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Boulder  Western Australia

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The city comprising the rough, raw twin towns of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, 596km east of Perth, has to be one of the most interesting places in Australia.

For a start, The Golden Mile here is one of the richest gold mining areas on Earth - more than 1300 tonnes of gold have been extracted since Paddy Hannan and his mates discovered it in 1893.

Although mining continues on a large scale, you can revisit the glory days of Boulder by poking around in old diggings or taking a guided tour down restored shafts.

Today, the world's biggest single open cut mine, the Super Pit, operates 24 hours a day. The Pit is 280m deep, 4km long and 1.5 km wide and it’s expected that before 2010 it will go down to 600m.

But, there is more to the frontier towns than gold. You can try your luck in legal two-up games, take a stroll down Roe Street, where ladies of the night have been plying their ancient trade for more than 100 years, trace the heritage through the distinctive, gold-financed colonial architecture or join the colourful locals in a day out at the races at Boulder.


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