The Darling Downs Equestrian Estate (DDEE) is located 35 kilometres from Perth CBD and includes approximately 21 hectares of parkland open space with equestrian facilities including, 2 outdoor arenas, cross country jumps and a sand surface warm up track. The estate is situated close to the picturesque Darling Scarp.
This estate consists of approximately 260 two hectare rural and semi-rural properties with most of these properties backing onto bridle trails.
These trails interconnect and all lead to the public open space known as the Darling Downs Equestrian Estate.
The suburb design is unique in Australia where residents can live within an enviable equine rural setting so close to Perth city.
Over 25 kilometres of bridle trails are available to horse riders, cyclists and walkers, and link to other bridle tracks further south and also up into the Darling Ranges. They provide an easily accessible, safe and pleasant place to visit away from motor vehicle traffic.
Over the years, the DDRA volunteers have covered the trails with fine blue metal gravel giving the ground a good compact base. The Estate has two car parks that are available for visitors to park their cars and horse floats. The main car park is at the end of Evening Peal Court and the other is at the end of Rain Lover Court.
Most of the area now known as 'Darling Downs' was historically known as 'Wongong' (later 'Wungong'), and was originally occupied by the Whadjuk Noongar people many thousands of years before European settlement.The name, Aboriginal in origin, is said to mean "embracing" in the Nyungar language and derives from the manner in which the north and south branches of Wungong Brook clasp the parcel of land that was the centre of the Armstrong's farm.
Darling Downs - History
Most of the area now known as 'Darling Downs' was historically known as 'Wongong' (later 'Wungong'), but the westernmost portion through which Hopkinson Road passes from the 1930s onwards was regarded as part of the 'Peel Estate' in the Group Settlement Scheme.
Major themes in the documented history of this suburb are as follows
(in chronological order):
Occupation by the Whadjuk Noongar people from whose language the name 'Wongong' is derived.
Early exploration by European settlers and surveyors.Early grants, commencing with that allocated to G & J Armstrong (Wongong Farm) and later the neighbouring property established by the Marsh family.
The formation of the South Western Highway.
Consolidation of Wongong Farm, including the establishment of one of the state's leading dairy facilities.
Formation of the South Western Railway.
Subdivision of the Goss Estate, with consequent creation of Eleventh and Rowley Roads (originally named Marsh Road as it served as the access road to the Marsh family property).
Establishment of small dairies including that of the Hilbert family, and later the establishment of Masters Dairy after which Masters Road is named.
Introduction of electricity (1950s), and sealing of roads (1960s).
Arrival of Dutch migrants from the Free Reformed Church community from 1951, many of whom lived and worked in the area.
Subdivision for hobby farms and gradual increase in the number of properties set up for equine pursuits,
Since the 1990s, Darling Downs has been in transformation from a rural area into mostly rural and semi rural lots with bridle trails interconnecting many of the lots and roads within the suburb.
Darling Downs is now an outer southeastern suburb of Perth, Western Australia, within the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale. The name, referring to the suburb's proximity to the Darling Scarp, was first used as an estate name in 1977, and adopted as a suburb name in 1997.