Western Australia may often be overlooked in favor of the East, but it has a lot to offer that should make you think about what you’ll miss out on. If you love nature, Western Australia has endless blue skies, sandy beaches, and incredible rock formations in mountains and canyons. With the latter comes an even more unique experience: the presence of well-reserved mine sites to get you into the gold rush.
As local Aussies call it, Fossicking gives you an authentic experience of the mining sites, plus the bonus of bringing home gemstones. Getting around is relatively easy, even without your vehicle, as there are tour operators and luxury coach hire services like Northfleet to keep you comfortable on the road. This is a trip, something truly worth including on your bucket list.
Below are Western Australia’s best mine sites for tours to venture into while in the region.
Searipple Village, Karratha
First on this list is Searipple Village, on the coast of Karratha in Western Australia. It’s a campsite around 15 minutes away from nearby mine work sites. Searipple Village gives a very localized feel to a mining village, with its inhabitants comprising mainly of mine workers.
Those traveling with families and their pets would love to hear how Searipple Village is highly rated for having comfortable and pet-friendly accommodations. Cap off the night with a trip to its local bars to get a taste of craft beers.
Boddington Gold Mine, Bannister
At the Boddington Gold Mine in Bannister, tourists will be able to have that mine-to-mint experience in Australia’s largest and oldest operating gold mine. The adventure starts at The Perth Mint, where guests are greeted by a local Boddington resident as a guide, kicking off with a history of Western Australia. Guests then indulge in stops at quaint cafes and restaurants before putting on their safety gear, ready to start the mine tour.
The experience truly isn’t like any other. The Perth Mint boasts of turning doré from mines to gold with a purity of 99.99%, so seeing every bit of that process is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
Super Pit, Kalgoorlie
The Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia is one of the best for fossicking. Head to the visitor center, where you’ll have guides to all the gold fields tourists can visit. Moreover, local mining folks are willing to share and talk about the mining history in the area.
In Kalgoorlie, you’ll come across the largest gold-producing mine in Australia, the Super Pit. The experience is as real as possible, with your tour group traveling through the same roads as hundreds of dump trucks on site. During the trip, be prepared to see the old miner’s shafts, huts, and a mix of modern-day mining machinery.
Warribanno Chimney, Kalbarri
The Warribanno Chimney was constructed in the 1850s for the smelting of lead. Its ruins stand at a majestic 50 feet high, right along the Ajana-Kalbarri road, making it a sight not to miss. Today, it’s one of the region’s influential icons representing the prosperous mining industry that was once in the area.
Hannans North Tourist Mine, Kalgoorlie
Every visit to this region would only be complete with stopping by the Hannans North Tourist Mine, one of the first registered mines in the area. When it was decided to establish a new visitor attraction in the Eastern Goldfields region, shafts were examined to see which ones could be developed. Tunnels and shaft workings were explored by down-hole cameras, which resulted in Hannans North being in the best condition.
Hannans North holds displays from the Hainault Mine, pegged in 1893 and stayed as a working mine until 1968. Visitors also get to read and see historical records and equipment of mining activities around the area.
Mount Sheila, Ashburton
Mount Sheila is a very small town in the Western Australian region, with an average of around 1,100 residents. Picture staying in a peaceful, quaint, rural area without the hustle and bustle of city life, which you may already be trying to escape.
Mount Sheila may be small, but the lodging options include tent-like accommodations and camps. It’s like you’re in the middle of nowhere, only that you’re surrounded by the best experiences nature has to offer. There’s also a hint of history, with Mount Sheila distinguishing itself as one of the best mining destinations in Western Australia.
Australia is a dream destination for many, particularly Western Australia. One reason is because it offers unique experiences beyond beautiful views and landscapes, like mine sites. However, it’s essential to remember that Australia is one of the oldest inhabited countries in the world. Because of this, precious artifacts may be uncovered during fossicking. Leave those in place, know what you can and can’t bring home, and start planning your itinerary to any of the mine sites above.