Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Kanowna WA


Postcode: 6431

Kanowna is a ghost town in the Goldfields region of Western Australia. It is located at 30°37’S, 121°36’E, about 20 km east of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

After the discovery of gold in the area in 1893, the population rose to over 12,000 by 1905. However, the alluvial gold supply was rapidly exhausted, and underground mines following the outcropping vein produced decreasing amounts of gold, resulting in a slow but steady decrease in the population. The railway station was closed during the Great Depression, and by 1953 the town had been completely abandoned. There is nothing but rubble and two cemeteries left of the original town of Kanowna.

Increasing gold prices in the late 1970s sparked renewed interest in exploring the geology of the area for new sources of gold, and the discovery of a large amount of gold, previously undiscovered because the vein did not reach the surface, made gold mining in the region economically viable again. Mining recommenced in 1986, initially as open cast mining, before moving to underground mines. As of 2002, the Kanowna Belle mine employed over 300 people.