Victorian engineering that made WA the wonder of the world.
No 1 Pump Station sits in an area known as Minderinjy to the local Whadjuk people at the foot of Mundaring Weir, which dams the Helena River, 39 km east of Perth.
The river was a traditional east-west travel route for corroborees in what is now called the suburb of Guildford. The damming of this river has changed the cultural landscape of the area dramatically and forever.
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 to transfer water over 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.
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 was her husband, then a federal politician, who 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, he remained a supporter of the vision.
A visit to No 1 Pump Station offers an opportunity to explore one of Australia’s most significant industrial heritage sites. After an extensive four-year renovation project by the National Trust the pump station is a showcase for the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.
See, Do, Explore
You can build an entire inland itinerary around exploring the Golden Pipeline and the places associated with it. What better way to kick it off than from No 1 Pump Station, particularly if you’re coming from Perth.
Schools visiting No 1 Pump Station have a wide choice of tours and activities including Water Corporation’s Waterwise Schools Program. Students learn about the significant people and events involved with the scheme.
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