Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Mount Magnet WA

Mount Magnet

Postcode: 6638

Mount Magnet is an old Western Australian gold-rush town. The name was chosen during exploration of the region due to an isolated hill 5km north west of the town current townsite. This hill has an extremely high iron content and affected the compasses of explorers. At the 2001 census, Mount Magnet had a population of 887.

It is located 573 kilometres (356 mi) northeast of Perth via the Great Northern Highway. Only a few mines are still worked, including Hill 50 which started operations in the 1890s. The area once had three separate townsites – Mt Magnet, Boogardie, and Lennonville. Boogardie has since been swallowed up into the open cut mining operations at Hill 50. Lennonville was abandoned at the start of World War I, and the foundations of the bank and train station can still be seen.

Unusual for such a large mining community, Mt Magnet has never had a public battery. The nearest battery was built 5km west, in Boogardie. However its gold-rush heyday can be seen in its very wide main street with three hotels, a race course and a golf course complete with oiled greens.

Surrounding the town are remnants of old mining operations, and to the north east are significant Aboriginal sites being preserved jointly by the local community and the West Australian Museum. Today Mt Magnet is primarily a service town for the surrounding pastoral district which supports very large sheep stations.