More than a century ago two intrepid explorers braved the harsh conditions and lack of amenities in the Western Australian outback in the hope of striking gold.
And that they did.
The year was 1892 when Arthur Bayley and William Ford discovered gold in the Eastern Goldfields region of Coolgardie, more than 500 kilometres east of Perth.
The discovery sparked a major gold rush to the State with many travelling far and wide to try their luck at unearthing their own nuggets of gold.
To this day, visitors still come from all parts of the globe to explore the unique heritage and vibrant rural communities within the Eastern Goldfields region. The Golden Quest Discovery Trail and an accompanying guidebook were created more than 10 years ago to assist visitors to plan their adventure across the vast regional landscape.
Stretching more than 965 kilometres, the self-drive experience can be enjoyed in parts or as a whole and has proven popular with local and international visitors, Goldfields Tourism Network Association Manager Amanda Warry said.
“We welcome anywhere between 300,000 to half a million visitors to the Goldfields every year, from locals who want to learn more about the region’s history to interstate and international guests looking for an outback adventure,” Ms Warry said.
“Our guidebooks feature detailed trip plans and travel advice as well as historical stories, fun facts and stunning images to suit a range of interests.
“Since 2003 we’ve sold more than 10,000 copies and we’ve recently launched the second edition which captures more historical stories and local insights into our communities”.
There are 25 official sites along the trail which traverses through the Shires of Coolgardie, Menzies, Leonora, Laverton and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder - the nation’s largest outback city and the heart of Western Australia’s rich gold mining industry.
Gold exploration throughout the Goldfields has significantly contributed to the economic growth of the nation over the past century, and continues to play a vital role in keeping the local communities and economy strong.
Ms Warry said the Golden Quest Discovery Trail and associated guidebook were also aimed at educating visitors about the importance of gold in the region.
“In many ways gold exploration has shaped and influenced the vibrant towns and culture we enjoy today,” she said.
“We want to help visitors understand the historical significance of gold and its importance to the ongoing viability of our local towns.
“The trail and guidebook also recognise and celebrate the incredible men and women who have contributed to the evolution of the Goldfields over the past century”.
Along the trail, travellers can expect to encounter several stunning outback landscapes as well as native plants and animals.
Western Australia is also blessed with naturally fine weather which means the trail can be explored at any time of the year, or scheduled to coincide with regional events.
The Golden Quest Discovery Trail and comprehensive guidebooks are managed by the Goldfields Tourism Network Association Inc.
For more information on the Golden Quest Discovery Trail please click here.
To purchase a comprehensive guidebook or audio book click here.
Please note: All images accompanying this article have been generously supplied by the Goldfields Tourism Network Association Inc.