Monday, March 8, 2010
Our original plan did not include a visit to Kalgoorlie but as the final two holes of the golf course was there, we had no choice. We drove the 310 klm round trip from Norseman to Kalgoorlie to play two holes of golf on a dirt fairway to get a certificate to say that we had completed the Nullarbor Links. We must be mad!
We played the holes in the morning and then spent the rest of the day as tourists and found Kalgoorlie fascinating. Gold was discovered here in 1893 and it is now a thriving wealthy city of 30,000 people.
Mining is still the lifeblood of the community with many of the wonderful original buildings still standing. Today many of these house boutiques, restaurants, businesses and we walked up and down admiring them and had lunch in one of the magnificent old hotels. There are shops in town where you can sell your nuggets so there is obviously still gold for the small prospector.
Behind the town is “The Super Pit” which is a man made wonder that can be seen from space. It is a massive gouge carving into the red earth, where trucks the size of houses move hundreds of tons of rock in the hope of finding a few ounces of gold at a time. This is known as the richest square mile of gold bearing earth in the world. We stood and watched the trucks loading the recently blasted rock and then slowly driving up to the top of the pit which takes half an hour. These trucks are massive but from where we stood they looked like tonka toys. The vastness is hard to comprehend.
We then drove to the Miners Hall of fame where learnt more about the history of the area and watched them melting gold and pouring it into moulds.
We thoroughly enjoyed Kalgoorlie and the entire time we spent there. It would be fun to return to the area and do some prospecting.