The Golden Quest Discovery Trail guidebook provides travellers with an historical account of life in the goldfields. We are delighted to provide the following excerpt for your enjoyment.
Five unique places to stay in Goldfields
Feeling a bit dusty? Caravan getting a bit cramped? Whether you’re just desperate for a hot shower or keen to dive in deep and learn more about this special corner of the world, these top spots will have you refreshed, enlightened and ready to hit the road again in no time.
One for history buffs and trivia fiends alike, Hoover House was built by none other than the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. As a young man the savvy engineer advocated for his employer, Bewick, Moreing & Co, to purchase the Sons of Gwalia mine, and developed it to become one of the most productive sites in Western Australia at the turn of the twentieth century.
Visitors to Hoover House can choose to enjoy a coffee on the sweeping veranda or a meal in the grand dining room before retiring for the evening to luxuriate in one of three bedrooms opulently renovated in period style.
Hoover may have described Goldfields as the land of “black flies, red dust and white heat,” but with his former home as your base, you’ll be well set to explore the 2019 Western Australia Heritage Award-winning Gwalia Ghost Town and Museum, dive deep into the mining history of the region, and experience the beauty of this dynamic desert landscape.
Fancy a night in Australia’s largest outdoor art gallery? Situated on the western edge of the lake, Anthony Gormley’s instillation ‘Inside Australia,’ created for Perth International Arts Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2003, features 51 sculptural works, each positioned about 750 metres apart.
Pack up your caravan or tent and head for the designated Lake Ballard campsite to make the most of this expansive installation, soaking up the views of the art and landscape for up to 30km in every direction as the sun sets and rises.
A few things to keep in mind: the site is equipped with well-maintained toilets, but there’s no drinking water available, so come prepared. It’s also a very popular camping spot, so plan around peak periods like school and public holidays if you’re after a bit of peace and quiet.
For travellers looking to learn a bit more about the land, Morapoi Station offers an insight into the pastoral history of the North Eastern Goldfields and the vibrant traditions and living culture of the Wangkatha people, 40000 years strong. Morapoi offers it all: from foraging for bushtucker to fossicking for gold.
Under two-hours drive north of Kalgoorlie, Morapoi station was once a fully operational sheep station but now offers an array of options for those exploring the area: from backpackers accommodation and caravan hook-ups to fully-catered ensuite rooms.
A family-friendly base to explore the goldfields, Morapoi is the place to go if you’re after a tranquil location with proximity to all the best activities the north east has to offer: learn more about country with a traditional Wangkatha tour of ancient Indigenous sites, check out the awe-inducing beauty of the western desert; or try your luck searching for a bit of the shiny stuff.
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the road for a night or two? Credo Homestead might be just the thing. A former pastoral property repurposed as a conservation area, Credo serves as a water catchment for Rowles Lagoon, Western Australia’s only freshwater wetland.
Comfortable, affordable, and well-managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Credo Homestead offers recently-installed camping facilities nestled amongst the woodlands for $8 per adult per night ($6 concession) and $3 per child per night (over 5 years and under 16 years). As well as six rooms in the old shearers quarters, and eight rooms in the lodge from $15 per adult per night ($9 concession) and $3 per child per night (over 5 years and under 16 years). Bookings can be made by calling Parks and Wildlife Kalgoorlie or via the on-site caretakers.
Head down to Rowles Lagoon to try and spot some of the rare waterbirds endemic to the region, including the illusive freckled duck. Check the weather first, as conditions vary considerably, but when the water is high it’s also a great location for a swim.
Have you caught gold fever? Why not spend a night in a donga? Come to Laverton for a taste of the life of a modern-day miner where after a dusty day out on the fields you can settle down for a yarn over a Sunday Roast, rubbing shoulders with some of the mining industry workers who periodically call Boomers Village home.
Offering 212 neat and tidy donga-style rooms along with exercise and dining facilities, Boomers Village provides a convenient rest stop for exploring some of the unique local attractions of the North Eastern Goldfields, like the nearby Laverton Outback Gallery, where you can view and purchase art and craft created by the local Wongi people and learn more about the culture of the Western Desert. More about the history of the local area can be found at The Great Beyond Explorers Hall of Fame, a great little museum with interactive displays, a gift shop and a well-reviewed café.