We had a little bit of spare time after hiking around the Mundaring area so decided to explore Mundaring's 2km Heritage Trail. We called in to the Information Centre and they supplied us with a photo copy of the trail map to follow. You can also access an interactive map online here.
We started the trail at the Information Centre as we had picked up the map there. The Heritage Trail had some lovely buildings but many have been replaced. When we got to Sculpture Park and discovered an Art and Sculpture Trail map we backtracked to explore the art around town as well. This meant that we spent about an hour and a half wandering around. I would recommend taking a photo of the 3.3km Art and Sculpture Trail map in Sculpture Park and then following it as it incorporates all the heritage sites as well as public art and makes this a more interesting walk.
Start from Sculpture Park on Jacoby Street where there is plenty of parking and toilets. This is a great place to finish as you can have a picnic or a barbecue while the kids play on the fabulous nature based playground. Surrounded by natural bush the playground has rocks to climb, balancing logs, musical instruments, climbing frames, a sandpit and water play area, slides, a massive spider web and a flying fox. You can dig around the Ornate Crevice Dragon to find 15 insects buried in the sand. The park is mostly wheelchair accessible, with inclusive equipment such as a harness swing and spinning wheelchair roundabout. Although the park is fenced along the road it is open where it backs on to the sculpture park bushland and because it is built into the hill there is a substantial drop off some of the play equipment so keep an eye on little ones.
Behind the playground, along the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail, you will find the sculptures for which Sculpture Park has been named. The kids will love interacting with some of these sculptures as they wander around. On the western side of the park, along the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail, you will find some large signs - this is where we found the Art and Sculpture Trail Map. I was not able to find this map online so best to take a photo and follow it as you go around.
Begin the trail here, taking in the Station Master's House, Mundaring Hall and the Mundaring Hotel before following Nichol Street to Great Eastern Highway where you will see the site of the old Police Station and the old Post Office. The old Post Office is now the Mundaring Arts Centre so make sure you stop to look at the veranda floor, seating and tile artworks.
It is best to cross over Great Eastern Highway here as there are pedestrian islands or if you prefer head east along Great Eastern Highway and cross at the traffic lights at Mundaring Weir Road. Either way walk east along Great Eastern Highway to see Temuka, an iron and weatherboard house built in 1911 and used as a guesthouse. It is now the vet clinic. You will pass another heritage home Belair, a private residence.
On the northern side of Great Eastern Highway visit the Old Mundaring School House, built in 1908, which is currently the Information Centre and also houses a small museum section. From here walk through the War Memorial Gardens and along Nichol Street turning west down either Nichol Lane or further down along Hartung Street.
On Mann Street you will find the Church of the Epiphany, a pretty little Anglican Church from 1914. Head back towards Great Eastern Highway. You can cross if you wish or walk back past the Marks of Mundaring mosaics on the IGA store to the safer crossing at Nichol Street.
Head back east along the southern side of Great Eastern Highway (it sounds like a bit of backtracking but it is only a about 100 metres) to the old Road Board which is now the site of the Shire of Mundaring offices and it's two artworks: The Spirit of Timber and Ceramic Community Trees. Take the stairs and the laneway around the western side of the building and you will emerge at the old Masonic Lodge building (finally a short cut!) before heading back east along Jacoby Street to Sculpture Park.
Keep walking east along Jacoby Street past the Mundaring Hotel to see artworks at the Men's Shed before crossing over to the eastern side of the playground for the CWA Murals.
We then we wandered through Sculpture Park and up steep Coolgardie Street to see Sacred Heart Catholic Church, another pretty little church, and then back to the beginning of our loop walk.
History of Mundaring
The Whadjuk Noongar people, the land's original custodians, called the general area 'Mundar-ing', with the first syllable emphasised. This meant 'a high place on a high place'. Over time pronunciation has changed to emphasise the 2nd syllable, 'air'.
In the 1870's a convict road party often camped in the area and a few vineyards and orchards were scattered along valleys to the south. More settlers arrived in the late 1890s with the coming of both the railway line and the establishment of a reservoir, what is now known as Mundaring Weir. Mundaring was declared a town-site in 1898.
Mundaring Hotel was built at the junction nearest to the station and one publican there pioneered the holiday resort trade in Mundaring. Guest houses and cottages sprang up to cater for weekend visitors. Mundaring became a leading resort area for those making day trips on the Sunday excursion trains and those who could stay longer. Leading Perth businessmen acquired weekend cottages in the hills. From there the idea of commuting from Mundaring took hold and over the years more and more people chose to live in the hills and commute to work in the city.
Some people settled in the hills so they could have a few fruit trees or chickens but others moved for their health. Guest houses championed the beneficial effects of the air 300 metres above sea level, encouraging permanent residents, including tuberculosis sufferers, as well as visitors.
In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
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