The town was founded in 1892, when gold was discovered in the area. Australia had already seen several major gold rushes in the mid to late 1800s, mostly centred on the east coast, but gold had mostly been exhausted by the 1890s. With the discovery of a new goldfield in Western Australia, an entire new gold rush began, with thousands of people flocking to the region.
By 1898, Coolgardie was the third largest town in Western Australia, with a population of 15,000, and another 10,000 in the surrounding region. At its peak, 700 mining companies based in Coolgardie were registered with the London Stock Exchange. The town also supported a wide variety of businesses and services, including a railway, a swimming pool (the first public bath in the state), many hotels and several newspapers.
These days, Coolgardie has a population of approximately 1,100 people. It encompasses an area of 30,400 square kilometres and includes the towns of Coolgardie, Kambalda East, Kambalda West, Widgiemooltha and Kurrawang. Approximately 5,900 people live in the Shire and it is adjacent to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Local Industries: Goldmining, nickel mining, pastoral, tourism, commercial/retail, light industrial, tantalum.
Tourist Attractions: Coolgardie heritage town, museum, mining, camel farm, Warden Finnerty’s historic homestead, Coolgardie Railway Museum, Coolgardie Post Office complex, Pharmaceutical Museum Display, lookouts, Victoria Rocks, Burra Rocks, Golden Quest Discovery Trail, Landsailing, Speedway, Holland Track, Cave Hill.
Local Events: Coolgardie Day celebrations, State Metal Detecting Championships, Kambalda Community Christmas Tree, Landsailing and Fishing in the Desert.