Difference between revisions of "Kalgoorlie-Boulder"
Revision as of 02:44, 9 January 2010
Kalgoorlie is a mining town and it has a lot to offer the adventurous traveller. Pubs are spread throughout the city with some providing 'skimpy' barmaids in lingerie attire. Prostitution is tolerated in one street in the city and is actually a tourist attraction where you can visit a brothel and walk down the street, Hay Street, and chat with the working ladies. The largest open cut gold mine in Australia is located nearby in Boulder which provides a lookout over the pit. There are mining museums, a mining hall of fame and mining conferences and exhibitions throughout the year. The city can be used as a base to visit other towns in the region that have just as rich a history as Kalgoorlie does. Over a hundred years of mining wealth has produced some beautiful old buildings that house pubs, post offices and general shops. It's on the main rail line from the east to the west of Australia and it's only a short diversion from the main road highway connecting the east and west.
Qantas operates several direct flights between Perth and Kalgoorlie every day. Qantas flights to Kalgoorlie depart from Terminal 1 at Perth Domestic Airport, and arrive at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport, which is well serviced by taxis. Flying time can be 50-70 minutes in duration, and return flights range from $160-$500. Qantas employs Boeing 737 & 717 aircraft on the Perth-Kalgoorlie route. Depending on the aircraft, it is possible to fly Business Class between Perth and Kalgoorlie. For more information visit Qantas 
Skywest is a state airline operating fewer flights than Qantas. Skywest flights depart from Terminal 2 at Perth Domestic Airport, and arrive at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport. Skywest has a fleet of Fokker 50 & 100 aircraft, which are smaller and slower than Qantas' aircraft. Flying time can be 60-90 minutes in duration, with return flights ranging from $150-$325. Skywest only operates Economy Class on its aircraft. For more information visit Skywest 
The Prospector is the train service operating between Perth and Kalgoorlie. In 2004, the new Prospector was introduced, which has cut the once notoriously long and oft delayed journey from 8-10 hours to approximately 7 hours. In Perth, passengers may board or alight the Prospector at the East Perth Rail Terminal or Midland Train Station. In Kalgoorlie, the Prospector departs and alights at Kalgoorlie Train Station. A standard adult fare is approximately $72, but discounts for children, students and seniors are available. The Prospector has nine services between Perth and Kalgoorlie each week. For more information visit Transwa 
Another rail alternative is the Indian Pacific, which operates between Perth and Sydney via Adelaide, with a scheduled three-hour stop in Kalgoorlie. For more information visit GSR 
It is also possible to drive a private or hired vehicle to Kalgoorlie. Great Eastern Highway runs between Perth and Kalgoorlie. The highway is well serviced with small towns and roadhouses, with the approximate halfway point at Merredin. The drive is well signposted and takes approximately six hours. Kalgoorlie is also a major stop for those driving across the Nullabor, and is approximately two hours north of Norseman, the gateway to the Nullabor Plain.
As it is a current mining centre all the rental car companies are represented and have a large number of cars - except they can be all booked up and don't expect too many sports cars or small compacts ; large sedans and utes are the norm. Cars can be hired either at the airport or in town.
There are plenty of taxis in town to get you to any of the tourist spots that are outside the CBD. If you're only visiting Kalgoorlie for a short time most of the attractions in Kalgoorlie are within walking distance of the city centre. A taxi would be useful to go to the lookout at the Superpit.
Stay at one of the motels near the city centre (there are plenty) and walk to the different tourist attractions.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder does not offer a great deal of shopping opportunities. The town has the central business area in and around Hannan Street, which has a number of retail outlets such as Jeans West, K-Mart and Target. Kalgoorlie has several supermarkets, including Woolworths, Coles, Hannans Foodmart (24hr) & IGA.
Kalgoorlie is famous for its gold, and so gold jewellery, nuggets or coins make excellent souvenirs. There are a number of jewellery stores on Hannans Street, and gold souvenirs are also available from the Museum.
There are quite a few good restaurants in Kalgoorlie that are frequented by the mining executives that fly in from Perth. Most are attached to motels but there are some fine 'stand alone' ones also.
There are around 25 operating pubs in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The Palace and Paddy's are right in the middle of Kalgoorlie on opposite corners. The Eastern Hotel sits atop the city at 1 Hannan Street, and affords great views of the street at dusk, especially from the top verandah. They would be the most popular pubs in town but there are many others within walking distance where you can have a 'middy' with the locals.
There are many motels, one hotel, two backpackers and nine caravan parks. If you're planning to stay at a motel it may pay to book ahead as they can be busy in the current mining boom that's hit most of the worlds mining centres.
Both Backpackers are right on the famous Hay Street so you will be entertained at night time.
Coolgardie is close by and if travelling by road you will pass through it to get to Perth. There are tourist drives that head north from Kalgoorlie to experience the Northern Goldfields. You would need to be keen to drive the distances involved to Menzies (almost a ghost town) and Leonora a larger town but still not a lot to see there - however, it does contain a museum on mining that has some interesting exhibits about Herbert Hoover, a US President, who worked there in the early 1900s.