Gwalia is a former gold-mining town located four kilometres south of the town of Leonora in Western Australia's Great Victoria Desert.
Gold was discovered at the base of Mount Leonora in 1896 and the claim was named Sons of Gwalia after the Welshman who funded the expedition.
The claim was sold to George Hall, who sought extra capital from the London company Bewick, Moreing and Co. The company sent an American geologist, Herbert Hoover, to the site to develop the find. Hoover arrived in Albany, Western Australia in 1897 and travelled by train to Coolgardie and then by camel to Gwalia. Hoover became the manager of the mine.
He went on to become President of the United States from 1929 to 1933.
Underground mining at the Sons of Gwalia began in 1897, and continued until 1963. During this time it produced 2.6 million ounces of gold. The Sons of Gwalia became the largest gold mine outside of Kalgoorlie, and the deepest of its kind in Australia.
The Sons of Gwalia Mine closed in 1963 and the township of Gwalia became a ghost town almost overnight. Today, the town is an historic site that has been restored and preserved. Visitors can explore the mining ghost town, discover the heritage of the region and spend the night in the beautifully restored Hoover House.
Location: Leonora is located 840 kilometres north east of Perth via Kalgoorlie. It is 235 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie, or 485 kilometres south west of Meekatharra.
Australia’s Golden Outback
Kalgoorlie Visitor Centre
The Shire of Leonora