Boulder – Kalgoorlie

Paula in Dump Truck Wheel

Paula in Dump Truck Wheel

Today I’m exploring the Mining Museum at the Super Pit Store and then the Museum in town.  The garden at the front of the store is an Eremophila Garden. I had no idea what that meant so went searching for answers – it’s a garden of Emu (or Poverty) Bushes.  There are apparently 350 species in Australia!!

The Super Pit store has outdoor displays of mining memorabilia and a mining camp set-up so that you get a snapshot of life as a miner. It also has a 12 person refuge chamber – a reminder that things can go wrong in this industry.  The shovel machine and dump truck are massive – we are allowed to climb aboard the dump truck and access the driver’s cabin – you can’t actually see the ground in front of you – cameras are used to assist the drivers.  Amazing stats for these machines – Each truck costs $4.5 million, they hold 220 tonnes and their fuel tank holds 4350 litres. In the mine they travel at 12 kph when loaded and maximum speed is 55 kph. It takes four months training to drive one. There is a DVD to watch on the Super Pit which is most interesting. The pit will almost double in the next 30 years as the vein is followed back towards Mt Charlotte.

After watching the video I head into Kalgoorlie to the West Australian Museum where there is a great photographic exhibition – fantastic nature photographs, both in colour and black and white – stunning images – such talented photographers.  I had to go around twice appreciating them. I was fascinated to learn that there is a Kalgoorlie Bush Two-Up School some couple of miles out of town – Bush rules apply and the roofless corrugated tin shed could tell many a story.  I even picked up the leaflet with the bush rules and calls on it.

I head back to Boulder and Donna and I go walking and she gives me an overview of the town’s history and the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake on the historic buildings.  The scaffolding has only just been taken down, so I’m seeing it at its best – all new facades and much work on the interiors of these magnificent old structures. The Boulder Town Hall is absolutely splendid (opened in 1908 – with pressed iron ceilings and wrought iron balustrades) – I only wish I was able to see the Goatcher Curtain. This stage curtain – a unique work of Art depicting the Bay of Naples, was painted by Phillip Goatcher and is the world’s largest surviving working example. I have to be satisfied with a postcard picture. The Court House was built in 1900 and is an impressive building. I was very pleased to note that the shops have listed above their façade the original purpose of the building – great for the historic tourist!!
We visited the Loopline Museum where trains and carriages are being restored – this line was once the busiest railway in Australia.  They have a magnificent Steam Engine Brass Dome on loan from the WA Railway Historical Society.  The Miners Monument in Burt Street is a tribute to all past, present and future mine workers who give the Golden Mile its world-wide recognition.

I was lucky enough to be given a tour of the mine shaft under the bar of the Metropole Hotel by the publican, Steve.  The shaft is 30 metres deep and is accessible via steep steps to the cellar. There are two urns – remains of two of Boulder’s mining identities. The shaft is visible from the bar via a Perspex sheet in the floor – a real tourist attraction. Thanks Steve,I appreciate the personal tour.

Back to the bus, as we are going for a trip to Hammond Park – a great area in Kalgoorlie with bird aviaries, complete with WA birds, a Bavarian miniature Castle (estimated to have over 40,000 gemstones in it), a duck pond and  massive Rotunda.  This is a really appealing park and on weekends is packed with families and visitors – I can see why.
After a great day exploring Boulder and Kalgoorlie, with the added benefit of a local guide – Thanks Donna –  A great massage of my chronic right arm, Fish and Chips for tea and off to bed.

Eremophila Garden Information

Eremophila Garden Information

Emu Bush

Emu Bush

Prospector Camp Kitchen

Prospector Camp Kitchen

Refuge Chamber for 12 persons

Refuge Chamber for 12 persons

Boulder Town Hall

Boulder Town Hall

Boulder Convent

Boulder Convent

Boulder Shopfronts

Boulder Shopfronts

Loopline Museum Engine

Loopline Museum Engine

Paula with Boulder Mining Monument -

Paula with Boulder Mining Monument –

Metropole Hotel - Boulder

Metropole Hotel – Boulder

Metropole Shaft with Urns

Metropole Shaft with Urns

Hammond Park Lake

Hammond Park Lake

Hammond Park Parrot

Hammond Park Parrot

Bavarian Castle at Hammond Park

Bavarian Castle at Hammond Park

Hammond Park Rotunda

Hammond Park Rotunda

Super Pit Passing

Super Pit Passing

Super Pit Blast Pad

Super Pit Blast Pad

Sunset at Super Pit

Sunset at Super Pit

Donna (Fabulous Tour guide) and Paula at BoulderDonna (Fabulous Tour guide) and Paula at Boulder

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