Leonora, Western Australia
Tower Street, Leonora
|Population||401 (2006 census)|
|Elevation||376 m (1,234 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Leonora|
Leonora is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located 833 kilometres (518 mi) northeast of the state capital, Perth, and 237 kilometres (147 mi) north of the city of Kalgoorlie. At the 2006 census, Leonora had a population of 401, about a third of whom are of Aboriginal descent. The area is extremely arid, with a mean annual rainfall of just 230 millimetres (9 in). Mean daily maximum temperatures range from 18°C (64°F) in July to 37°C (99°F) in January.
Leonora is primarily a mining town. There are a number of major gold mines in the Shire, as well as the Murrin Murin laterite nickel project. The area is too arid to support intensive agriculture, but there is a substantial pastoral industry.
The first European explorer was John Forrest, who visited the area in 1869. Forrest's party made camp near a conspicuous hill, which Forrest named Mount Leonora, after his six-year-old niece Fanny Leonora Hardey. In 1894, gold was discovered in the area by a prospector named Morrisey, and in the following two years a number of rich finds resulted in rapid development of the area. The Sons of Gwalia gold mine brought Leonora to the attention of the world. By 1897 a residential and business area had been established, and the town was gazetted as Leonora in 1898.
Leonora had a single track passenger tramway linking the town and nearby Gwalia, from 1901 to 1921. Initially steam driven, the service was electric from November 1908, and petrol powered from 1915.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Leonora (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- Forrest, John (1875). Explorations in Australia. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, & Searle. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- "Asylum seekers to be sent to WA mining camp". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
Media related to Leonora, Western Australia at Wikimedia Commons