A small town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, Norseman offers plenty of things to do for visitors of all ages. From exploring nature to learning about the town’s rich history, Norseman has something for everyone.
It is a popular stopover point for travellers on their way to explore the vast outback landscapes of Western Australia. Chances are if you’re visiting Norseman you’re about to head onto the Nullarbor or you’ve just come off it and you’d like to embrace the town before continuing on your adventure. To help you make the most of your stay we have put together a list of the 14 best things to do in Norseman.
1. Hike up Mount Jimberlana
Approximately 5km northeast of Norseman sits Mount Jimberlana, also known as Jimberlana Hill. Just a short 5 minute drive away from Norseman, besides being a popular attraction and a prime picnic spot, Mount Jimberlana is also a free camping site.
Besides spending the night at Mount Jimberlana and having a picnic there, another great thing to do in Norseman is the quick hike up to the summit. A short track leads up the large granite outcrop to take you to the peak of Mount Jimberlana. The hike is an easy one, taking just 20 minutes at a moderate incline. Reach the top and you’ll be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of the surrounding bushland.
2. Drop by the Iconic Norseman Visitor Centre
A visitor centre like no other, the Norseman Visitor Centre is a ‘must-see’ attraction when visiting Norseman. With a stunning mural on the side of the building and so much to see inside, including; interpretive displays, local art, artefacts and more. Take your time to explore the building and admire everything they have on display. They do have a gift shop with souvenirs and art, craft and woodwork pieces by local artists, which are available for purchase. Find something you love to take home with you.
A prime spot for ‘insider’ information, their enthusiastic and friendly team of volunteers are happy to provide all the information you need. Whether you’re new to Western Australia and want some travel advice, you’re about to head across the Nullarbor and want to know what to expect, you need water before continuing on your travels or you just want to meet the locals and learn more about Norseman. The Norseman Visitor Centre is the place to go.
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the Norseman Visitor Centre open hours are Monday-Friday between 8:30am-4:30pm and Saturday between 8:30am-12:30pm. They are not open on Sunday.
3. Check Out the Tin Camel Roundabout
When it comes to Norseman attractions, one of the must-see sights is the Tin Camel Roundabout. Located in the heart of the town, this roundabout features multiple large metal camels that stand as an iconic landmark for Norseman.
An interesting part of history, this art display is tribute to the role of camels in the development of Australia. Having being brought over from the mid 1800s to help transport goods over long distances. A line of camels, referred to as ‘camel trains’ were crucial for crossing the outback to bring supplies to early pioneers.
Make sure to take the time to stop and admire the magnificent metal camels that stand tall at the centre of the roundabout.
4. Visit the Norseman Horse and Learn how Norseman Came to Be
One of the top attractions in Norseman is the famous Norseman Horse. This horse sculpture is another popular attraction in Norseman that is certainly worth a visit. Located just in front of Marks Park in the town centre, the Norseman Horse sculpture stands tall, rich in history, representing how Norseman came to be.
Norseman Horse is how Norseman got it’s name. It is believed that prospector, Laurie Sinclair, tethered his horse ‘Hardy Norseman’ up for the night, when travelling from Coolgardie to Esperance after an unsuccessful trip to the Coolgardie Goldfield. When he returned in the morning his horse had uncovered a large gold reef (which was then registered by Sinclair in 1894).
Visiting the Norseman Horse is a great way to learn about the history of the town and explore one of the many unique Norseman attractions. Pack a picnic to enjoy in the park and make a full day of your visit.
5. Admire the Beauty of Norseman from the Beacon Hill Lookout
Just a short drive out of town is the Beacon Hill Lookout. The lookout is the perfect vantage point, offering incredible views over the town, surrounding bushland and salt lake. While admiring the beautiful scenery you can learn more about early settler and mining history in Norseman as there are multiple information boards.
There’s also a short walk looping around the lookout if you’re interested in continuing to admire the surroundings, it really is the perfect thing to do in Norseman if you’re a nature lover. Along this walk you’ll see salt lakes, a variety of native flora, former mine sites and the town of Norseman. Head over for sunrise or sunset for an even more incredible experience.
6. Pop by the Bromus Dam
About 30km South of Norseman, just off the Coolgardie-Esperance highway is Bromus Dam. The Bromus Dam is a fantastic free campsite where visitors sleep amongst the trees next to the dam. Even if you’re not planning on spending the night at the dam it’s worth dropping by to revisit history and enjoy a picnic in a beautiful spot.
