A project from the National Trust of WA
A self-guided drive trail between the Perth Hills and Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields. Go with the Flow. Follow the water to discover more about the audacious goldfields water supply scheme and Engineer CY O’Connor.
“Future generations, I am quite certain will think of us and bless us for our far seeing patriotism, and it will be said of us, as Isaiah said of old, ‘They made a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert”
The town was named by the explorer Charles Hunt of Hunt’s Wells fame in June 1864 but it was not until the arrival of the railway and the water pipeline that the region was able to be developed agriculturally.
The first European settlement coincided with the arrival of the railway in 1884 when three families took up residence. The arrival of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme brought not only water to support further settlement but also workers for the pump station and workshop and their families.
By 1906 when Cunderdin was officially declared a town site there were 22 farms in the district. In the town there was a school, a small general store, a restaurant and a hotel. The next three decades were ones of rapid expansion and development with farms extending in all directions. A hospital, with a resident doctor, was established in the 1920s.
An Elementary Flying Training School was established in the 1940s. At one time it had 51 aircraft and a staff of 34 officers and 500 airmen. The School was disbanded after the Second World War and replaced by the No 86 Operational Base Unit. Following the closure of this unit in May 1947 the flying school facilities were used to accommodate 1000 displaced persons.
In 1945 the citizens of Cunderdin purchased the local hotel, making it the first community owned hotel in Western Australia. Unfortunately, it was damaged beyond repair by the 1968 Meckering earthquake.
Click on any map section or place below to discover The Golden Pipeline.