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Travel,History ian 10/31/2013

Paddy HannanHannan Street is the main street in Kalgoorlie and is named after Paddy Hannan, a short Irish prospector who discovered the famed ‘Golden Mile’ back in 1893. As well as the historic street there’s also a shopping centre, a school, a social club and a suburb named after Paddy.

Paddy didn’t just stumble across the gold – he was a career prospector, having followed the lure of striking it rich in the Victorian gold fields at Ballarat, Beaconsfield in Tasmania, Temora in NSW and for five years in New Zealand. Hannan finally discovered gold near Kalgoorlie with fellow prospectors Tom Flanagan and Dan Shea. Dan and Tom didn’t live long after the find but Paddy lived until 1925 and the ripe old age of 85 – that longevity probably gave him naming rights over the other two.

Hannan Street is a delight – framed with carefully restored heritage buildings it somehow feels like a cross between colonial gold wealth and the wild, wild west. You could imagine a western shootout  on the wide street. The street was made that wide to provide enough room for camel caravans and to be able to turn horse drawn drays – it’s pretty hard to get animals to do a three point turn. From the late 1890s through to 1910, Hannan Street was transformed from a dusty track into a sophisticated boulevard, lined with shops, hotels and government buildings, and served every few minutes by a slick tram network.

A downloadable audio tour can be hired at the Visitor Centre in the historic Kalgoorlie Town Hall. And, of course, Rydges Kalgoorlie Resort & Spa is THE place to stay!


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