Pine Creek was named by Sidney Herbert, a bloke who worked on the Overland Telegraph Line. It was during the construction of this telegraph line that workers discovered gold, and thus the gold rush of 1871 began! Pine Creek’s population exploded as Europeans and Chinese hurried over to find their fortune and during the brief lifespan of the gold rush, 764,000 ounces of gold were extracted.
These days, Pine Creek is a sleepy little town that provides basic services, and also has a few old buildings dotted around town, such as the Old Bakery. While it has been closed for a long, long time, you can still have a look inside. It opened in 1908 as a butchers shop and was re-erected in 1915 as a bakery and has an ant bed oven that dates back to 1922. It operated as a bakery until World War II.
Mine Lookout & Miners Park
While we were in town, we also checked out the Mine Lookout and Miners Park, and learnt about the gold rush that birthed this town.
The Lookout is on the outskirts of town and offers panoramic views of the area, including Enterprise Pit. This was an open cut mine that was worked from 1906 to 1985 but is now full of water to prevent acid build-up and is 135 meters deep.
The Miners Park is next to the railway station and exhibits old mining machinery. There are heaps of displays that reveal the history of the goldfields.
Running through the guts of town is a grassy strip with little ponds full of flowering lilies. It’s right near the big windmill so you can’t miss it. It was born from the closure of the railway line in 1976.
A man-made dam that is perfect for a picnic. Cool off in the water while you watch the rainbow bee-eaters flutter over the water.
This place is well worth the 22km drive off the highway. Once you park your car, it’s a short 15 minute walk to the swimming hole, with clear water and a sandy beach. If you feel adventurous, continue on into the gorge to find a bizarre sight – the creek flowing upwards?
We thought this location was beautiful and it reminded us of the Kimberley. We also saw a snake – possibly a golden tree snake – but it slithered away too quickly for a happy snap.