Education and Learning


No 1 PUMP STATIONJoy Lefroy, National Trust of Australia (WA)
Mundaring Weir Road, Mundaring Weir  

The History of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme
In 1895 the first plans were prepared for an engineering feat that would stagger the world — an attempt to pump water uphill nearly 600 km, from the hills near Perth to the eastern goldfields of Western Australia. CY O’Connor was chosen by Premier John Forrest to oversee the scheme.

On 24 January 1903, the dream became a reality when water, which began its journey at Mundaring Weir, flowed into Mt Charlotte Reservoir at Kalgoorlie.

Today, water is supplied to over 100 000 people and six million sheep in an area covering 44000 square kilometres (two thirds the size of Tasmania).

Education & Learning programs delivered at No 1 Pump Station use an investigative approach that allow students to discover why, what, who, when, where and how this scheme became one of the greatest engineering feats of the time. All programs link to the WA Curriculum Framework. Workshops are tailored to meet the groups age and ability levels.
Due to the distance from the centre of Perth, we suggest you book a full day visit. We will accommodate a half day visit if you have less time available.

The National Trust has Golden Pipeline Facts and Photos resources originally developed for The Le@rning Federation project. They are especially suited for upper primary and secondary aged student research.

Visit Water Corporations Education website for other teaching ideas.

CY O’Connor and his public works have inspired many artworks, writings, music and songs. 

Click the Play Button to listen to Loaded Dog singing their composition The Chief.      

Visit No 1 Pump Station - Bookings essential. 

Booking Fees and to Request a Booking click here

(There are no facilities on site for buying lunch etc but there is a picnic area with free gas barbecues.)


View Larger Map

Try one of the following programs

Teachers of S&E for years 8 to 12 should contact the National Trust to discuss curriculum specific needs.

1892 to present

a) Fresh Water to the Goldfields
suitable years pre-primary to 3
This fun-filled activity based session allows your students to investigate how the people who lived in the goldfields at the turn of the 20th century valued the resources of water and gold. Students discuss the value of water in our lives today.

b) History of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme
suitable years 4 to 9
This investigative workshop allows students to gain an understanding of the need for a pipeline to be built from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie at the turn of the 20th century.  Students explore the need for the pipeline, the key players in the project and how the pipeline worked.  Students discuss the heritage value of the dam.

suitable years 1 to 7
Focuses on water sources of yesterday and today. This workshop emphasises the life-giving value of water and enriches understanding of Western Australia’s water supply and conservation issues. What happens if we don’t have water? Where can we find water? What are the connections between how we use water and the demand on water sources? We explore the history of supplying water to the goldfields and relate it to sustainability issues.  On their guided walk across the weir wall students find out what it takes to keep the water flowing to these regions of WA.

The Water Corporation supports this session as part of its Waterwise Schools Program.   


suitable years pp to 12
Design a program to suit your timeframe and curriculum needs with National Trust Education staff. All programs begin with an overview of the history and heritage value of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. 

Our Education Officers recommend the addition of one of the following 
Detail and Design
suitable years 3 to 10
Use the natural and built environment of Mundaring Weir precinct to explore ideas and create arts responses. Back at school use sketches to create student’s own completed artworks. Teachers are advised to bring a camera to record views for students to use back at school. (The Arts: Arts Responses)

Pumping Poetry
suitable years 4 to 10
Using poetry of the period and the environment of the gold rush as models, students go on to construct their own poems. They are encouraged to open their eyes, hear with their ears and use their other senses. Throughout the workshop they are expected to consider the change in the environment from 100 years ago to today. (English: Listening; Reading; Writing)

Survivor: A Prospector’s Journal 
suitable years 6 to 10

Using extracts from journals and other writing of the gold rush period of WA, students discover some of the challenges faced by early prospectors. They use this information to create interpretation through drama then follow up by writing their own journal extracts back at school. Teachers are advised to bring a camera. (English: Listening; Speaking; Writing; The Arts: Arts Responses)

True or False? 
suitable years 5 to10
Students work in small groups to question some of the issues/myths surrounding the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. They explore primary and secondary sources on display inside No 1 Pump Station to consider the reason for O’Connor’s suicide, the wooden pipeline, the quantity of water wasted through leakage and more. (English: Reading; Viewing. Health: Knowledge and Understandings)

Other suggestions include:
• Water Quality
• The Life and Legacy of CY O’Connor         
• The Power of Steam and others.

suitable years 5 - 7
This popular learning program is a collaboration between the Department of Environment and Conservation's EcoEducation program in the Perth Hills National Parks Centre (formerly Hills Forest) and the National Trust's Golden Pipeline. Students begin the day with DEC learning about the water cycle, catchments and water resource management and they are led on a walk trail passing through delightful forest to Mundaring Weir. National Trust staff take them on to No 1 Pump Station where they learn about the heritage values of the area and the history surrounding the decision to build a water supply scheme from here to Kalgoorlie.

Bookings must be made with both the National Trust (9321 6088) and EcoEducation (9295 6149).

Visit "Nearer to Naturefor more information .

back to top