Cunderdin’s rich gold rush heritage makes it a fascinating destination for history buffs following the Golden Pipeline Trail. Step inside the town’s original pumping station and be transported back to the 1800s by the Municipal Museum. Or gaze in awe at the faultline caused by the earthquake that devastated the area in 1968.
A two hour drive east from Perth on the Great Eastern Highway will bring you to this charming Wheatbelt town, which was first settled when the railway arrived in 1894.
In 1901, the Goldfields Water Scheme also reached the town. That’s why, today, Cunderdin is one of the first stops on the Mundaring-to-Kalgoorlie Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail – a captivating self-drive tour that traces the path and history of engineer C. Y. O’Connor’s 560 kilometre freshwater pipeline to the arid Goldfields. On the trail you can visit a 100 year old steam pumping station, walk across the dam wall and learn about the people behind the scheme at numerous museums along the way.
Continue your journey through Cunderdin’s history at the Cunderdin Municipal Museum, housed in the imposing pump station, where vintage machinery, antiques and relics bring the town’s story to life. Learn about early settlement, agriculture and the gold rush. Admire the Tiger Moth aeroplane suspended from the ceiling, or explore the interactive Earthquake House for an insight into the huge 1968 earthquake.
The quake left a scar 32 kilometres long and two metres high across the landscape – you can still view a one kilometre section of the faultline on the Quellington (York) Road. While you’re exploring, take in some of the region’s other natural highlights, including views from Cunderdin Hill Lookout and a picnic or spring wildflower walk at Bulgin Rock Reserve.
Be sure to stop by the unusual Ettamogah Pub, based on the Ken Maynard comics and complete with rooftop truck, it’s a quirky spot to enjoy a meal and a cool beer. If you’d like to extend your stay, the pub also offers motel-style accommodation. Alternatively, pull into the local caravan park, or enjoy a slice of country living at a farmstay.