You can buy an entire Californian ghost town for the price of a 3 bed house in Sydney

Posted: 15 June 2018 5:17 pm
Empty old American town.

Empty old American town.

Cerro Gordo is an abandoned mining town straight from the wild west. It's yours for $1.2 million.

The mining town of Cerro Gordo has been empty since 1877 when an untimely fire and the collapse in the price of silver made the place commercially nonviable.

Now it's for sale for US$925,000 (AUD$1.2 million). In Australia, where million dollar properties are becoming the norm in the biggest cities, that price would only get you a three bedroom house in parts of Sydney, according to average figures listed by

Cerro Gordo is located in a rocky hillside near Death Valley National Park. The 22 buildings that make up the site include a church, a bunkhouse and a hotel, and it really is a hell of a deal.

The large timber hotel building could easily be the scene for a large-scale shoot out in a Clint Eastwood Western. There's even a rickety old railway leading to the abandoned mine shafts.

According to the mine's website, the privately owned Cerro Gordo "is considered one of the best 'authentic mining towns' in California". Early in its history Mexican and American prospectors battled with local Native peoples. During its heyday as a mine, mule trains carried ore and bullion all the way to Los Angeles.

Tours are available for interested visitors, and CNN reports that there are proposals to turn the town into anything from "a theme park to a marijuana town".

What can you get for $1.2 million in Australia?

With recent property booms in many Australian cities you'd be hard-pressed to buy a townhouse in some suburbs, never mind a ghost town.

Even in Tasmania an entire town can set you back $11 million. Admittedly, this town was a profitable business rather than a ghost town.

Here's what you can get for the price of a California ghost town.


  • Far from the Sydney CBD in semi-rural Richmond you could buy this lovely five bedroom house with a pool (asking price $1,250,000).
  • In inner-city Newtown the buyer's guide suggests your California town is equal to an extremely cosy but modern two bedroom house.


  • Outside the city in neighbouring Geelong you could pick up this delightful four bedroom heritage house. It's no Wild West hotel, though.
  • In trendy Fitzroy not far from the CBD you could squeeze into an extremely narrow but charming two bedroom cottage.


  • Now we're talking! $1.2 million could land you a three bedroom apartment with two bathrooms overlooking the Swan River in central Brisbane.
  • Party like it's 1877 in this four bedroom house with a large pool in Fig Tree Pocket. And it's only eight kilometres from the CBD.

If you need finance to buy the house – or ghost town – of your dreams, you'd better start by comparing home loan options.

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