A fortunate town, about 368 km north-east of Perth, Southern Cross has vibrant agriculture and a flourishing goldmining industry to sustain it through the boom-and-bust cycles.
The town owes a lot to someone who first discovered gold here. Some accounts tell us that is was a couple of blokes named Tom Riseley and Mick Toomey, back in 1888. Other reports claim a man named Glass found gold while cleaning out a granite-bottomed soak in the area a year earlier.
Anyway, it was Riseley and Toomey who named the area after the Southern Cross constellation they used to help them navigate their way to the area when travelling at night.
Further rich finds of gold in the area resulted in Southern Cross booming, almost overnight, and the townsite was gazetted in 1890. Subsequent developments included wide streets to allow camel trains to turn around and the eastern goldfields’ first court house, built in 1893 and now functioning as a museum.
There are a couple of goldmining ghost towns in the area and fossicking is a favourite pastime for many. And, of course, the wildflowers bloom in spring.