Kambalda is a 'working town' which means it is mainly focused to the needs of workers from the nearby nickel mines.
The main tourist attraction in the area is nearby Lake Lefroy where locals have sometimes held land yacht races across
the flat surface. The lake can be seen from Red Hill Lookout.
The residential portions of the town are reminicent of older Perth metropoletan suburbs like Medina, much of which was constructed in the same era.
The area was settled in 1897 (one source says 1887 but appears to be incorrect) after gold was discovered by Percy Larkin. Originally called Red Hill,
the town was gazetted in 1897 (one source quotes 1903 which also seems to be incorrect). Gold mining, which started in
1897, had ceased by 1906. The town was abandoned shortly after mining ceased. It was named by a government surveyor W. Rowley
because he liked the sound of the word – its meaning has been lost with the passage of time although one source suggests
‘maiden of the lake’ but this does sound a bit far fetched.
During the gold mining period there were some signifficant finds of large nuggets that included The Golden Butterfly. It is estimated that
over 30,000 ounces of gold were extracted before the gold ran out.
The original settlement at Red Hill reverted to bushland once the miners had moved on.
Nickel was discovered by John Morgan and George Cowcill in 1954 but the School of Mines identified it as Gossan. For some reason it was 10
years later hat the sample was shown to Western Mining who promptly paid $50,000 reward and began developing a new mine in 1966. The town was re-born as Kambalda East. Later a new
section (Kambalda West) was constructed in 1969.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Red Hill Lookout, Lake Lefroy, Memorial Garden, 4wd trips to the goldfields, Cave Hill, Burra Rocks.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Eyre
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6442
Local Government : Shire of Coolgardie
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