The Goldfields-Esperance Region of W.A
The Goldfields-Esperance Region of Western Australia is a contrast between the pure white sands and turquoise waters of Esperance and the low, flat, desert-like red of the goldfields. It is an area three time larger than the state of Victoria and larger than France Turkey or Afghanistan and involves covering large distances to see.
It is the largest region in Western Australia and sparsely populated, the majority of people living and working in the major towns of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Esperance.
The region is bounded by the Little Sandy Gibson Deserts to the North; the Wheatbelt region to the West; the Great Australia Bight to the South; and the South Australian and Northern Territory borders to the East.
The Golden Quest Discovery Drive Trail runs 965 kilometres through Western Australia's Goldfields from Coolgardie through to Laverton and is filled with pioneering and gold mining history, abandoned towns and the remnants of mines. It is unlikely that a single inch of the goldfields hasn't been poked, prodded, dug or detected for the yellow mineral.
The goldfields are the largest producer of gold and nickel in Australia, contributing to Australia's role as the third largest gold producer in the world. The 'Super Pit' in Kalgoorlie is also the largest open-cut gold mine in the world.
The Nullarbor Links Golf Course is unique in being the longest 18-hole par 72 golf course on the planet. It spans 1,365 kilometres and stretches from from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna in South Australia. It has one hole in most of the participating town or roadhouses along the Eyre Highway and two holes in Kalgoorlie and Norseman
Esperance is the playground of the goldfields, where the residents of the mining towns make the 800km round trip to spend time on beaches that are consistently voted top 10 in the world.
Famous for the islands, scuba-diving, white beaches and crystal waters, Esperance's remoteness makes it a relaxed and idyllic seaside retreat.
Facts about The Goldfields-Esperance
Area: 771,276 km²
Population: 59,000 of which 10% are of Aboriginal descent
Climate: Kalgoorlie - arid with hot summers and warm winters, 260mm average yearly rainfall, Esperance - mediterranean with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters, average yearly rainfall 600mm. Warburton - Arid with hot summers and winters, 248mm average yearly rainfall.
Geography: Low, flat salt and sand plains edging on desert. Esperance - sand and salt plains punctuated by granite and quartz outcrops.
Flora: More than a hundred species of eucalyptus, salmon gum, sandalwood, mallee, silky pear bush, spinifex and grasses. Esperance - mallee-heath and scrub, coastal dune scrub, jarrah, marri, wandoo tress and york gum to the south west.
Fauna: Kangaroos, Endangered Bilby or rabbit-eared bandicoot, chuditch, mallee fowl, scarlet chested parrot, sandhill dunnart, mulgara, emus, echidnas, honey-eaters, yellow-throated miners, rainbow bee-eaters, budgerigars, carpet pythons and numerous other snakes and reptiles.
- Heritage architecture of Kalgoorlie, Boulder and Coolgardie
- The Esperance Beaches
- The Super Pit
- Two-Up School
- Australian Prospectors & Miners Hall of Fame
- Hannans North Historic Tourist Mine
- Numerous Abandoned Mining Settlements and Ghost Towns
- Golden Quest Discovery Trail
- Lake Dundas
- Pink Lake
- Cape Le Grande National Park
- Cape Arid National Park
- Beach Camping, Fishing and Four Wheel Driving
- Recherche Archipelago
- Stokes National Park
- Gormley Statues at Lake Ballard
Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Coolgardie, Kambalda, Norseman, Eucla, Ravensthorpe, Esperance, Menzies, Leonora, Laverton, Leinster, Warburton
Getting Around The Goldfields-Esperance
A great way to get from Perth to Kalgoorlie is onboard the Prospector, a 653km trip that takes under 7 hours. Once in Kalgoorlie-Boulder most of the attractions are condensed in the two townships and it's even possible to get around on a bike.
Car and 4WD rentals are readily available at major centres. Flights into most towns are frequent and reasonably priced.
Buses and Tour Coaches are plentiful but if you really want to get around and see things you need your own transportation. The Goldfields-Esperance region is vast and distances between towns are large.
There are many and varied interesting sites throughout the goldfields, with good signage and information boards in many places. The Golden Quest Discovery Drive Trail is 965km long and takes a fair bit of driving and time to get around.
Esperance is much the same with the best beaches being east of the town and numerous lookouts along the way.
Best Time to Visit
The Goldfields has a typical arid-desert climate. Summer daytime temperature often get above 40°C while winter nights can dip to zero.
September, October and November are spring time with comfortable weather and clear, blue skies.
September in Kalgoorlie is time for the 'Kalgoorlie-Boulder Race Round', a week long horse racing carnival which sees the twin towns put on their best show. Accommodation is scarce at this time.
June and October in Esperance sees the chance of spotting humpback whales migrating along the coast while spring is the best time to see the countryside alive with native wildflowers.
Beach lovers will enjoy November through to March when the comparatively mild Esperance summer highlights the stunning white sand and blue waters.
Click on the map to see more Australian Regions.
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