Kookynie, Western Australia

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Western Australia
Kookynie Public Hospital 1905
Kookynie is located in Western Australia
Coordinates29°20′11″S 121°29′28″E / 29.336381°S 121.490994°E / -29.336381; 121.490994Coordinates: 29°20′11″S 121°29′28″E / 29.336381°S 121.490994°E / -29.336381; 121.490994
Population77 (2006 census)[1]
Elevation425 m (1,394 ft)
LGA(s)Shire of Menzies
State electorate(s)Kalgoorlie
Federal Division(s)O'Connor

Kookynie is a town located in the Eastern Goldfields region in Western Australia. The name of the town is believed to be an aboriginal word which means 'water hole' or 'spring'. From being a busy town with a population of around 1,500 in 1905, Kookynie has become a ghost town with around 77 inhabitants in 2006, decreasing to 13 in 2010.


The town originates from when gold was discovered close to the present townsite in 1895 by a group of prospectors including W.A. Miller who took up the lease of the Englishman mine in the same year. By 1899 the townsite was declared by the government and was gazetted in 1900. The town was named by Mr Beaumont, who managed the Lady Shenton gold mine.[2]

By 1905 the town was lit by electricity and the main employer was the Cosmopolitan Proprietary mine that employed over 500 men. Other mines included the Britannia and the Cumberland Niagara Champion Proprietary. The town was an important distribution centre for other towns in the area such as Yerilla, Yarri, Yundamindera and Edjudina.[3]

Kookynie grew at an impressive rate on the back of a gold rush and by 1907 the town had a population of well over 3,500, a public swimming pool, eleven hotels, a brewery and received four trains a day from Kalgoorlie.[4]

Today Kookynie has one pub and hotel to serve the tourists. For a Western Australia ghost town (and there are many) it is surprisingly intact. A walk around the ruins reveals that Kookynie was once a surprisingly large town.[5]

Located on the road to Kookynie from the Menzies end is Niagara Dam - a concrete gravity dam in the most unlikely of locations. During the usual dry periods the dam level can range from half-full to nothing more than a stagnant puddle of muck. However, for a couple of years after some good cyclone activity in the region the dam is a popular destination for its cool waters.[6]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Kookynie (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  2. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – K". Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  3. ^ "Kookynie". Western Mail. Perth, Western Australia: National Library of Australia. 23 September 1905. p. 44. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Shire of Menzies - Kookynie". 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Tourist Australia, Kookynie". Tourist Australia.
  6. ^ "Total Travel". Total Travel.