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Holland Track.

Holland Track 4x4 pictures sign post January 26th to January 29th 1996

Participants:

Nigel and Pat Buxton.
Stewart, Chris and Pippa Buxton.
Hannah King. (UK Guest).
Stuart (The Gannett) Davis. (Local guest)

Location.

Hyden is approximately 350 kms east southeast of Perth (Western Australia). The trafficable track starts on the East side of Hyden. It ends at Coolgardie, 560 kms east of Perth. Hyden to Coolgardie via Holland Track 354kms. The track runs through a low acacia and Eucalyptus vegetated of low rainfall type. The track is, for the most part sandy. It runs through gold mining areas and remnants of the history can still be seen. New mines are also present in one area and care must be taken not to use exploration and development tracks. If radio controlled blasting is being used, CB radios are DEFINITELY not appreciated.

It is a dry area, you have to carry your own water. Fuel available at Hyden and Coolgardie only.

History

The Track was designed as a short cut for the miners walking (!) to the newly discovered gold fields of Bailey's Find (Coolgardie) and Hannan's (Kalgoorlie). The boats would arrive at Albany and for many it was a long walk to the goldfields. Some would turn back, others, no-one knows how many, would "do a perish." Bush graves are a regular finding if you travel in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. The track starts at Broomfield[1] but it crosses pastoral land and is therefore not open to the public until Hyden. A book on the Holland Track including trip notes is available from some map shops.

Waypoints

 PLACE NAME Place code LAT/LONG MAP NAME
1EMU ROCK EMURKS32 27.45' E119 24.07' HYDEN
2HOLLAND TRACK/NORSEMAN ROAD HTXNRS32 24.92' E119 27.43' HYDEN
3SHEOAK ROCK SHKRKS32 19.13' E119 31.30' HYDEN
4NATIVE ROCKS NATRKS32 17.97' E119 32.92' HYDEN
5WATTLE ROCKS WATLRS32 15.82' E119 34.90' HYDEN
6GNOW'S NEST GNONTS32 15.40' E119 35.20' HYDEN
7MOUNT HOLLAND MTHLDS32 10.33' E119 44.00' HYDEN
8TAILING POND TAILPS32 06.08' E119 48.03' HYDEN
9SANDLEWOOD ROCKS SNDRKS32°01.85' E119 57.37' HYDEN
10BARRIER FENCE BARRFS32 01.12' E120 00.35' LAKE JOHNSTON
11LAKE LAKES31 58.22' E120 02.48' BOORABBIN
12HOLLAND PLAQUE HPLAQS31 56.07' E120 06.17' BOORABBIN
13CENTENARY ROCKS CROCKS31 49.37' E120 16.92' BOORABBIN
14CAT CAMP CATCMS31 48.77' E120 17.83' BOORABBIN
15GRID LINE TURN OFF GRIDLS31 46.22' E120 20.18' BOORABBIN
16NEWBEY ROCK NEWBYS31 42.55' E120 25.75' BOORABBIN
17AGNES GNAMMA HOLE AGNESS31 38.45' E120 31.87' BOORABBIN
18DIAMOND ROCK DIMONS31 35.45' E120 33.17' BOORABBIN
19THURSDAY ROCK THURKS31 32.02' E120 37.98' BOORABBIN
20PIGEON HOLE PIGOLS31 26.82' E120 45.40' BOORABBIN
21VICTORIA ROCK VICRKS31 17.36' E120 55.30' BOORABBIN
22GNARLBINE ROCK GNRLRS31 08.97' E120 57.45' BOORABBIN
23TURN OFF BOUNTY MINE ROAD TOBMRS32 09.42' E119 44.91' HYDEN
24LEAVE BARRIER SPUR XBARSS31 59.46' E120 00.35' BOORABBIN
25TO THURSDAY ROCK TOTHRS31 32.67' E120 37.09' BOORABBIN
26JOIN QUEEN VICTORIA ROCK ROAD JQVRDS31 32.85' E120 46.29' BOORABBIN
27TO PIGEON HOLE TOPIGS31 28.94' E120 49.38' BOORABBIN
28KANOWNA CAMP KANCPS30 36.57' E121 36.51' KURNALPI
29KANOWNA KANONS30 36.44' E121 36.10' KURNALPI

Description

Pat with Stewart, Pippa, Hannah and Stuart set off early towards Hyden. This was to enable our guests to see Wave Rock and other beauty spots around Hyden. Nigel and Chris were to leave later as a result of a rowing commitment. Nigel met up with them at 1445.

