Laverton is situated 120 kms east of Leonora and about 400 kms north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Laverton was formally named in 1900, in honour of Charles Laver, a local doctor who is best known for his epic bike ride from Coolgardie to Laverton in 1896. Prior to this the settlement was known as ‘British Flag’.
In the early 1900s the northern goldfields reached from Coolgardie, around Lake Carey and past Laverton. The town relied heavily on mining for survival and when the railway closed in 1957 it ended most of the mining production. In the 1960s Ken Shirley discovered nickel about 28 kms north-west of Windarra, and the Poseidon venture was established. With Western Mining Corporation resources the town thrived due to the demand for nickel, at its peak the share price went from 80 cents to 280 dollars in five months. Even during the slump of the early 1990s the town managed to survive. There are many major companies working in the area today mining gold and nickel.
In 1869 John Forrest (Western Australian Premier) led a search for German explorer and scientist Ludwig Leichhardt, who was studying rocks and wildlife in the area - he was never found. Other courageous expeditions have been honoured at The Great Beyond Explorers Hall of Fame in Laverton.
Laverton is an ideal place to get away from it all and enjoy the scenery or the history of the gold rush, with tours and 4WD trails. There are many ghost towns in the area: the old Beria township only has a cricket pitch in the shadows of the Lancefield mine, and all that remains in Burtville is an archway to the old pub and the cemetery (rumour has it that only one of the buried died of natural causes). There is accommodation at the local caravan park, pub or motel.
Distance from Perth (km): 952