A Kalgoorlie Family Holiday – Things to Do

Kalgoorlie is not a place often associated with a family holiday. But if you are looking for something different, a destination with some great 1880’s gold rush history, then a trip to Kalgoorlie might be something to consider.

There are heaps of things to do and great tourist attractions in Kalgoorlie. Our favourites were the HeARTWalk,and Hannans North Tourist Mine, but there is so much more on offer.

Where is Kalgoorlie

Kalgoorlie is a mining town in Western Australia approximately 600 kilometres from Perth. It is full of history from the 1880’s Gold Rush and has some beautiful heritage buildings on its main street.

Kalgoorlie Weather

Kalgoorlie, is quite dry and windy and experiences hot summers and cold winters. In summer, the temperature can quickly soar above 30 degrees celsius, averaging about 31 degrees celsius. We visited in January, and it got HOT in the mornings, very fast. Make sure to have some water on hand, to park your car under a tree or some shade if you can. Thankfully, most places are air-conditioned and a welcome respite from the heat. Evening temperatures in summer average about 18 degrees celsius.

In winter, Kalgoorlie temperatures during the day are not as extreme, reaching on average around 17 degrees celsius during the day. At night the temperature drops to an average of about 7 degrees celsius.

There is not a lot of rainfall in Kalgoorlie, mostly falling in the winter months. However we had a huge unseasonable downpour in January when we visited, causing the roads to flood, so you just never know!!

If you are not a fan of hot weather, I would recommend visiting Kalgoorlie in either Autumn (March, April, May) or Spring (September, October, November). The weather in these seasons is not as extreme.

You can find out more detailed information about the weather in Kalgoorlie at WeatherSpark

What to Do In Kalgoorlie

Hannans North Tourist Mine

Hannans North tourist Mine is a mix of mining artefacts, gold rush history and park. It covers quite a large area and requires a lot of walking around in the sun. We arrived at 9.30 am and about 30 minutes in I was sweating buckets as the thermometer reached over 30 degrees Celsius and kept climbing. There is a lot of old sheds, and old mining equipment and some large mining vehicles to see, which I personally found super boring (Marcus was interested through). Being so hot, all I wanted to do was to get into the shade and wipe away my under boob sweat. 

The highlight of this place for us was that you can actually pan for gold and gemstones in small ponds, which Marcus enjoyed a lot. He actually found gold! There were not a lot of people in the park when we visited and I think any more and there would have been a fight for a place at the pond making it a much less enjoyable experience.

Kalgoorlie Superpit

Kalgoorlie The Super Pit

I really don’t understand the allure of this big ole hole in the ground, otherwise known as the Kalgoorlie Superpit. I’m not a fan of mining in general, but for those who are, and are interested, this is a must see destination in Kalgoorlie.

This is a huge mine, in fact it’s one of Australia’s largest open pit gold mines. You can view an actual working mine in action from the viewing platform which is open from 7am to 7pm daily.

The Kalgoorlie Superpit also runs site tours, where you can view the mining operations and learn about one of Australia’s largest producing gold mines. You can book tickets through Hannans North Tourist Mine or Kalgoorlie Tours and Charters.

Hammond Park

Okay, this is a pretty little oasis in a town of red dirt and no trees. With a pond full of birds, and other wildlife such as kangaroos, and emus to look at, aviaries of birds, garden beds filled with kangaroo paws and peacocks strutting around, a miniature castle to gaze at, it was overall quite a nice place to spend some time. This is a place to take the kids to look at the birds, have a play in the playground and maybe a snack or picnic. There was a cafe which was closed when we were there. The park is not accessible 24 hours, only being open between 9am and 7pm, but it is definitely worth a visit.

The HeARTwalk

We love street art and unknown to me, Kalgoorlie has some amazing art and murals. And a lot of it. It’s called the HeARTwalk and you can get a map from the visitor centre to walk around and see each artist’s work. My recommendation is to get a physical map and then figure out the best route for you. The artworks are scattered throughout town, and when we first went out to find them, we used a tiny map I had downloaded onto my phone and, we got completely lost.

I would love to see an actual walking tour of this art like the ones that Oh Hey WA in Perth do.

Museum Of the Goldfields 

Kalgoorlie has a great museum with a lot of memorabilia, not only about mining, which is something I appreciated. I love a good museum, Marcus not so much, but it was a perfect spot to get out of the heat and check out some of the towns history.

They also have regular special exhibitions and events to attend.

The Museum of the Goldfields is open everyday from 10am to 3pm and entry is free but a gold coin donation is always appreciated. You can get more information here.

Kalgoorlie Hannans North Tourist Mine

Two other places which were recommended to me which we didn’t get time to visit were – Chunky Timbers – a timber bead shop. I was told it holds craft sessions which I think would be great for kids. You can even design your own necklace or bracelet, although this does not seem to be advertised on their website. The other place was Broad Arrow Tavern, which was built in 1896 and is a typical Aussie Outback pub.

Kalgoorlie Accomodation

Swimming Pool at the Quest Yelverton in Kalgoorlie
Swimming Pool at The Quest Yelverton, Kalgoorlie

We stayed at The Quest Yelverton. We wanted a self contained apartment and this accomodation also had a swimming pool which was an absolute saviour after a hot day of exploring in the heat. They offer studios, one and two Bedroom Apartments. We stayed in a one bedroom apartment, and it was comfortable with a decently equipped kitchen. The hotel is located off the main road, but only a short walk to get to restaurants and bars.

There was a laundry onsite and free parking, although it was limited and on a first come first served basis. If you missed out there was also plenty of on street parking, so not a big issue.

Other places to stay which have a swimming pool (which I think is a must have for Kalgoorlie) include:

The Plaza Hotel

Rydges Kalgoorlie

Best Western Kalgoorlie

The Quality Inn Railway Motel

If you are road tripping with a caravan or camper van, there are also caravan parks where you can stay

Big 4 Acclaim Prospector Holiday Park

Acclaim Goldminer Tourist Caravan Park

Getting Here

By Air

You can fly to Kalgoorlie from Perth with Virgin, Qantas or Alliance Airlines. The flight is short, taking approximately 1 hour on average.

Kalgoorlie Car Hire

I definitely think you need a car while in Kalgoorlie to get around, unless you don’t plan on wandering far from your hotel. You can hire cars from Kalgoorlie Airport with the major players – Europcar, Budget, Avis and Hertz.

Self Drive From Perth

A road trip to Kalgoorlie is about 600 km and takes about 6 and a half hours. There are some interesting stops along the first half of the trip. Meckering has a camera museum and was the site of a terrible earthquake. Cunderdin has a small museum and the Ettamogah pub (great place to stop for a drink and a meal). Merredin has some beautiful walks, a railway and a military museum. The second half – from Merredin to Kalgoorlie really doesn’t have much to stop and look at, so buckle down for a drive.

Self Drive From Esperance

You can also take a road trip from Esperance to Kalgoorlie if you are down in that part of the world. Its approximately 390 kilometres, taking about 4 hours 15 minutes. There are really no places of interest to stop, Norseman being the major turn off to the Nullabor. The road between Norseman and Esperance was not the best, with a lot of road trains on this route, so make sure to drive carefully.

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