Kookynie is affectionately known as "A Living Ghost Town". It was first discovered by prospectors in 1895, one of whom was WA Miller, who took up the lease on the 25th June 1895.  Miller sold the lease to the Cosmopolitan Proprietary Ltd in 1897. This resulted in the virtual existence of Kookynie. In 1907, Kookynie had a population of 3,500, yet a hundred years later fewer than 20 people lived there. But Kookynie is far from "dead". People still live there and the population is actually growing!

Once upon a time, the town had 11 hotels, a host of businesses and facilities, a Town Hall, the first public swimming bath in the Goldfields, 7 brass bands, and even it's own brewery and 2 soft drink manufacturers. While much of this infrastructure is long gone, the memories remian, and an extensive interpretive project has captured the spirit of old Kookynie when it was a thriving community. The stories of the town have been captured on quality interpretive signage along Cumberland and Champion Streets. Former residents share their recollections via these panels, and pictures illustrate what once was, but is now gone.

Niagra Dam is also located within 20kms of Kookynie, and is a delightful place for a picnic or an overnight camp, but it is also a remarkable slice of history. The massive concrete wall was built in 1897 to provide water for the nearby town and the steam engines working the line, that was rapidly extending north toward Menzies. There are 3 designated camp sites, 2 toilets and BBQ facitilies are provided, but please bring your own firewood.

For more information, contact the Menzies Visitor Centre on (08) 9024 2702.


Photo courtesy of Maddy Armstrong

Kookynie and Niagra Dam 1
Photo courtesy of Maddy Armstrong