The Shire of Mundaring is a local government area in the
eastern metropolitan region of Perth. It is a large district that encompasses
the suburbs of Bailup, Beechina, Bellevue, Boya, Chidlow, Darlington, Glen
Forrest, Gorrie, Greenmount, Helena Valley, Hovea, Mahogany Creek, Midvale,
Mount Helena, Mundaring, Mundaring Weir, Parkerville, Sawyers Valley,
Stoneville, Swan View, The Lakes and Wooroloo.
Exploration of the range of hills to the east of the Swan River plain began shortly after the British Government established the Swan River Colony in 1829, largely because of the pressing need to find suitable land for flocks and crops. These explorations led to the settlers finding the broad valley of the Avon River where several towns were laid out. One of these was the town of York.
A road (today's Great Eastern Highway) connecting York with Guildford was soon surveyed and traffic was soon passing backwards and forwards between the two settlements. A wayside inn, The Prince of Wales, was established at Mahogany Creek in 1844, providing a welcome stopping point for travellers.
The discovery of gold in the eastern district of Yilgarn in the late 1880s led to a large influx of prospectors hoping to strike it rich in this new area. It also provided Western Australia with some much needed capital to commence building infrastructure.
The construction of the Eastern Railway line, which ran between Guildford and, eventually, Kalgoorlie passed directly through the district of Mundaring. The first section of this line was constructed in 1884 and small settlements began to spring up along this line. This line had some steep curves and gradients in places, which often led to trains leaving the tracks. To solve this problem, an additional line was built to the north of this original line. This new track, which was opened in 1896, also boasted the state's first railway tunnel. As with the southern track, settlements were also established along this route.
The district received an important boost when the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme was completed in 1903. The dam that was constructed across the Helena River, known today as Mundaring Weir, became the primary water supply to the dry eastern goldfields and later the eastern agricultural districts.