Prior to European settlement the Beeloo people occupied much of the land east of the Canning River in the Shire. In 1827 the Colonial Botanist Mr Charles Fraser and Captain James Stirling explored the region to evaluate its suitability for farming. Initially the area was used for forestry and orchards; fruit growing continues to be one of the major industries in the Shire today.
In 1897 the Darling Range Roads Board was formed, but it was not until a year later the first meeting was held, on 16th April 1898. The Townsite of Kalamunda was approved in 1902. In 1961 the Darling Range Roads Board was renamed the Shire of Kalamunda and in 1978 the Shire moved its operations to the current Administration Centre, in Railway Road.
The Foothills area contains a mixture of new and older housing developments, light industry and special rural or country living development, including hobby farms. It includes the Localities of Maida Vale, High Wycombe, Forrest field and Wattle Grove.
The Eastern Districts is an area of integrated rural and sub- urban small holdings with an extensive block of State Forrest/Water Catchment. The main rural activity is orcharding, centered on Piesse Brook, Walliston, Bickley, Carmel and Pickering Brook
The Escarpment of the Darling Ranges, overlooking the coastal plain is noted for its physical beauty. It is the historical centre for the Shire and contains the urban localities of Gooseberry Hill, Kalamunda and Lesmurdie. The Darling Range is part of an ancient plateau ending at the Darling fault.
Geographically, Kalamunda has three distinct areas, the Foothills of the coastal plain, the Escarpment and the Eastern Districts.
The Shire of Kalamunda is on the eastern fringe of the metropolitan area some 24 kilometers from Perth. The Shire covers 349 square kilometers, two-thirds of which consist of State Forrest, National Parks, Regional Open Space and water catchment area. The remaining 102 square kilometers is used for rural, intensive horticulture and urban purposes.