A Perth Mint Tour: What You Need to Know

Rotating in front of me without any protective casing is the one-tonne gold kangaroo coin, 60cm in diameter and about 10cm in width.  Do you think it’s real gold?  Our Perth Mint tour guide David asks.

It is one of the questions we have answered during a tour of the Perth Mint.

what you need to knwo during a Perth Mint Tour in Western Australia

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What to Expect on a Perth Mint Tour

History Explained on the Perth Mint Tour

The West Australian Perth Mint is one of only two operating mints in Australia.  The other is located in the Australian capital city of Canberra – which today produces all of Australia’s currency.

The heritage Perth Mint building

The Perth Mint

The Perth Mint opened in 1899 in answer to a dilemma faced by the young self-governed Perth colony during the gold rush.  In 1885, there was an influx of immigration to Western Australia (WA) as many sought the opportunity to strike it rich, by searching for gold.  Many achieved their goal of founding gold.  However, turning that gold into money required them to travel to the Sydney or Melbourne mints (now closed) to exchange their gold for cash.  This meant that all the wealth found in WA was being taken out of the state.  Little or no money was being reinvested back into the WA economy, thus the WA government could not afford to build the burgeoning populations growing demand for amenities.

Statue of miners in front of Perth Mint. What you need to know when taking a Perth Mint Tour in Western Australia. A Perth day trip for all ages and families with kids.

Statue of miners in front of Perth Mint

The new premier John Forrest petitioned Queen Victoria for either a mint or money.  Queen Victoria agreed on the Perth Mint being built as a branch of the British Royal Mint.

The front part of the limestone building was designed for John Forrest’s family home and in the rear – the working mint.

Today the front part of the ornate heritage building houses the Perth Mint shop.  Everyone is welcome to come in to peruse and/or buy award winning collector coins, beautiful jewellery and bullion bars.  To view the original Perth Mint work shops, museum and see a gold pour you will need to join a tour.

Visiting the Perth Mint Museum

Our tour guide David, begins by advising us that we can take as many photos and videos as we like.

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It is here, in the museum, that we see the one-tonne gold kangaroo coin.  Yes, it’s real gold, and even though it is stamped with a $1 million value its true weight value in gold is approx. $56 million.  It is so heavy that the Perth Mint does not see any threat of it being picked up, taken passed the shop and out onto the street.

The kangaroo Coin seen during a Perth Mint Tour

The official stamp of the queen on the back of the kangaroo coin.

Further, in the museum, I get to find my weight in gold value  – $4 112 920.  Yep, I’m worth a lot.

Discover what your weight is in gold value during a Perth Mint tour. learn what you need to knwo before taking the Perth Mint Tour

What I weigh in gold value

We walk through 30cm thick steel doors into the original Perth Mint vault and see a short video on those who have tried to steel the gold.

Walk through the original Perth Mint vaults during a Perth mint Tour

The original Perth Mint Vault

A Gold Pour on the Perth Mint Tour

The finale to the Perth Mint Tour is watching a real gold pour.  This is conducted in one of the original mint workshops.  The equipment used is all original the only change is the addition of an auditorium.  David informs us that when they changed the room into the gallery workers scraped the roof clean and found $22 000 worth of gold flecks that had been embedded in the ceiling – no doubt there is even more still embedded in the walls.

We all easily see David perform the gold pour.  He begins by reminding us that we are all welcome to take photos and video but not to use the flash so as not to blind him as he handles the 1200ºC liquid gold.

Watch a gold pour during a Perth Mint Tour. learn what you need to knwo before taking the Perth Mint Tour in Western Australia.

The gold pour on a Perth Mint Tour

All suited up in protective gear Davis uses callipers to lift the urn out of the melting chamber.  He pours the gold into the mould and within moments it has set into a gold bar.  However, this gold bar is used purely for the demonstration.  It is the same gold that has been melted down and reset for 25 years of Perth Mint Tours.

The gold pour during a Perth Mint Tour.

The set gold bar

At the end of the gold pour, we are free to meander about the museum for as long as we like.  There are touch screens and videos to learn about West Australian gold history.  We have the opportunity to pick up a 12.5kg gold bar and watch another video on mans lust for gold.

Picking up a 12.5kg gold bar during the Perth Mint Tour. learn what you need to know before taking the Perth Mint Tour in Western Australia.

Picking up a 12.5 kg gold bar

The Perth Mint knows we can’t be completed trusted.  That’s why apart from the one-tonne gold kangaroo coin all the other smaller nuggets (still valued in the tens of thousands) are all safely on display behind glass cabinets.

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Top Trip Tips: What You Need to Know Taking a Perth Mint Tour

Website and Booking

Our Perth Mint Tour was quite full about 50 people.  Whilst you can purchase a ticket at the door I would highly recommend that your book via the Perth Mint online booking form so as to avoid disappointment if the tour is full.

Perth Mint Tour Cost

For the heritage tour and gold pour (which is what we did) it costs.

  • $19/adult
  • $17/concession
  • $8/child

You can add on Denshire Tea for an extra $6 per person.

Location

The Perth Mint is located in Perth city at 310 Hay Street.

Access and Parking

It will take about 20 minutes to walk to the Perth Mint from the Perth Train Station.

Alternatively, you can catch a bus.  Busses are free within the Perth city limits.  Please refer to Transperth for more details on catching public transport in Perth.

We drove into the city and parked at the nearby Perth City Council Carpark – Hay Street East located at 262 Hay Street.  It was only a two-minute walk from the car park.

What to Take

In your day pack include water and camera or video camera.

Don’t forget to print out your receipt of the tour to present and obtain your place on the Perth Mint Tour.

Where to Stay in Perth

Perth city offers a range of accommodation from backpacking hostels, hostel rooms for families through to motels and 5-star resorts.

Compare Range and Prices HERE

Discover More of Perth

Would you like to learn about more fun activities and day trips in Perth

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DISCLOSURE:

  • We paid our own entry costs.
  • We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you have a better holiday with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel tips and destination inspirations.

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