York Olive Oil Company
As you are approaching York, you will pass the turn off to the York Olive Oil Company. Their factory shop sell fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil, straight from the press and they were pressing on the day I drove by. The shop is open on Sundays, most public holidays and (when pressing) daily throughout the harvest season from April to June.
Location : Ashworth Road, York (off Gt Southern Hwy going into York)
Just of the Great Southern Hwy and about 20kms before entering York you will come across Mount Observation on your right. A small dirt road winds it way up around the mount amongst the gum trees and flora. There is an elevated picnic spot which overlooks a eucalypt forest.
There is also an orienteering trail (Maps are available from the Tourist Bureau)
Location : on th Mundaring side of York
York is a delightful old historic town in the Avon Valley around 3/4 east of Mundaring. The town was first surveyed in 1930 by Robert Dale and was named after the city of York in England and established in 1831 on the banks of the Avon River when the first settlers arrived. It was the first inland European settlement in Western Australia.
The towns most impressive Victorian and Federation buildings were built during the next 10 years – a lot of which has been carefully restored to their glory days, in fact entering York, you would feel like you were stepping back in time. So much so that the town is the state’s most complete pioneering settlement and classified by the National Trust as York Historic Town.
The Hills Forest
The Hills Forest is made up of 5 national parks in the area – John Forrest, Greenmount, Kalamunda, Gooseberry Hill and Lesmurdie Falls – and is simply known as ‘the hills’. It also takes in the Mt Dale Conservation Park. The landscape is varied with river valleys, rock covered hilltops, steep gullies and large outcrops of granite.
In its earlier days, numerous sawmills could be found through the forest areas and these supplied timber to both Fremantle and Perth and then for export. Jarrah timber was exported and used for railway sleepers in many countries and also in London for their cobbled streets.
Kalamunda is located in the Darling Ranges and is around 30 minutes drive from Perth. The town began as a timber settlement in the late 1860’s. It later became popular as an peaceful retreat from the city life. During this time many large beautiful homes were constructed, most set in wonderful garden landscapes.
The town is known as being ‘arty-crafty’. There is an ancient aboriginal walking track which begins from Kalamunda and extends down to Albany in the south. There is also the Kalamunda National Park to the north which has fabulous views back to Perth.
The Kalamunda Hotel was built in the 1920’s and was the second in the area at that time. It was well known as a resort until World War II. Today it is a popular pub and landmark in Kalamunda which is open 7 days for lunch and dinner in the dining room or the café. There is also a beer garden.
For a bit of the unusual, there is said to be a ghost in the Kalamunda Hotel. A young girl who became pregnant to the owner and building of the Kalamunda Hotel, is supposed to have committed suicide from the hotel balcony and comes back to haunt the hotel. In another version, the girl committed suicide in room 24 where guests never stay for too long. There have been reports of glowing lights being seen in this room when the room is unoccupied and the area outside the room is said to be always chilly even on hot days. Other unexplained things and noises are said to be happening in the hotel.
Location: 43 Railway Road, Kalamunda
A Village Feel
There is a resident steam locomotive as well as other examples of transport. Seven other heritage buildings dating back to 1895 have been moved to the site to create the village feel. The Museum has interactive education programs which are popular with schools. There is an admission fee.
Open : Mon – Thurs and Sat 10.00am – 3.00pm and Sun from 1.30pm – 4.30pm.
Location: Kalamunda History Village, 56 Railway Road, Kalamunda
Kalamunda History Village
The History Village is set between two original station buildings and is managed by the Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society. The village is a historical museum which has displays of timber cutting, orcharding, quarrying, transportation, hospitality and life in the early days of industry in the hills area.
Location: 56 Railway Road, Kalamunda
Whats Those Bends
Each 'hairpin' bend had a set of points and a siding to shunt the locomotives and trucks. In 1903 the government took over the line and continued to run it until 1949.
Today the route is a tourist drive which offers great views over the Greater Perth area and on clear days out to the coastal regions and the Indian Ocean. The road is one way – down. Just don't get distracted by the view.
Zig Zag Scenic Road
The Zig Zag Scenic Drive is in the Gooseberry Hill National Park . The drive (or walk if you choose) was once the zig zag railway route. The road descends 100 metres in 3 kilometres and was so steep that the engine had to alternate between pulling the load of timber and pushing it.
Location: Gooseberry Hill National Park
What A View
Like most of the hills area, Gooseberry Hill National Park has spectacular views over the 20 or so kms to downtown Perth. Even more spectacular is the sight in the evening with the sunset and the city lights. How much more romantic can that get.
Gooseberry Hill National Park is open daily.
Gooseberry Hill National Park
Gooseberry Hill National Park takes up 33 hilly hectares on the edge of the Darling Scarp. The best season to visit (other than to drive the Zig Zag Scenic Route) is in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
Location: North of Kalamunda
Kalamunda Arts & Crafts
The Kalamunda Arts & Crafts is displayed in an old Brake Van which was built in the WA Government railways workshop at Midland. It was in service from 1919 and was used on a mainline passenger service. During 1927 and after it was renovated, it was used as part of the Royal Trail during the Duke and Duchess of York’s visit. In 1982 it was taken out of service and bought by the Kalamunda Arts and Crafts Group.
Location: Railway Road and Spring Street, Kalamunda
Calamunnda Camel Farm
The Calamunnda Camel Farm is in the State Forest and on the Bibbulmun track. The farm offers camel rides both for a short ride or a longer trek – half day rides, evening rides and bbq or overnight/weekend treks. There are picnic and bbq areas on the farm. Free Admission.
Open 9:00am to 5:00pm Thursday to Sunday and Public Holidays
Location: 361 Paulls Valley Road, Kalamunda (23 Kilometres from Perth City )