The dam was originally built in the late 1920s so passing steam trains that were operating between Norseman and Salmon Gums would have a reliable water source. Now the dam is a popular attraction, rich in history, that many visit when heading into or passing through Norseman. Get out in nature and revisit history. If you have the time, popping by the Bromus Dam is the perfect thing to do in Norseman.
7. Step Back in Time at the Norseman Historical Museum
Visiting the Norseman Historical Museum is a must do thing in Norseman for history-lovers and those who want to learn more about Norseman’s past. The museum is situated right in the heart of town and has a small entry fee of just $3. Ran by a team of knowledgeable and friendly volunteers, the museum tells the story of Norseman’s mining past and it’s early settlers.
With indoor and outdoor exhibits you’ll have great fun exploring the museum and all it has on display. Expect to see old typewriters, phones, bicycles, household items, machinery and more. The museum also has a piece of Skylab on display. Skylab was America’s first space station which crashed down to Earth in 1979, scattering debris across Esperance and Norseman. The museum building itself is also a part of history as it’s set in the old School of Mines which was established in 1939.
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the museum is open Monday-Thursday between 10am and 1pm.
8. Gallery of Splendid Isolation
Nature and photography lovers will love adding a trip to the Gallery of Splendid Isolation on their list of things to do in Norseman. The Gallery of Splendid Isolation is an art gallery featuring photographer Lynn Webb’s work. His work is primarily landscape photography showcasing the incredible diversity of the Esperance-Goldfields region and other Australian regions.
Take some time to enjoy the beautiful landscapes photographed and if you really love a piece don’t hesitate to take it home with you. You can purchase high quality digital prints of Lynn’s work in a range of different sizes.
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the gallery is only open when Lynn is there and is not off exploring new landscapes. If you’d like to visit he recommends giving him a call on 0419 837 337 prior.
9. Take a Refreshing Dip in the Norseman Swimming Pool
There’s nothing better than going for a swim and cooling off in the water on a hot day. If you’re visiting Norseman during summer adding a swim in the Norseman Swimming Pool to your list of things to do in Norseman is a must!
The pool is located in the centre of town and offers a refreshing break from the hot outback temperatures. At the time of writing this (March 2023) the pool is open during the summer months (November-March) Tuesday to Sunday from midday to 6pm. Be sure to stop by and take a refreshing dip during your visit.
10. Have a Picnic at Phoenix Park
If you’re looking for a relaxing way to get outdoors in Norseman, be sure to visit Phoenix Park. The perfect combination of history and nature, Phoenix park features walk paths which allow visitors to discover old mining and railway equipment, providing a fascinating glimpse into Norseman’s early days. It also has a small creek which further enhances the natural beauty and serene atmosphere of the park.
The park is located on the eastern side of town, within walking distance from the town centre and has shady picnic areas, public toilets and barbecues, making it the perfect place to spend the day. Take a tranquil walk in nature, revisit history and enjoy a peaceful picnic outdoors at Phoenix Park.
Whether you’re going for a family picnic or simply looking for a quiet place to relax, be sure to add Phoenix Park to your list of things to do in Norseman.
11. Enjoy Your Incredible Surroundings with a Scenic Drive
Going on a scenic drive is the ultimate way to experience the breathtaking outback landcapes surrounding Norseman. From ancient rock formations and salt lakes, to unique flora and fauna that call Norseman home, there is no shortage of amazing scenery to take in. No matter the direction you’re heading and how far you go.
Grab some road-trip snacks, play your favourite tunes and enjoy the sense of freedom and adventure of exploring the Australian outback. Whether you’re a seasoned road tripper or are just looking for a leisurely drive to see more of Norseman, going on a scenic drive around Norseman is an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed.
12. Take on the World’s Longest Golf Course
If you’re making your way across the Nullarbor make sure you take part in the world’s largest golf course, Nullarbor Links. Spanning 1365 kilometres with one hole in each participating town or roadhouse from Kalgoorlie in WA to Ceduna in South Australia. The 18-hole golf course is a one of a kind experience.
One of the holes is at the Norseman Golf Club, surrounded by woodland forest and featuring a lake, the course is nothing shy of spectacular. It’s a one-of-a-kind golfing experience that combines the fun of the game with the incredible beauty of the Australian outback.
