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Kalgoorlie is a large Western Australian mining town located about 600 km east of Perth. Its current approximate population is 28000. The name Kalgoorlie is derived from the Aboriginal expression Karlkurla (pronounced gull-gull-la), meaning "place of the silky pears".

In June 1893, prospectors Patrick (Paddy) Hannan, Tom Flanagan, and Dan O'Shea were travelling to Mt Youle when one of their horses cast a shoe. During the resultant halt in their journey, the men noticed signs of gold in the area, and decided to stay put. On June 17, 1893, Paddy Hannan filed a Reward Claim. Hundreds of men swarmed to the area, and Kalgoorlie was born. The mining of gold, along with other metals such as nickel, has been a major industry in Kalgoorlie ever since.

Places, famous or infamous, that Kalgoorlie is noted for include its water pipeline, designed by C. Y. O'Connor, which brings in fresh water from Mundaring near Perth); its Hay Street brothels (the street itself was apparently named after Hay Street, Perth); its two-up school; the goldfields railway loopline; the Kalgoorlie Town Hall; the Paddy Hannan statue/drinking fountain; the Super Pit; and Mt Charlotte lookout. Its main street is Hannan Street, named after the town's founder.

The town of Kalgoorlie and the shire of Boulder amalgamated on February 1, 1989 to become the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

For eastward train travellers, on the trans-continental 'Indian Pacific' service, Kalgoorlie is the last town encountered for hundreds of miles before entering the vast expanse of the Nullarbor Plain.