Sandstone, Western Australia

Sandstone is a small town in the Mid West region of Western Australia 157 kilometres (98 mi) east of Mount Magnet and 661 kilometres (411 mi) north of the state capital, Perth. At the 2016 census, Sandstone and the surrounding Shire of Sandstone a population of 89 people, including 19 families.[1] Sandstone is the administrative centre and only town in the Shire of Sandstone local government area.

Western Australia
Empire Day celebrations in Hack Street, 1909
Sandstone is located in Western Australia
Coordinates27°59′17″S 119°17′46″E / 27.98806°S 119.29611°E / -27.98806; 119.29611Coordinates: 27°59′17″S 119°17′46″E / 27.98806°S 119.29611°E / -27.98806; 119.29611
Population89 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation533 m (1,749 ft)
LGA(s)Shire of Sandstone
State electorate(s)Kalgoorlie
Federal division(s)Durack
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.3 °C
81 °F
13.2 °C
56 °F
248.3 mm
9.8 in


The town was first settled in 1894 as part of a gold rush after a team of prospectors including Ernest Shillington first discovered gold about 20 km south of the present townsite. Following the influx of miners the local progress association requested that a townsite be declared in 1905. Correspondence of the time shows that the area was locally known as Hans Irvine's Find and that a large amount of money had been spent on building hotels, banks and other services required by the residents. The townsite was gazetted as Sandstone in 1906.[3]

Following the establishment of the town the majority of the population and buildings from the nearby townsite of Nunngarra relocated to Sandstone.[4]

By 1907 the population of the town had swelled to 6,000–8,000 and it boasted four hotels, four butchers, two banks, a staffed police station and many other stores. A brewery was also constructed in 1907 by an Irishman, I.V. Kearney, to satisfy the local demand. He built the brewery on a breakaway on top of a cliff about 35 feet high. Water was pumped to the top level for brewing and the beer was stored in the cellars below to keep it cool even in the hotter weather.[5]

In 1910 the railway was completed between Mount Magnet and Sandstone.[6] The Jundoo Dam was completed in 1910 to provide water for the steam trains; the dam could hold 16 megalitres (3.5 million imperial gallons) of water and cost £5,000 to build. Most of the original dam works still exist today. The population of the town was approximately 2,000 adults at this time, and it boasted two schools.[7]

By 1912 Sandstone had a population of 8,000 and nearby Youanmi had a population of 300. The first pastoral leases including Youanmi Downs, Yuinmery and Lake Barlee Stations were being established in the Youanmi district at this time.[8]

A state-run battery operated from 1904 to 1982. Initially 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of the town on the Menzies road, then from 1925 at a site 900 metres (3,000 ft) metres to the east. The battery treated a total of 135,809 tons of ore, producing 115,787 ounces of gold.[9][10]

Locally London Bridge, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of Sandstone, is a natural bridge, part of the Sandstone Heritage Trail. Sandstone was the inspiration for the mining town in Randolph Stow's 1963 novel Tourmaline.[11] The smallest of the hotels built in town, the National, constructed in 1909 from locally made bricks, is the only one left remaining.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Sandstone". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 19 May 2019.  
  2. ^ "Black Range Jotting". The Murchison Times and Day Dawn Gazette. Cue, WA. 14 July 1906. p. 2. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  3. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – S". Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Shire of Sandstone Local Planning Strategy" (PDF). Western Australian Planning Commission. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Australian Explorer - Sandstone". 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Shire of Sandstone". 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Sandstone Siftings". Geraldton Guardian. Geraldton, Western Australia: National Library of Australia. 23 July 1910. p. 1. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  8. ^ "Technical bulletin - An inventory and condition survey of the Sandstone-Yalgoo-Paynes Find area, Western Australia" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2 December 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  9. ^ John Taylor Architect; Heritage Council of Western Australia (2003), Conservation plan for Sandstone State Battery (fmr) (1908), Sandstone, Western Australia, Heritage Council of Western Australia], retrieved 9 April 2013
  10. ^ Shire of Sandstone (31 December 2016). "State Battery (fmr), Sandstone". inHerit. Sytate Heritage Council, Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  11. ^ "Sandstone". SMH Travel. Sydney Morning Herald. 28 February 2004. Retrieved 28 September 2007.

External linksEdit