Gold not the only smash hit in the Goldfields

Published on Thursday, 27 April 2023 at 9:03:59 AM

Brad McGhie and Chris Smith at their lease north of Coolgardie. Image copyright Electric Pictures Pty Ltd.

The Shire of Coolgardie has long attracted those seeking gold but for almost the last decade it has attracted those who seek to film the stories of local gold hunters spawning the worldwide hit series Aussie Gold Hunters.

Aussie Gold Hunters is an Australian factual television show which follows crews of gold prospectors in Australia. The series is produced by Electric Pictures and began on the Discovery Channel on 15 September 2016.

The series has been a ratings powerhouse and gone on to air in 140 countries. It's Discovery Australia’s most successful franchise ever, and by a long shot. For the last six years it has been the channel’s number one factual entertainment show. It is also one of the top three programs annually on the Discovery UK free-to-air channel. Globally, it is a huge international success with an estimated 40 million people tuning in to watch the Aussie gold prospectors at work each season.

The series follows gold miners in various locations of Western AustraliaVictoria and Queensland as they strive to reach their individually set season target (measured in troy ounces of gold). They use a variety of mining techniques including use of metal detectors of surface or excavated soil for gold nuggets; and sluicingdry blowing or heap leaching for gold particles.

We chatted to CEO and Producer Andrew Olgivie about the unique combination of things that the Shire of Coolgardie provides for him to create such a smash hit.

The Shire of Coolgardie is one of our favorite locations for filming because it has a diverse population of people, interesting locations and, very importantly, our prospectors find a lot of gold in the area.

Coolgardie is easy to access from Perth via the Great Eastern Highway or by air via the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport, which is only 30 minutes away. It has a unique mixture of historic locations, great gold prospecting sites and true outback conditions that are perfect for Aussie Gold Hunters. The people are very friendly, and the town has all the facilities that we need to service our production needs.

The Shire has always been very helpful when we have been researching locations and looking for characters for our stories and been quick to process filming permissions where this has been required.

Electric Pictures is very proud to have been able to show-off the Western Australian outback to millions of fans around the world who have watched more than 100 episodes of Aussie Gold Hunters since we first started filming the series in 2015. The Shire of Coolgardie has played an important role in making this possible and we are grateful for the assistance we have received from the many residents who has helped us to make the series over the years.”

Shire President Malcolm Cullen shared his thoughts “The Shire of Coolgardie is well known for gold but we’ve known for many years the physical beauty of the area and its people, and TV shows like Aussie Gold Hunters know that value too. These stories of locals in their local setting have struck a chord with millions around the world and  we are in full support of this.

 The Shire has often been the preferred location for films such as Kid Snow, Son of a Gun, Stoned and the Aussie favourite, Mystery Road. I thank our staff for always being on hand to guide location scouts and aid in the production of a series just like Aussie Gold Hunters. We aim to streamline their efforts to film and produce here and  it really is a team effort.

Aussie Gold Hunters is currently in its ninth season of production, with the eighth season due to be broadcast in Australia on the Discovery Channel later in the year. 

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