About the Shire of Sandstone
Sandstone is located 742 km north east of Perth via the Great Northern Highway and the town of Mount Magnet.
The Shire lies in the heart of the spectacular east Murchison District and its bronzed landscape tells many tales of bygone days when gold was first discovered. In 1894 Ernest Shillington and a number of fellow prospectors found gold about 20 km southwest of the present town site.
For a period of six years from 1907 Sandstone was a small city of some 6,000 to 8,000 people. It had four hotels, four butchers, many cafes, stores and business houses, as well as a staffed police station and two banks. During this boom period, in July 1910, the railway came to the town. However by 1919 only 200 people remained and many buildings were pulled down and moved. Fortunately Sandstone was able to survive as a centre for the region’s growing pastoral industry. In more recent times, gold-mining has re-emerged as Sandstone's principal industry.
Throughout the Sandstone area natural rock formations or breakaways contrast dramatically with the rust stained sandstone landscape which gives the town its name. The mainly flat surroundings of Sandstone and the distant horizons give the impression of a very large sky which provides that wide open and free feeling which one can only experience in the outback.
Sandstone is home to Australian wildlife such as emus, bungarras and of course kangaroos. Indeed it is not unusual to see a kangaroo hopping in the main street after dark.
The red terrain and the vivid blue of the mostly cloudless sky, enhances the natural beauty of this unique place. Sandstone is a wonderful, peaceful environment to experience the glory of the night skies. In the evenings you can witness the truly spectacular sunsets that Sandstone has to offer. At night, far from the interference of city lights, the darkness of the outback makes Sandstone a great setting for stargazing and viewing the magnificent sky of the southern hemisphere. Sandstone also boasts a spectacular wildflower display with July to September seeing the landscape transformed from red earth to a carpet of magnificent wildflower colours.