With it's Boom to Bust Heritage Trails Coolgardie is a haven for history buffs. It was so important in its heyday that the then government decided to divide Western Australia in half and make Coolgardie the capital of the second state to be called Euraysia. The beautiful building opposite the hotel was originally built as Parliament House; however, sadly, the idea was abandoned due to minimal rainfall and unsustainable farming.
It took some years for permanent water to arrive in Coolgardie, that in 1894, Warden Finnerty ordered all residents to return to Southern Cross until sufficient rains had filled the catchments due to drought. Even though Coolgardie was first walked over by Government Surveyor/Water Department Officer, named, Hunt in 1864, it wasn’t until the late 1880’s that it became known as the Mother of the Goldfields as the Gold was lying all around on top of the ground for everyone to obtain.
It was only the daring few who made the perilous trip from Southern Cross, initially with no known places for water, who became the richest of men when after four days walking, they finally reached their destination. Eventually, C. Y. O’Connor designed the water pipeline that brings fresh water from the Perth Hills to the Goldfields today.
There is lots to do in Coolgardie, the Museum, which is housed in the grandest of buildings is a definite must. There is the largest bottle collection in the Southern Hemisphere with bottles ranging from a few centimetres to over 1.5meters in size. Warden Finnerty’s house on the Hill is worth a butchers hook (look) as are a number of other early homes of Victorian style including the Convent building. The Story Boards along Bailey Street are a real insight into the history of this amazing town.
For the keen photographer, about 2 miles from town, towards Kalgoorlie, just past the Focus mine entry, is a complete Stone Railway Bridge. Around an hours drive in different directions, you will locate various granite rock holes. Some were dammed by the early pioneers to maintain water levels for the travellers and also the trains.