Absolutely delighted to share the fascinating story of Mundaring Weir with you! Situated in the Darling Scarp, this beautiful spot didn’t witness a significant European population until the late 1890s when the dam was constructed. It was like a magic wand had been waved – after the dam’s completion, the area became a favorite haunt for picnickers and sightseers, captivating the imagination of Perth’s public.
Enter Charles Yelverton O’Connor, the talented Irish Australian engineer behind the ingenious pipeline project that transported water all the way to Kalgoorlie – an endeavor that stirred quite the controversy back in its day.
Now, let’s talk about the charming hotel that has its roots intertwined with this history. Imagine, a mere five-minute stroll from the Weir, stands a hotel built on the very first piece of freehold land. This place was designed to house the influx of visitors who flocked to witness the Weir’s construction, as well as the hardworking men toiling away on the project. A bit of a hiccup with alcohol sales spurred the three-man police force stationed at the Weir into action – they wanted to keep things in check.
In 1898, the Jacoby brothers crafted a single-storey building, the Reservoir Hotel, situated adjacent to the railway line on that precious piece of freehold land beside the weir easement. Flash forward to 1906, and Fred Jacoby upped the ante, adding a splendid two-storey building to the hotel and rechristening it as the Goldfields Weir Hotel. Fascinatingly, some of the construction materials journeyed all the way from England by sailing ship. While sprucing up the fireplace’s foundation (now the Coffee Shop), a bricklayer stumbled upon bricks bearing his hometown’s name in the north of England – talk about a transcontinental connection!
Back in the day, a railway was constructed from Mundaring to the Weir, primarily for moving goods. Visitors would be whisked away from Mundaring station by horse and buggy, since there were just two weekly trains from Perth. The last stop before the Weir, right opposite the hall, bore the name Karda Mordo. Picture this: beer kegs rolling down the hill from there to the hotel, and invoices from Swan Brewery still bearing the address “Mundaring Weir Hotel, Karda Mordo.” Alas, the railway line bid adieu in 1952.
An accommodation wing with 12 cozy rooms once graced what now serves as the beer garden. Stays here were all the rage, and the Hotel was even dubbed “the sanatorium of the West” – “Karda Mordo Amongst The Mountains.”
Fast forward to World War II, when the Weir was considered an enemy target, and guards were posted. The hotel’s roof was even given a dark coat of paint, and part of its cellar was converted into a bomb shelter, accessible from the ballroom above. Today, that shelter plays a different tune, serving as the downstairs Café’s kitchen.
The last century has seen the Hotel ride the waves of colorful history, with numerous publicans steering its course, each with their unique touch. Notably, the current publican has held the reins longer than any other in its storied past.
In 1984, a true hero, Jens Jorgensen, swooped in to save the day, purchasing the Hotel just as it teetered on the edge of closure. Imagine, back then, the property was a bit run-down, the grounds littered with old car bodies, and horses grazing at the back. But Jens had a vision, and in the years that followed, the Hotel transformed into a true gem, offering a perfect escape into the forest without the need for long travels.
Jumping ahead to the late 1980s, a fantastic addition graced the grounds – a pool that brought families together during the sunny summer months, hosting vibrant outdoor concerts. Nowadays, the pool has a new purpose, doubling as water storage in case of firefighting emergencies. This smart move also means more space for concert-goers to soak up the magic of the performances in the Mundaring Weir Amphitheatre which has housed performers like Jummy Barnes, Kate Cebrano, Kasey Chambers and David Helfgot.
And that’s not all – the hotel takes pride in offering an additional 10 motel-style rooms, nestled charmingly within the hotel gardens. These cozy havens offer picturesque views of either the lush forest or the meticulously manicured grounds, ensuring a delightful and comfortable stay for all our cherished guests.
Hungry or thirsty? You’re in for a treat! Our doors are wide open seven days a week, inviting you to savor a truly fabulous meal and refreshing drinks. Sundays bring an extra touch of magic with live music to serenade your senses. Plus, we’ve got the whole family covered – our friendly atmosphere is designed to make every member of your clan feel right at home. Whether you’re dropping in for a sumptuous meal, a cup of coffee, or a well-deserved getaway, we’re dedicated to crafting an experience that’s wonderfully cozy and memorable.