Be prepared to camp under the stars, enjoy a beer with newfound friends, and tell a tale or two.

The spirit of the gold rush pioneers lives on in Kalgoorlie, the gateway to a Western Australian outback adventure.

This itinerary is best enjoyed by four-wheel drive.

Duration: 6 days

Distance: 1,654 kilometres

Day 1: Perth to Kalgoorlie

Choose between train and self-drive from Perth to Kalgoorlie.

If you opt for the train, hire a four-wheel drive once you arrive in the historic gold rush town.

Direct flights are also available from Perth and take one and a half hours.

The drive from Perth is around six and a half hours non-stop.

But take your time and enjoy the transition from urban landscape through rolling hills into the golden wheatbelt.

The Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie largely follows the route of the original water pipeline constructed at the turn of the century.

There are information panels and walk trails along the route, which take you through nature reserves and gold mining towns.

Take a break at one of the quaint country towns en route, and look out for wildflowers in spring.

You might like to spend the night at a farmstay to make the most of rural hospitality.

On arrival in Kalgoorlie, stroll around this living museum among majestic architecture, and linger over a meal and a beer or two before calling it a night at a hotel or tourist park.

Overnight: Kalgoorlie

Day 2: Kalgoorlie

Spend your first morning soaking up the history of mining and European settlement in this fascinating town.

The vast Super Pit mine, spread over eight square kilometres, is a sight to behold.

It's Australia's largest operational open cut mine.

There's also the opportunity to explore an old mine shaft and discover the hardships of life in the early days at the Mining Hall of Fame. Try your hand at gold panning, too.

Lunch will restore your energy for a climb to the top of Mount Charlotte - the end of the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail and a superb spot for views over Kalgoorlie.

Overnight: Kalgoorlie

Day 3: Kalgoorlie to Menzies / Leonora

Hop in the car to set off on the Golden Quest Discovery Trail, which takes you on a self-guided tour of outback history.

The whole trail takes in Coolgardie, Leonora and Laverton - a full five-day itinerary in itself.

For a quicker taste of outback heritage, choose a section of the route, such as Kalgoorlie to Menzies or Leonora, via Coolgardie.

The trail is designed to transport you on a journey into the past - through echoing ghost towns, past fascinating architecture and natural backdrops, exploring the Aboriginal history that runs alongside stories of pioneering spirits.

Heading out into the true Australian outback, you'll need to keep an eye out for kangaroos and other native wildlife - and take the opportunity to camp under the stars.

Or spend the night in Menzies or Leonora.

Visiting the Inside Australia sculptures at Lake Ballard near Menzies is a must - best viewed by moonlight for an impressive and eerie effect.

Wander around Gwalia Historic Precinct near Leonora and marvel at the splendour of the restored Hoover House, named after the first Mine Manager Herbert Hoover, later to become President of the United States.

Overnight: Leonora or Menzies

Day 4: Menzies / Leonora to Kalgoorlie

Retrace your steps back from Menzies to Kalgoorlie, or follow a loop from Leonora round the west side of Lake Ballard - a good half-day journey.

Be sure to appreciate the rugged goldfields scenery - scattered with wildflowers in spring.

All year round the salt lakes, granite formations and Aboriginal rock art add to the drama.

Back in Kalgoorlie, it's time to explore the shops for local crafts, Aboriginal art and exquisite jewellery.

Overnight: Kalgoorlie

Day 5: Kalgoorlie

Time for an Aboriginal cultural experience.

Take a tour into the bush with one of Kalgoorlie's experienced indigenous guides for a day or overnight.

Discover authentic Aboriginal culture, and meet modern Aboriginal people in outback communities.

Learn to forage for bushtucker and cook traditional meals over a campfire.

Listen to stories of the dreamtime (Aboriginal creation stories) as the sun sets and the stars twinkle into life.

Overnight: Kalgoorlie

Day 6: Kalgoorlie to Perth

Time to head back to the city, quietened by the vast landscape, filled with stories of pioneers and dreamtime beliefs and relaxed by true country hospitality.

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Visit the Golden Outback website for further information on things to see and do in Kalgoorlie and the surrounding areas.
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