum exhibitions documenting the feats of war by Boulder residents from the Boer War to the present.

7. Golden Trail Discovery Trail

Golden Trail Discovery Trail

Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Visitor Information Centre (more below) is located at Kalgoorlie Town Hall, if you want to get to know Boulder better be sure to pick up the Golden Footsteps flyer.

This is an interactive trail guide that winds through town and was created in the early 2000s.

Along the way there are 72 granite plaques commemorating important events, places and people.

8. Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre

Royal Flying Doctor Service

Kalgoorlie Boulder Airport at the end of Burt Street is home to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, one of the largest aviation medical organisations in the world.

The service flies more than 73,500 kilometers a day, making over 800 patient contacts in some of the most remote locations in the world.

You can see how the service operates in Western Australia at their visitor centre, loading interactive multimedia displays and screening footage at the Roger Waller Theatre.

Guided tours are available Monday-Friday at 10:15 and 14:00 (May-October), and you can support the organization by purchasing souvenirs at the gift shop.

9. Wide Arrow

Broad Arrow Tavern

The first gold discovery in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder area was actually made about 40 kilometers north of the city, which is now a veritable ghost town.

At the turn of the 20th century, 15,000 people lived in Broad Arrow, and the town even had its own stock exchange.

By the 1920s, the flow of gold had dried up and everyone moved on except for a single venue, the Broad Arrow Tavern.

Built in 1896, it’s an authentic outback pub serving cold beers and serving its specialty Broady Burgers.

Almost every inch of wall space is filled with handwritten notes from people passing by.

10. Mount Charlotte Reservoir and Lookout

Mount Charlotte Reservoir and Lookout

Drive a minute or two down the Goldfields Highway and you’ll reach the prime location, where three prospectors, including Paddy Hannan, stumbled across gold in 1893 after one of their horses stepped on a shoe.

A decade later, Mount Charlotte became Kagloorlie’s main water supply, supplemented by the Mundaring pipeline 560km outside Perth.

The reservoir was lined with reinforced concrete and embedded in the mountain, and is used today as a storage tank.

Information panels explain the history of the location, and fragments of the mining landscape around Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the city are clearly visible.

11. Kalgoorlie Town Hall

Kalgoorlie Town Hall

Kalgoorlie Town Hall, completed in 1908, also reflects the wealth created by gold mining in the early 20th century, exuding Edwardian splendor.

You can take a deep dive Monday and Wednesday at 10:30, admiring the palatial interiors with chandeliers, stamped metal ceilings, theatre and a grand central staircase.

Along the way, you’ll see tons of art, photos, and memorabilia related to the city and tell a story.

Kalgoorlie Town Hall also houses the Visitor Information Centre for Kalgoorlie-Boulder and East Gold Mine.

12. Casa Cuesta

Casa Questa

It’s only natural that a gold-mining town will have a darker side, and the last surviving remnants of the Kalgoorlie red light district are now real historical artifacts.

At 133 Hay Street, Questa Casa is a commercial brothel that dates back to the 1890s.

During the day, take a 75-minute tour to experience the wild west days of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the hard lives of sex workers and miners.

You’ll see the work area of ​​the building, and the “starter booth” where the staff in front of you solicit clients.

13. Kalkula Jungle Park

Karkula Jungle Park

Before the Gold Rush, what is now Kalgoorlie-Boulder was surrounded by hundreds of kilometers of eucalyptus forest.

This is cut down in just a few decades to fuel wood-fired mining equipment.

Nature is returning, such as this 200-hectare park on the northern outskirts of Hannam.

Karlkurla Jungle Park consists of naturally regenerated jungle and thousands of community-grown trees, shrubs and small plants and was established in 2000. You can venture into the jungle along a four-kilometer trail, stopping to scan the terrain of the Gatunga Lookout.

The park is inhabited by western grey kangaroos, which appear at dawn or dusk, as well as some reptiles such as short-tailed lizards, dragon lizards and seaweed snakes.

Plant guides for this space can be found at the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Visitor Information Centre.

14. Golden Quest Discovery Trail

Lake Ballard, Golden Quest Discovery Trail

If you have a 4WD vehicle, the Boulder can be the start of your adventure of a lifetime into the outback in search of 130 years of gold mining history.

The Golden Quest Discovery Trail begins in Coolgardie in the south and spurs at Kalgoorlie-Boulder and winds its way through 25 Gold Rush-related sites over 965 kilometres of Western Australia.

There are some amazing things to see, such as dusty ghost towns, the expansive waters of the Niagara Dam, stunning natural landscapes, remote bars and museums full of mining history.

Lake Ballard is an unforgettable installation featuring 51 figures sculpted by renowned artist Antony Gormley.

15. Santa Barbara Day

The mining culture of Kalgoorlie-Boulder takes center stage at this week-long festival, usually in early December.

There aren’t many festivals in the world where a giant CAT 793 haul truck rolls around the city streets.

This and other massive mining rigs make their way down Kalgoorlie’s Hannan Street for a Sunday parade, events and giveaways attended by thousands, lots of booths and family fun.

The previous Thursday was reserved for the Miners Memorial on Santa Barbara Square, a service honoring the men and women who lost their lives in the mining industry.

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