Western Australia’s Golden Outback

Western Australia’s Golden Outback is so called because it includes many of Western Australia’s gold mining areas, and because the land here is the true Australian outback: rugged, harsh, remote and extremely beautiful.  If you ever really want to experience the Australia that you’ve heard about – those great expanses of big sky covering big land, where solitude is a reality, then this is the place for you.

There are four distinct regions that form the tourist precinct called the Golden Outback, they are: the Goldfields, Gascoyne/Murchison, Wheatbelt and Coastal sub-regions.  Together, they form a sizable part of Western Australia, so be prepared for quite a bit of travel.

Wildflowers

Let’s take them one by one.  The Goldfields includes the once thriving metropolis of Coolgardie, which is now almost a ghost town, thanks to the gold being removed by eager miners. Kalgoorlie is the major town in the area, the township adjoining a giant pit from which minerals are still recovered; known for its gambling, brothels and the good times that come with successful gold strikes, Kalgoorlie is both an historic town and a bustling, contemporary regional Capital.  From Kal (as the locals call it), is easy driving to salt lakes, where enthusiasts sail boats with wheels that scream over the dry salt lake beds.  You can also discover ghost towns and remote communities, where the only industry is mining.

The Gascoyne/Murchison is further north, and named after two mighty rivers, which flow mainly underground.  Get a decent bit of rain and these, normally dry, rivers flood thousands of square kilometres of desert as they surge towards the coast, leaving nothing but impossible large carpets of wildflowers as the waters retreat. To see nothing before you except the magnificent reds, pinks, yellow, white and purple of billions of flowers extending beyond the horizon is simply awe inspiring, as are the flocks of native birds that feed upon the flowers, making for one of the truly great natural sights you could ever experience.

The Wheatbelt, home to kilometre after kilometre after kilometre after kilometre of fertile farmland, that’s not always planted with wheat, but usually is.  Enjoy small historic towns, where country hospitality will make you feel welcome.  Experience a stay on a working farm, or in an historic pub, so that you can feel part of the place.  Here is country that is green and lush in the winter months, filled with colourful wildflowers in spring, and turns a golden colour come summer.

Then there’s Western Australia’s South Coast, which in this part of the state is washed by the cold currents from Antarctica.  Here you’ll find picturesque coastal towns, such as Esperance, small fishing villages, and some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches that you can usually enjoy all to yourself.  National parks have been established to protect some of the best coastal country and they unique flora and fauna that is established there.  Naturally, there is a full range of aquatic activities, and tours to isolated islands that are home to masses of seals, sea lions and birds.

Canola Field near Mukinbudin

For the more adventurous there are organised treks along desert roads with such colourful names as The Canning Stock Route and The Gunbarrel Highway, where travelling in a convoy is recommended because to break down when travelling alone can lead to certain death.

The Golden Outback is a place for people who can forego many comforts and rough it for a while.  And if this sounds too harsh, don’t worry, we Aussies have got camping down to an art form, you can be right out in the middle of Woop Woop (an Australian term meaning being out in the middle of nothing), but we’ll still set you up with a comfortable tent and cook you a gourmet meal.

To travel Western Australia’s Golden Outback is to have an adventure you just won’t get anywhere else.

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