Kalgoorlie, or Kal’ to the locals has to be the most RV friendly place we have found. We are currently reacquainting ourselves with the frontier town and thoroughly enjoying the experience. There is simply no place like Kalgoorlie on the entire continent. Not only is it the biggest gold mine in the world but it is a glorious frontier town out in the desert and a gem in its own right. The colonial architecture of the town is a delight and it breathes of the once glorious world of bullocky drawn carts, polished wood and deep verandah’s which shelter you from the fierce desert sun.
It has grown up considerably since the early days of the ‘Golden Mile’ where prospectors could pitch their calico tents and expect to get their brains blown out if they dug in the wrong spot. Now it is much more civilized, but leave the precinct of the town and dig in the wrong spot … Well you just never know.
I wrote a popular little e-book on the town called Deserts of Gold, Kalgoorlie & Beyond and my experiences here. You can download it for a cost of a cup of coffee by following the links (depending on the exchange) and it is still the place I remember so well.
From the notoriety of the popular legal brothels to the skimpies in town, it is just such an interesting town to haul into. Walking the wide streets and enjoying the colonial buildings is just part of the pleasure and the Council has made this possible for the traveller with a large rest area. This, particularly if you have come via the Oondiri Plain and that is across the Nullarbor of course and are desert weary or if you have driven the long stretch out from Perth.
The friendly town has now added this 24 hour reststop not far from the centre of town for the traveller (self contained caravans only) as well as, just out of town at Lake Douglas is the large freecamp (3 night max.) that we enjoyed after that run from Perth. These area’s are patrolled by a ranger each day and there are also five caravan parks and other accommodation facilities available if needed. This is a town that welcomes the traveller, not just the tourist.
If you have a miners right, which in WA is a lifetime right to prospect and is available at the Dept of Mines in town for $25, then you can camp up on crown land, or on lease-land with the leaseholders permission. The large cattle stations mostly north of the state are all leasehold but do get permissions first … for legal reasons if nothing else. Some of the mine leaseholders will also be happy to give you permission to camp-up on their leases, such as Phoenix Gold Limited in Kal, as any prospecting helps maintain their leasehold on lands … they don’t want a cut of your finds but will appreciate being told of any strikes you might have.
For the prospector with a miners right you can also register with the Dept of Mines and Petroleum for access to on-line information on leases and holdings at www.dmp.wa.gov.au, all the info on this process you can get when you get your miners right.
In the meantime The Man is out in the heat prospecting and I am playing on the ‘puter expecting soon a complement to our collection of buck-shot and old wire but he does so love it. We will be heading out into the desert soon once we have enjoyed the old frontier town of Kalgoorlie … this before it just gets all too damn hot. In the meantime though … Kal’ is a special delight, one with a colonial taste about it. A inland town well worth a few days to enjoy.
You can find books on Jans travels at the page dedicated to
‘The Around The Campfire Series.’