A Travellerspoint blog

Day 24 - Tuesday 29 May 2012

Kalgoorlie

Temperatures today ranged from 11 to 22 degrees - we are still in shorts. Today was to be a tourist day with visits planned to the Super Pit Lookout, the Mt Charlotte Lookout, the Miner's Hall of Fame and downtown Kalgoorlie. Ever since we arrived in Kalgoorlie we have been a bit confused about the relationship of Kalgoorlie and Boulder. Our caravan park, the Kalgoorlie caravan park is located closer to Boulder than Kalgoorlie, while the Boulder caravan park is located on the outskirts of Boulder, and they are only a few kms apart. It seems that Kalgoorlie and Boulder started as adjacent small towns, but Kalgoorlie grew so quickly in the early 1900s that it swamped Boulder. The City is now known as the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

We started the day with a visit to our local shops in Boulder for papers and some sandwiches and drinks to keep us going for the day. The main street of Boulder is undergoing restoration of their old buildings including the Court House, the Telegraph Office, the Albion Hotel and the the Boulder Town Hall. The Miner's Monument is located in the centre of Boulder to commemorate the 1,300 miners who died in the mines since the start of the gold rush in the 1890s.

Boulder Miner's Monument

Boulder Miner's Monument

Boulder main street

Boulder main street

Boulder's Albion Shamrock Hotel

Boulder's Albion Shamrock Hotel

Boulder Town Hall

Boulder Town Hall

Next stop was the Super Pit Lookout. The Super Pit is the result of Alan Bond's vision in 1989 to buy up all the small mining leases so that a large open cut mine could be established. He did not succeed in his ambition and it was left to others to establish the joint venture Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines.

The scale of operations is just enormous - the pit is 3.6 kms long, 1.6 kms wide and 550 metres deep. They have 4 face shovels on site at $10 million each and weighing 685 tonnes with a shovel that holds 60 tonnes, and 31 mine trucks at $4 million each and weighing in at 166 tonnes and able to carry 225 tonnes. Surface mining is due to cease in 2017, and the pit will be left to fill with ground water - a process that will take 50 years.

The Super Pit from the lookout

The Super Pit from the lookout

Mine truck dwarfed by the Face Shovel Loader

Mine truck dwarfed by the Face Shovel Loader

Ants near the bottom of the Super Pit

Ants near the bottom of the Super Pit

Mine truck at the big bend

Mine truck at the big bend

Water truck controlling the dust

Water truck controlling the dust

The ute is dwarfed by a mine truck

The ute is dwarfed by a mine truck

Two mine trucks on their way to the top of the Super Pit

Two mine trucks on their way to the top of the Super Pit

Kalgoorlie Mine face loader scoop

Kalgoorlie Mine face loader scoop

After leaving the Super Pit we moved on to the Mt Charlotte Reservoir Lookout. Before looking at the reservoir and the surrounding views of Kalgoorlie we had a break for lunch. The sandwiches that we bought in Boulder were excellent.

The reservoir marks the Kalgoorlie end of a 560 km fresh water pipeline from the Mundaring Weir near Perth. The pipeline was built between 1889 and 1903 with eight steam powered pump stations to bring fresh water to the arid gold fields. For those complaining about the cost of water in Hobart it costs $3.55 per kilolitre to bring fresh water to Kalgoorlie. The lookout provides good views of Kalgoorlie and adjacent mining operations.

Mine operations from Mt Charlotte Lookout

Mine operations from Mt Charlotte Lookout

WA Museum at Kalgoorlie-Boulder

WA Museum at Kalgoorlie-Boulder

Kalgoorlie from the Mt Charlotte Lookout

Kalgoorlie from the Mt Charlotte Lookout

The slopes of the lookout had a number of yellow flowering gums.

Yellow flowering gum at the Mt Charlotte Lookout

Yellow flowering gum at the Mt Charlotte Lookout

Close-up of yellow flowering gum

Close-up of yellow flowering gum

Back in the ute we continued on to the Miner's Hall of Fame, however it had closed until further notice in November 2011. We later found that the mining industry does not have enough money to fund the operation of the Hall of Fame. Perhaps someone should tell Wayne Swan!

Kalgoorlie Miner's Hall of Fame - Closed until further notice

Kalgoorlie Miner's Hall of Fame - Closed until further notice

Chinese Archway at the Kalgoorlie Miner's Hall of Fame

Chinese Archway at the Kalgoorlie Miner's Hall of Fame

We finished our tourist day with a wander around Hannan Street in Kalgoorlie. Di bought a pendant with 24 carat leaf gold embedded in a glass case with a round gold frame. David bought a Kalgoorlie stubby holder. We also picked up some DVDs for any long nights without TV - 4 series of the Tudors, Les Miserables in Concert - the 25th anniversary (Sandie please note) and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Some of the more impressive buildings are the hotels and the government buildings.

Hannan Street buildings in Kalgoorlie

Hannan Street buildings in Kalgoorlie

The Exchange Hotel, Kalgoorlie

The Exchange Hotel, Kalgoorlie

Kalgoorlie Post Office

Kalgoorlie Post Office

Saint Barbara - Patron Saint of Miners

Saint Barbara - Patron Saint of Miners

York Hotel, Kalgoorlie

York Hotel, Kalgoorlie

Water fountain disguised as a miner

Water fountain disguised as a miner

Kalgoorlie City Markets

Kalgoorlie City Markets

We finished the day with a one hour visit to the Museum (could have spent more time but our parking time had run out) which has a mine headframe or winding tower as a feature. Gold was discovered in 1893, and the poulation of Kalgoorlie grew to about 2,000 in 1898, but by 1903 had exploded to 30,000.

Entrance to the Museum

Entrance to the Museum

Sandalwood Collector's Humpy

Sandalwood Collector's Humpy

Tomorrow we will be on the move again as we head back to the coast with 4 nights booked at Esperance.

Posted by TwoAces 04:17

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Comments

Hi David and Di,
I love reading your blog, keep it coming.
While in Kalgoorlie, do the Brothel tour, it is eye opening.
Wayne.
Your Trailblazer twin.

by snowman3195

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