Kalamunda, Western Australia
Perth, Western Australia
Kalamunda Road, Kalamunda
|Population||6,835 (2006 census)|
|• Density||690/km2 (1,788/sq mi)|
|Area||9.9 km2 (3.8 sq mi)|
|Location||25 km (16 mi) from Perth|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Kalamunda|
At 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level, Kalamunda and the surrounding areas experience colder night temperatures than the bulk of the Perth Metropolitan area to the west. Deep clay soils in the valleys in this area provide ideal growing conditions for stone fruits, apples and pears,wine production and for a small commercial rose growing industry.
The suburb of Gooseberry Hill is located to the north of Kalamunda where the terrain drops away sharply to the Helena Valley effectively isolating the Kalamunda from other Darling Scarp population centres to the north. To the south and east the urban area transitions into the semi-rural and orchard growing areas of Bickley, Carmel and Pickering Brook, which in turn give way to extensive jarrah and marri forests.
Important Bird Area
The town lies within the Mundaring-Kalamunda Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because of its importance as a non-breeding season roost site and foraging base for Long-billed Black Cockatoos.
Kalamunda has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Due to the suburb's high elevation of around 250–300 metres (820–980 ft) above mean sea level and location on the Darling Scarp, it is a few degrees cooler in winter than Perth; however, this difference is less pronounced in summer as Kalamunda is less affected than Perth by the regular afternoon sea breeze, the Fremantle Doctor, due to its inland location. Kalamunda is far wetter than the city with over 1,000 millimetres (39 in) of annual rainfall, due to its location in the Darling Scarp.
|Climate data for Kalamunda|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.4
|Average low °C (°F)||16.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||11.9
|Avg. precipitation days||2.5||2.6||3.9||7.0||13.3||16.6||18.5||16.5||13.1||10.9||6.2||3.7||114.8|
The suburb is serviced by the Kalamunda bus station, which provides bus services across the Perth metropolitan area.
Kalamunda was once part of a thriving logging region, being a stopping place on the Upper Darling Range Railway. The area has a number of features as a result of this railway including a museum at the site of the original station. Typical rail side road structures with a rail reserve between and the Zig-zag road on the old section where the railway climbed the Darling escarpment. It is at Gooseberry Hill that the railway used to descend from the hills to Midland Junction, dropping 300 metres in a series of 5 zig-zag shunts. The railway line has been replaced by a single lane, one-way scenic drive that follows the old track.
Kalamunda has extensive areas with orchards, primarily involved in apple and stone fruit production. The region largely serves as a dormitory suburb for Perth workers. It has a modest retail, government and education sector, and a small industrial base. While the town's retail centre is the largest in the Darling Scarp it primarily services Kalamunda and the contiguous urbanised areas of Lesmurdie and Walliston.
Kalamunda and the surrounding areas have an arts and crafts tradition, and are home to three major Perth residential colleges. Conservation groups are active within the community, and efforts have been made (largely successfully) to maintain native vegetation adjacent to the urban areas, and to some extent with the urban area.
Kalamunda is home to the television towers of all free-to-air Perth Television stations, and the approach control radar for Perth Airport.
The population profile of Kalamunda is slightly in advance of the Perth Metropolitan area, and it is likely that in time it will develop a large retirement population. The population of Kalamunda and the surrounding areas have a diverse ethnicity. Notably however, there are many Italian families who became involved in the orchard industry in the post-Second World War migration period.
Short stay accommodation in a forest setting close to Perth is a growth area, and is increasingly offering eco-tourism experience for local and overseas visitors.