Like nearby Niagara, Kookynie was one of dozens of towns that seemingly materialised overnight during the gold boom era. Officially gazetted as a townsite in 1900, its growth was phenomenal, even by goldfields standards. By 1903, it was linked by rail from Menzies and boasted public swimming baths (filled by abundant artesian water), a racecourse, seven hotels, a brewery, two newspapers, several banks, a hospital, a school, and dozens of shops and eating houses.
While Kookynie didn’t ‘die’ as quickly as many other mining settlements, today very little remains of this once thriving town. But the Grand Hotel (1902) still stands and it’s still trading well over a century later. Indeed, it’s one of Australia’s most iconic outback pubs, much loved by locals and visitors alike.
Kookynie offers visitors a walk trail, with a number of sites marked with steel ‘cut-out’ interpretations.