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A Step Back in Time, where the Gold Rush started!

Episode: Absolute Gold Special
Broadcast: 13th November 2015
Presenter: Sam Longley

Sam makes his way to Western Australia’s Goldfields in Coolgardie, taking a step back in time and finding out the history surrounding the beginning of the Gold Rush in Western Australia.

  • 4 kilometres west of town, along the Great Eastern Highway, lies Coolgardie’s Camel Farm. At the camel farm, visitors can try their hand at riding camels and overnight camel treks are available by arrangement.
  • An estimated 11,000 camels were imported into Australia between 1860 and 1905 and used as draft animals and an alternative method of transport.
  • Known as The Mother of the Western Australian Goldfields, Coolgardie is a fantastic little town with a big history. Now only approximately 800 people live within it, but in it’s peak, the town boasted a sizeable 15,000 occupants.
  • In the 1890’s Coolgardie was the third largest town in the colony and at its peak there were 700 mining companies based in Coolgardie that were registered on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Collgardie’s Goldfields Exhibition Museum is chock full of artifacts, installations and photographs from the mining era. The Waghorn bottle collection is one such example that is both impressive and beautiful.
  • The last thing you’d expect to see in the middle of a desert is a diving suit. In 1907, Modesto Varischetti was a miner who was trapped in a flooded mine for 10 days before he was rescued.
  • The Warden Finnerty house was built for Coolgardie’s first Residental Magistrate and mining warden. Built in 1895 for the warden and his family, this exquisite dwelling is both practical and opulent.