Gold was discovered in Southern Cross in 1888 by Tom Risely and Mick Toomey. They named the locality after the stars that had been their guide. Today all the streets and the salt lake that passes through the town are named after stars or constellations.
Southern Cross is the centre for the Yilgarn Shire. Yilgarn is the Aboriginal word for white stone or quartz. The area includes Bullfinch, Marvel Loch, Moorine Rock, Bodollin and Koolyanobbing, an area of 30,720 square miles
Wimmera Hill Lookout overlooks Southern Cross, the surrounding farmland and goldmines. Just east of town, the old cemetery was developed as a Pioneer Memorial. Yilgarn History Museum gives a fascinating insight into the early days of the area. The building was the State's first Registrar's Office and Courtroom. It was in this building that Arthur Bayley registered his claim for the rich fields at Coolgardie. Paddy Hannan took out his Miner Right here.
Baladje Rock, Frog Rock, Karalee Dam and Hunt’s Soak are interesting to visit and ideal picnic spots. The countryside is spectacularly beautiful in spring with wildflowers.
The early settlers relied on horse and camel teams to transport goods. Chaff to feed them was expensive and so crops were grown on the 160 acre Miners Homestead blocks. Later, in the 1920s a number of blocks were opened up as a Soldier Settlement.
Today the Yilgarn is a prosperous well established farming area comprising grain, wool, sheep, cattle and pigs with some of the largest farms in the state. As well as gold with its colourful history, gypsum, salt and iron are mined.
The history that surrounds the district compliments the beauty and adventure of the Shire of Yilgarn.
For further information call into
the Shire of Yilgarn
or the Southern Cross Museum