An other-worldly experience awaits at the Goldfields ghost town of Gwalia. Once a thriving gold rush town, where fortune seekers sought to strike it lucky, Gwalia has been lovingly restored to transport visitors back to those heady days of the late 1800s. With its fascinating museum exhibits, the town is a must-visit for history buffs and lovers of a good story.
A 10-hour drive from Perth, or a three-hour drive from the modern mining hub of Kalgoorlie via the Golden Quest Discovery Trail, Gwalia makes for an atmospheric addition to your Goldfields road trip.
Gwalia’s carefully restored buildings offer a fascinating window into a time when the town attracted fortune-hunters from around the world. As you explore the miners' cottages, huts and shops that line the historic precinct, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of the pioneering prospectors who arrived here in the 1890s searching for gold. Memories of the original Sons of Gwalia mine can be uncovered at Gwalia Historical Museum, while Hoover House’s grand rooms are filled with mining memorabilia.
Although a small number of permanent residents remain, Gwalia was all but abandoned in 1963 when the mine stopped operating. Get a sense of the grand scale of the settlement by climbing to the summit of Mount Leonora, then enjoy a picnic against a sweeping backdrop of bushland views.
When you’re done exploring this eerily empty town, head to nearby Leonora, which welcomes ghost-town travellers with its quaint hotels, motel and caravan park.