Holland Track Sign WA pictures Following a short repast, the two Landcruisers turned their bonnets eastwards and drove to the start of the Holland track. This was found with no difficulty and photos. were taken of the plaque. A short drive of 17 kms. took us to Sheoak Rock where Stuart noticed one of the UHF antennae was absent. The track was sandy and overgrown. Eucalyptus branches reached across the track and threatened to remove roofracks or puncture the spare wheels on the racks.

She Oak Rk camp We camped at Sheoak Rock (left) near a Trig. station. Once the camp was set, dinner was prepared and the kids went exploring. Stewart, Stuart and Chris practiced with the stock whip and soon muffled expletives were sounding around the bush.

Day two saw us following the ever narrowing track in a North-easterly direction. A Gnow's (Mallee Fowl) nest is past 10kms past She-Oak rock. This used to be a common bird but is now only seen in small pockets in the bush areas.

4x4 track Wing-mirrors received a battering and eventually Pat's nearside mirror parted company with the vehicle. As you cross the Forrestannia road, some Gnamma (water) holes are seen. Much of the track was easy to follow however, the section through Bounty Mine was a little trying as many shotlines and mine tracks caused confusion. North of Bounty mine, the smell of sandalwood permeated the air, this tree is much in demand for export to the Orient. Very few "Puller's" licences are granted. Sandalwood is harvested by pulling it from the ground.

Lunch was taken at Centenary rocks - a sheltered area where the track forks.

At Newbey Rocks, we encountered a group of 5 vehicles from Midland and exchanged yarns. Here, the tracks crosses smooth granite outcrops, and care has to be taken to ensure the track continuation was found on the far side. The ground around the rock is soft, so beware.

picture of Thursday Rock WA We camped on the second night at Thursday Rock. A good camp spot can be found under trees. This provides good shade from the Goldfield's Sun. In the correct season, open fires are possible, but try and bring your wood with you. The main rock is a granite outcrop on which good walks are possible. The views are dramatic.

Day three saw us heading towards Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. A visit to Hannan's North mine was the start of the entertainment. This was shortly followed by "Hunt the Purse" as Hannah noticed she had become separated from hers! It was rapidly retrieved. Next stop was the Museum of the Goldfields. Nigel found the bookshop section- and did what comes naturally.

As evening approached, we headed to Kanowna for a camp site. (previously called White Feather) is a Goldfields ghost-town.

Kanowna Mine Shaft Holland Track WA pictures Many unmarked mine shafts are present and great care has to be taken. Carry a torch at night. Finding a pleasant spot, Pat prepared another banquet from the crumbs Stuart had missed. The boys and Hannah went sand tobogganing. This was performed at reckless lengths and much to the regret of Stuart's foam mattress. Old mine workings were explored. The next morning saw Chris stung by a bee and soon after Stuart suffered the same fate. (Bees 2 Boys 0). Both boys are allergic to bees and required immediate first aid.

On the way from Kanowna we visited the 2-UP ring and Mount Charlotte look-out in Kalgoorlie. 2-UP is a coin based gambling game and is an Australian tradition.

We returned home after lunch at Coolgardie Roadhouse and an uneventful drive. An interesting route down Holland's track and worth repeating with a little more time.

References.

  • Holland Track Map Book. Nick Underwood and Ian Elliott. Westgate Publishers.
  • White Feather. M.Bull. (Story of Kanowna) Hesperian Press.
Remember: Trust in God - but always tie up your horse.

- Nigel Buxton

June 1997: The track has been badly damaged due to use in wet weather and the WA 4WD movement has placed a 12 month moratorium on the use of the track.

[1] October 1998: [...] I have a small bone to pick concerning the Hollands Track page. It states that the track originally started at "Broomfield". It starts at a town on the Great Southern Hwy, approx 300kms S.E. of Perth called Broomehill. As a resident of Broomehill, which is very proud of the fact it's the start of the Hollands Track, I hope you will correct this mistake and save any confusion for those not in the know.
- Grant Taylor, Broomehill W.A.

Australia or WA pages


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