Coolgardie, once a booming gold mining town, is today a pleasant inland township retaining many aspects of its rich and colourful past. The small population is around 800. Coolgardie is on the Great Eastern Highway, 558 kms east of Perth. Gold was discovered at nearby Fly Flat in 1892 by Arthur Bayley and William Ford. It caused a goldrush with hopeful miners streaming here from all over the world. Within 10 years Coolgardie had a population of more than 16,000 and was the third largest town in Western Australia.
Once the centre of Australia's greatest gold rush, Coolgardie is Australia's best preserved gold mining town. Stately buildings, lining the wide streets, reflect Coolgardie's prosperous past. A signposted walk gives the visitor an insight into those heady days of life on the Goldfields at the turn of the 20th century. The courthous houses a fine museum wth some fascinating displays.
Bailey was offered a reward claim covering 20 acres of land at Fly Flat. Bayley’s reward claim was very profitable, and during the 70 years it was mined, the claim produced more than 500,000 ounces of gold.
Gold mining continues in Coolgardie today with the modern efficient open cut mining and recovery methods.
Grand stone and brick buildings are interspersed with simple corrugated iron and timber dwellings. The incredible wealth and importance of the gold rush are there to be seen well as the homes of those who were not so lucky.