Dazzling spring wildflowers and a rich seam of pioneering and prospecting history can be found in Paynes Find. Discover the legacy of the area’s first gold mine leaseholder with a visit to Western Australia’s only working gold battery, and follow in the footsteps of other pioneering prospectors on the Miners Pathway trail.
The small pastoral and mining community of Paynes Find is five hours north of Perth on the Great Northern Highway, just one and a half hours from Wubin.
It was named after prospector Thomas Payne, who was the first to discover gold and register a lease for gold mining here. As a reward for his discovery, he was allowed to crush his first find of gold-bearing ore through the State Government Battery free of charge.
The battery was sold in 1987, but it still operates today, making it the only working gold battery in Western Australia. A visit to the battery museum will also uncover a host of relics from the local mining, pastoral and sandalwood industries.
If you’re eager to learn more about the Murchison gold rush, hit the self-drive Miners Pathway. This 970 kilometre trail takes you on a journey back in time to the late 1800s, visiting long-abandoned mining ghost towns, heritage buildings and relics that chart the history of the gold mining pioneers who flocked to the region in search of their fortunes.
From late July to September, thousands of nature lovers are drawn to the region by the promise of treasure of a floral kind, as spring wildflower season turns the outback landscape into a blanket of vibrant colour. Picnic in blooms of pink, yellow and white everlastings while you spot emus, kangaroos, wedge tailed eagles and bungarra lizards in their natural habitat.
If you’re making Paynes Find a rest-stop along the Miners Pathway self-drive trail, the roadhouse and tavern offer outback-style accommodation and food. Alternatively, you’ll find some motels, hotels, caravan parks and station stay accommodation options in and around neighbouring towns.