Whether you’re a golfing enthusiast or are just looking for a unique and memorable experience while in Norseman (and beyond), the Nullarbor Links golf course is well worth taking on. Head out to the Nullarbor Links golf course for a round of golf that you won’t forget.
13. Revisit History at The Dundas Rocks
Located just 20 minutes South of Norseman are the Dundas Rocks and previous townsite of Dundas. It’s definitely worth checking them out and revisiting history while in Norseman.
While the Dundas townsite may not look like much now, travel back to the 1890s and you would have been right in the middle of a town. A town with a hotel, a blacksmith, a church, a store and houses. Once gold was found in Norseman the focus on the town of Dundas was lost as focus on town development shifted to Norseman. Enjoy reading the information signs that stand there today, learn about what life in Dundas once was.
After wandering through the previous Dundas townsite, make sure to look for the Dundas Rocks, which are millions of years old. The Dundas Rocks are large boulders sat balancing on flat land. Appreciate a leisurely walk through the bush to see the ancient rock formations.
14. Explore the Nearby Towns of Esperance or Kalgoorlie
If you have time to explore more of the region, make a trip to one (or both) of the incredible nearby towns. With such unique offerings the drive is well worth the effort.
Approximately 200km south of Norseman is the stunning coastal town of Esperance. Esperance is a water lovers paradise, known for having some of Australia’s best beaches, with bright white sandy beaches and crystal-clear vibrant turquoise waters. A trip to Esperance is worth adding to your Norseman itinerary if you have the time. If you’re planning on heading there, make sure to check out our post on the best things to do in Esperance.
If you’re looking to travel in the other direction to explore Western Australia’s outback, add Kalgoorlie to your must-visit list. Situated 187km north of Norseman, this unique town is known for it’s gold mining heritage. Enjoy learning about gold mining and uncovering Kalgoorlie’s fascinating past.
Enjoy Your Time in Norseman!
In conclusion, Norseman is a hidden gem in Western Australia, with rich history, stunning landscapes, and unique wildlife. Whether you are passing through on your way to explore the outback or looking for a destination to spend a few days, Norseman has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags, and head to Norseman for an unforgettable experience!
If you’re about to make your way across the Nullarbor make sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Driving Across the Nullarbor for everything you need to know.
If you’re interested we’ve also put together some answers for frequently asked questions about Norseman, WA below.
What is Norseman Known For?
Norseman is known for its gold mining heritage, stunning scenery and unique wildlife. Today, Norseman marks the start of the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia, making it a stop over for many visitors who are about to or who have taken on the long drive between states.
Is Norseman Worth Visiting?
If you’re taking on the Nullarbor a visit to Norseman is a must. Not only to refresh after or prepare for the long drive but to spend some time exploring and learning about this unique town. Driving to Norseman itself as a lone destination during your holiday would probably not be ideal as it’s a remote town that takes quite a bit of time to get to.
How Far is Norseman from Perth?
Norseman is approximately 634km from Perth, which is about a 8-9 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Far is Norseman from Esperance?
Norseman is approximately 203km from Esperance, which is about a 2-2.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic).
How Far is Norseman from Kalgoorlie?
Norseman is approximately 187km from Kalgoorlie, which is about a 2 hour drive away (depending on traffic).
What Region is Norseman in?
Norseman is in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.
What Shire is Norseman in?
Norseman is in the Shire of Dundas.
What is the Population of Norseman?
Norseman has a population of 562 (according to the 2021 Census).
What is there to do in Norseman?
There are lots of amazing things to do in Norseman, including:
- Hiking up Mount Jimberlana
- Visiting the Norseman Visitor Centre
- Checking out the Tin Camel Roundabout
- Visiting the Norseman Horse Sculpture
- Admiring your surroundings at the Beacon Hill Lookout
- Visiting the Bromus Dam
- Visiting the Norseman Historical Museum
- Visiting the Gallery of Splendid Isolation
- Swimming in the Norseman Swimming Pool
- Having a picnic at Phoenix Park
- Going for a scenic drive
- Playing golf on the Nullarbor Links golf course
- Visiting the Dundas Rocks and Dundas townsite
- Exploring the nearby towns of Esperance or Kalgoorlie