Visiting Perth isn’t complete without a day trip out of the city. Most people head to the Swan Valley to soak up culinary and vineyard delights. But if nature and history is more your style, you can’t beat the Perth Hills.
This itinerary follows one of WA’s few curvy roads, great for motorcyclists and drivers alike, linking the towns of Mundaring and Kalamunda via the Mundaring Weir and a hidden wine region.
Explore the Arts in Mundaring
Start your journey in Mundaring, 40 minutes east of Perth on the Great Eastern Highway. Fuel up for the day at your choice of cafes and bakeries scattered across town.
Drop into the Visitors Centre inside the 1907 schoolhouse and see the latest exhibition from the Mundaring and Hills Historical Society. For something more modern, the Mundaring Arts Centre showcases works from local artists and craftspeople.
Children will love the play equipment and fun sculptures of the Sculpture Park. From here, you can walk the historic Railway Reserves Heritage Trail or cycle the long-distance Munda Biddi Trail. The Kep Track, which explores the history of the pipeline from Mundaring Weir, also passes through town.
A ‘Crazy’ Water Scheme
In 1896, Charles Yelverton O’Connor hatched a scheme to bring water to the Goldfields, 560 km east of Perth. Faced with constant criticism and allegations of corruption, O’Connor committed suicide before his dream was realised. Completed in 1902, his legacy claimed the world’s highest overflow dam with the Mundaring Weir and longest freshwater pipeline out to Kalgoorlie.
The water scheme has operated continuously for over 100 years. The No 1 Pump Station now houses a museum telling the story of this incredible engineering feat, while information signs outside fill in details. Don’t miss a walk across the weir to look over Lake CY O’Connor.
The numerous picnic spots between Mundaring and Kalamunda lead to lookout points, hiking and mountain biking trails. The best views over the Mundaring Weir are from North Ledge, South Ledge and the Perth Hills Discovery Centre Weir View Walk (AWD vehicle recommended for North Ledge access).
Discover a Hidden Wine Region
Leave the Mundaring Weir Road for Bickley Valley and the Perth Hills Wine Region. See orchards in flower in this fruitful valley and buy fresh produce from roadside stalls and farms.
Sample award-winning wares from over a dozen vineyards and cideries in WA’s least-known wine region. Many have cafes and restaurants, so book ahead for your lunch or to pick up a picnic hamper.
Climb the Lesmurdie Falls
Walk off your winery indulgences at the Lesmurdie Falls. Follow the 50 m-high waterfall for excellent views over the surrounding bushland and distant Perth. The falls are best viewed in spring after winter rainfalls.
Enjoy your Bickley Valley picnic hamper in the picnic area.
Fill Up on History in Kalamunda
Step back in time on the Town Centre Heritage Walk Trail or visit the History Village. Uncover the local history and industries in WA’s largest folk museum, built on the old Upper Darling Range Railway Station.
Take the children on an adventure to find the hidden Fairy Doors. Pick up a trail leaflet from the Visitors Centre and enjoy local art and craft in the connected Zig Zag Gallery.
Time your trip for one of Kalamunda’s weekend markets–Farmers, Artisans and Night–for fresh produce and local crafts.
End your day with a walk on the old Zig Zag railway line and a classic Perth sunset from the lookout on Lascelles Parade. Visit in spring for a taste of WA’s incredible wildflowers.
By: Tamara Kabat
Interested in getting more information about Perth? Check back soon for Tamara's itinerary travel guide.