As we drove into the town with its red dirt, shrubby landscape and old buildings, we had no expectation of what we could get from the town, nor what we could give. We believe that having no expectations creates space for seeing, feeling and being with life just how it is and leaves room to be surprised!
We had no expectation of the sheer ‘woah’ that would escape us when we saw the Gold Mine Super Pit, the coolness of the evenings in the middle of summer, the warmth that would rise from the red dirt during the day, or what most surprised us, was that this warmth came from the deep, bold and big hearts of the town; its people.
Having never stepped foot into a mining town, we were in awe of the wide main streets, the large verandas around the pubs, the art murals for the Heart Walk on every corner and seeing the town flooded in men and women who work in the mines dressed in high viz and driving work utes. We could look at this town today and see how it thrives and buzzes, but also imagine what it would have been like when the mining industry was booming 10, 30, 70 even 100 years ago. Kalgoorlie was like stepping back in time whilst also learning from the locals just how progressive it was as a town in its growth.
The people and their love for their town showed not only in present day but also in the town’s history. We got told by Carol at the Kalgoorlie Boulder Visitor Centre to go and see Madam Carmel. The gold mining industry in Kalgoorlie and surrounding areas attracted thousands and thousands of men to the town over the last 100 years, and Madam Carmel runs the longest running brothel in Australia.
Since 1904, Questa Casa has been a haven for girls to travel from all over Australia and the world to work in, to earn large sums of money in a short time. With the help of the local police, containment for a large period of the last 100 years was taken very seriously. Due to containment, the girls’ safety and honour was upheld greatly in those times. Madam Carmel and learning the history of the town was our definite highlight of our three day stay in Kalgoorlie!
If you are heading to Kalgoorlie our other ‘must dos’ are:
We are so grateful for the kind and generous hospitality of the beautiful Jan and Alex at the Kalgoorlie Boulder Discovery Park.
We loved being able to come home here every night in our Winnebago and sit on the grass with other caravanners; we felt right at home! Kalgoorlie is a place that we will definitely return to when we explore the West of this amazing country on our next trip!
–Alice and Jen