Midland

Located in the heart of the Swan Valley wine area, a 30 minute drive east of Perth, is the suburb of Midland. The town owes its existence to the establishment of a railway line from Perth to the Avon Valley in 1886. By 1890, a tent village of railway workers became known as Midland Junction.

The State Government established its railway workshops' site at Midland in 1901, which continued to be the major employer in the town until the workshops closed in 1990. Since then, the town has remained the commercial and retail centre for the surrounding areas.

Midland's main period of growth occurred between 1901 and 1914. In those years the stock sale yards and the government abattoir were established and the town had five hotels, churches, a picture theatre, recreation grounds and a racecourse.

The town has a number of historical buildings including the Town Hall and Council Chambers, built in 1906. The unusual square clock tower on the domed building provides a unique landmark for the town. Alongside the Town Hall is the Old Midland Post Office which was restored in the mid 1990s. And around the corner, the Midland Courthouse (Uniting Church) has a portico built in a neo-classical style with pediment and piers of Donnybrook stone.

Visit Woodbridge, a Victorian-style mansion built in 1885 on the banks of the Swan River, to enjoy Devonshire teas. See where Guildford Grammar school began and appreciate the antique furniture, with most of the original pieces remaining. In Carnegie Gardens you will find the Gerr-Lyons Memorial which was erected by the people of Midland for engine driver Gerr and fireman Lyons, who died in a major train accident in the Darling Ranges. The memorial was carved from Donnybrook stone in the classical style with a drinking fountain at plinth level.

Across the highway from the town hall is WAGR Locomotive 174 (R-Class) which was used in a mine rescue in 1907. A miner was trapped in a flooded mine and this locomotive raced with divers from Perth to Coolgardie in a time that stood unbeaten for nearly 50 years.

As well as its historical links, the town has several very pleasant hotels including the 1890s Freemasons Hotel and two major shopping precincts. Enjoy the variety of local crafts and foods that can be found at the Midland Military Markets, open Friday, all weekend and public holidays, and the fresh produce at the Midland Farmers' Markets on Sundays.

There are many wineries within the area for you to enjoy delicious wine tasting, gourmet lunches and riverside views. Midland has a wide choice of restaurants. Most are located in the city centre and along Great Eastern Highway. The choice includes a la carte, Chinese, Thai, Italian and Indian cuisine.

Motels and historic cottage accommodation is available in Midland. Nearby, the Swan Valley area offers a wide range of accommodation including self-contained cottages, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks and boutique hotels, right through to resort style accommodation.

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