Temporarily closed for conservation work.
This is a place named after Munda. Where the Mundaring Weir now situated was a large spring or a soak, where Nyungars congregated, camped and lived. Nyungar called this place Mundjallina.
Nitja Wadjuk Nyungar Birdiyia Boodjar Moorn Kaart Nyungar moort koorlinjy Djinoong and Nitja Gnulla Boodjar Curram
This is the land of Wadjuk Nyungar leaders’ land who called it the black hills where Nyungar walked and looked after the hills a long time ago.
Here, Victorian engineering made WA the wonder of the world.
Visit No 1 Pump Station to explore one of Australia’s most significant industrial heritage sites, a showcase for the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.
About Number 1 Pump Station
No 1 Pump Station sits in an area known as Minderinjy to the local Whadjuk people at the foot of Mundaring Weir, which dams Mandoon (Helena) River, 39 km east of Perth.
No 1 Pump Station was the first of eight steam pump stations constructed as part of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. Designed by CY O’Connor the pipeline traverses a distance of 560 km from the Perth hills to the WA Goldfields to bring precious water to this notoriously dry part of the state.
A nationally listed heritage site, No 1 Pump Station offers a variety of fun activities for people of all ages. Learn about the history of the pipeline and the formidable insight of CY O’Connor, which made the scheme possible.
Inside No 1 today, all three of the original Babcock and Wilcox boilers, the Green’s Economiser and one of the original Worthington Simpson triple expansion steam engines remain.
You can also take a walk across the 1902 dam wall to take in the amazing scenery and magnitude of this engineering feat.
With interactive pump handles, pipeline models and video showing how the pump station worked, plus fresh air and gorgeous scenery, it’s a fun and informative day out.
Extreme weather conditions
In circumstances of dangerous weather conditions, such as extreme heat, Water Corporation may close some dams and facilities, which can mean access to this site is restricted. If affected, we will close Number 1 Pump Station. Check the Water Corporation website for up-to-date information about closures: Perth & WA Dams to Visit.
The Helena River was a traditional east-west travel route for corroborees in what is now called the suburb of Guildford. The damming of Mandoon to create Mundaring Weir in the 1890s dramatically changed the cultural landscape forever.
It was the discovery of gold in 1892 gold in Coolgardie, and the ensuing thousands of diggers from across Australia and the world, that necessitated the need for the pipeline.
Two names are synonymous with the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme: Premier Sir John Forrest, and Chief Engineer of the Public Works Department, Charles Yelverton O’Connor. Forrest’s political will and O’Connor’s technical brilliance brought a dream to fruition.
The scheme included eight steam powered stations pumping water through more than 60,000 pipes on a 560 km uphill journey from the Darling Scarp to the goldfields bringing precious water to this notoriously dry part of the state.
In sweltering heat on 22 January 1903, Lady Margaret Forrest, wife of Sir John Forrest, ceremoniously started the engines at No 1 Pump Station to open the scheme. It took five years to build, cost £2.5 million – equivalent to the colony’s entire annual budget – and cost CY O’Connor his life.
John Forrest, then a federal politician, had obtained a loan and parliamentary approval to build the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme under his premiership of WA. While there was considerable derision from some about the scheme from many in politics, Forrest remained a supporter of the vision.
The National Trust carried out significant conservation and interpretation leading up to the centenary of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme in 2003. Since then, conservation and upgrades to the interpretation have been ongoing.
You can donate to our Golden Pipeline Heritage Appeal via our Donate page.