Mount Magnet, Western Australia
Trucks at Mount Magnet
|Elevation||426 m (1,398 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Mount Magnet|
|State electorate(s)||North West|
Mount Magnet is an old Western Australian gold rush town. The name was chosen during exploration of the region due to an isolated hill 5 km north west of the town current townsite. This hill has an extremely high iron content and affected the compasses of explorers. At the 2006 census, Mount Magnet had a population of 424.
It is located 573 kilometres (356 mi) northeast of Perth via the Great Northern Highway. Only a few mines are still worked, including Hill 50 which started operations in the 1890s. The area once had three separate townsites - Mount Magnet, Boogardie, and Lennonville. Boogardie has since been swallowed up into the open cut mining operations at Hill 50. Lennonville was abandoned at the start of World War I, and the foundations of the bank and train station can still be seen.
Unusual for such a large mining community, Mount Magnet has never had a public battery. The nearest battery was built 5 km west, in Boogardie. However its gold-rush heyday can be seen in its very wide main street with three hotels, a race course and a golf course complete with oiled greens.
Surrounding the town are remnants of old mining operations, and to the north east are significant Aboriginal sites being preserved jointly by the local community and the West Australian Museum. Today Mount Magnet is primarily a service town for the surrounding pastoral district which supports very large sheep stations.
During spring (September to November) the area attracts tourist viewing the natural display of everlastings that can stretch for kilometres in all directions. Being 6 hours drive from Perth makes it a comfortable day's journey for vehicles heading further north to places like Mount Augustus and Port Hedland.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Community Profile Series : Mount Magnet (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
Media related to Mount Magnet, Western Australia at Wikimedia Commons