My ten favourite sights on a walking tour in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Walking is one of the best ways to get to know a city. The leisurely pace allows you to absorb the sights better but to smell the air, greet others, stop and eat or drink and be a part of the town.
The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Audio tour is available for a small fee from the Visitor Centre in Hannon Street. A booklet comes with an audio headset that can be undertaken at your own pace. Slow the walk down or speed it up, whatever you wish to do.
Starting in Kalgoorlie, the walk covers 36 points of interest, and in Boulder there are 19 points of interest. Here are my top ten in Kalgoorlie. This stretch of Kalgoorlie was the richest square mile of gold in the world.
1. The Kalgoorlie Town Hall
The visitor centre is located in the town hall and a good spot to start the tour. Separate tours of the Town Hall and Town Hall Theatre are available on select days and well worth the small admission fee charged. Set aside an hour to do the tour. Read more about the hall here.
2. Paddy Hannan Water Fountain
This is a replica of the original statue, which is located inside the Town Hall. In 1928 a schoolboy won the competition to design a sculpture of the man who first discovered gold in this area. The waterbag that Paddy holds is a drinking fountain. Perfect to quench your thirst whilst walking.
3. St Barbara’s Square
St Barbara is the patron saint of miners. Around the base of the statue it tells the story of how miners protected her when she didn’t want to marry a man her father had chosen. However, she was found and beheaded by her own father. On his way home lightning struck her father dead. She is also the patron saint of those who work with explosives as the explosive sounds are similar to lightning.
4. The Exchange Hotel
This hotel is famous for its Skimpy of the Week competitions. The Wild West bar hosts live music, cold beer and a great vibe.
5. The Palace Hotel
This hotel was where the elite would drink and dine on the finest food. Herbert Hoover, 31st president of the United States, dined here and gifted a magnificent mirror that is still in the foyer.
6. The York Hotel
This building is almost all original. It has opulent decorations and a luxurious environment.
7. Museum of the Gold Fields
An amazing museum that is a great way to spend 2-3 hours exploring the gold vault, stories of the early 1900s, walk through reconstructed buildings. The 31 metre (100 feet) tall headframe is visible from all over the city. Click here to read more about the museum.
8. St Mary’s Cathedral
A Catholic church build from red Coolgardie bricks. The building features stained glass windows and carved rafters.
9. Lord Forrest Olympic Pool
The art deco entrance and pool were built in 1938. The pool is no longer there and it has been made into a park that resembles the pool area. A nice conglomeration of old and new.
10. Questa Casa
The oldest original working brothel in Kalgoorlie. Still operating today, you can take a daytime tour and learn what happens behind the starting stalls. Click here to read more about Questa Casa.
The walk covers many of the old buildings, clubs, gardens and notable sites. It is a great introduction to a fascinating city.