Located on top of the Darling Scarp east of Perth, Kalamunda saw high growth rates in the early 1980s and now is a well developed
outer suburb of the main city.
With over 200 orchards in the shire, Kalamunda is regarded as the second largest fruit growing area in the state. About half an hours drive from Perth,
Kalamunda is an attractive town with all the facilities of inner suburban living without the traffic and the stress. It's close proximity to the surrounding bush
land and several National Parks make it ideal for a days outing. Although the central part of the town is now quite heavily developed, there are still many
quiet isolated areas where you can still enjoy the peace and quiet of the bush.
There are a number of different markets held in Kalamunda with one of the most popular being the monthly Village Markets. These are held on the first
Saturday of each month and feature arts, crafts and food. Other markets are the Night Markets (October to April on the last Friday of the month)
and the Farmers Market held each Sunday.
The local Kalamunda and Districts Historical Society manages one of the best historic museums in the State. The History Village
is located on Railway Pde. and features a number of different buildings with interesting displays inside each one.
Despite being just a few kilometres from the heart of Perth, Kalamunda has the look and feel of a country town. There are plenty of things to see and do in the area
including a picnic or BBQ at Stirk Park (and a visit to the historic homestead on Sundays 2-4pm), a walk along one of the heritage
trails or a visit to Mundaring Weir or Canning Dam.
Early settlement in the area included a timber mill at Bickley started by Benjamin Mason in 1864.
In 1881, Frederick and Elizabeth Stirk cleared 10 acres of land for farming at the site where Stirk Park now stands.
In the 1890s the Zig Zag railway was constructed with the steep ascent being overcome by switching the track in a zig zag fashion.
The site was first developed in 1901 and since no Aboriginal name for the area was known the words cala (bush) munnda (hearth) were chosen
and the spelling later revised to its current form.
Slee and Shaw's book 'Cala Munda: A home in the forest' describes the early work of the loggers in the area.
'A pair of sawyers would select a suitable tree and then cut a scarf in one side with their axes and fell it by cutting through from the opposite side with
a cross-cut saw. They would then dock the trunk of the tree into suitable lengths with the saw. The next step was to dig a saw pit in the ground. This could
be 6 metres to 9 metres long, 1.2 metres wide and 1.2 metres or more deep. A team of horses would drag a section of the docked log up on to skids which
were placed across the saw pit, so that the log lay lengthwise along the pit. One man then stood in the pit and the other on top of the log, and with a pit
saw they would proceed to cut the log into planks of various thickness, cutting to a chalk line, or a line made from the sooty bark of a jarrah tree rubbed
into the string. This unbelievably laborious task was carried out every day in dozens of saw pits around Perth'.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
It was late in the evening, when a bus driving down Kalamunda Road towards Great Eastern Highway, stopped to pick up an elderly lady at a stop outside
the cemetery. She sat just behind him and they chatted away for a while.
No other passengers got on and after a time the old lady fell silent. The driver just kept on with his route and eventually when he glanced behind him,
the old lady was nowhere to be seen.
He pulled over and searched the bus but she had vanished completely and it is said that for a long time afterwards no bus would stop at the cemetery
stop after dark.
See Haunted places for more ghostly stories including the Kalamunda Hotel.
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Mason-Bird Heritage trail, History Village, Mundaring Weir, Lesmurdie Falls , Kalamunda National Park.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Kalamunda Hotel, Historic Village.
State : Kalamunda
Federal : Hasluck
Postcode : 6076
Local Government : Shire of Kalamunda
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