Gold may be what Kal’s fortune is built on, but in the desert water is even more precious and the town would be nothing without its “liquid gold”. For this the town’s residents must thank Irish engineer C.Y. O’Connor, whose idea it was to pump the town’s water 560km from Mundaring, in the hills above Perth. A pipeline was duly constructed and opened in 1903, terminating today at Mount Charlotte lookout, where you can view displays on this magnificent feat of engineering. Although his scheme supplies the residents of Kalgoorlie – along with many other Outback towns and farms – with their water, sadly O’Connor was the subject of much ridicule for his plans and never saw the scheme completed, taking his own life in 1902 by shooting himself while riding on his horse into the water in Fremantle.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Australia remains a classic travel destination. A steady stream of gap-year backpackers, career breakers and round-the-world-trippers head down under to sample …

22 Nov 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Pack your stuff, throw it in camper van along with a surfboard and don’t look back… This might be an old cliché but it’s one for good reason: Australia r…

18 Oct 2016 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney and Melbourne have been battling it out for supremacy as long as Europeans have been setting sail for Australia. Both are capitals of their respective st…

03 Oct 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month