I’ve visited Mundaring Weir any times with my family. Recently, we delved a little deeper into the fascinating history behind this Perth Hills landmark. The No1 Pump Station at Mundaring Weir is a beautiful old red brick building at the bottom of the dam wall. It has been restored by the National Trust, which makes it free for members to visit. It’s an excellent place to explore the story behind one of WA’s most significant heritage sites. The pump house was originally built to transfer water from Mundaring Weir to the goldfields, via a long pipeline.
No 1 Pump Station is one of many pump houses along the pipeline, which travels closely to the Eastern Railway tack through Northam, Cunderdin and beyond. There are just two vast rooms in the station. The entry is in the boiler room.
Here, you can’t miss the massive steam-driven boilers, which were fuelled by coal and local timber, to create steam.
The steam then travelled through a pipe to the pump room, where the restored “A Engine” pump still sits. The other two engines were removed in the 1960s. The steam powered the engines, which pumped the water from the dam, to Kalgoorlie, via the 560km pipeline. These were all in service until the 1950s, when they were superseded by a neighbouring electric pump station.
As well as the machinery, there is also an interactive exhibition and displays at No1 Station, Mundaring Weir to learn more about this huge project. Here, you’ll learn the story of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme which was designed by WA’s chief engineer CY O’Connor – who also built Fremantle’s port. A huge engineering feat in its day. The scheme was designed to bring fresh water to the death and disease ridden goldfields, and was opened in 1903.
We learnt the the project was known as ‘the scheme of madness’, and ultimately led to O’Connor’s untimely death. The engineering feat meant that water is pumped and lifted through a steel pipeline to the inhospitable goldfields. The pipeline is still used over 115 years later. Little Chef loved “pumping” the water through all the different “stations” from Perth to Kalgoorlie.
There’s also a brilliant model of the pipeline made by local year 5 students.
As well as the historical element, there’s also a water wise theme.
Cross the bridge, an you can enjoy a picnic or BBQ right by the weir wall! There are also toilet facilities here.
If you’re visiting Mundaring Weir, the No1 Pump Station is worth a look, if you’d like to delve a little deeper into this historical location.
The Details for No1 Pump Station, Mundaring Weir
Find No1 Pump House on Mundaring Weir Road, Mundaring.
Open: Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 4pm.
Public Holidays 12pm to 4pm (closed Good Friday, Christmas Day and in February)
National Trust Members – FREE
Adults – $8
Seniors / Students – $5
Children (over 5yrs) – $5 (under 5’s free)
Groups: Family of four – $20, Bookings for 10 or more from $5 per person
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