Trip Leader: Martin Archer
When: 21st – 24th March 2008 Easter
Location: Mt Holland WA
DAY 1 Trip notes by Matt
Club members met up in the parking bay across from the Liberty service station on Friday 21st March and departed at 12:40pm towards the Holland Track entry off Hyden-Lake King Road. Some members had visited Wave Rock earlier in the day and included Vivien and John “Stamps”, Jason and Jane along with their daughter Lani and Russell and Jenny. Leading the trip were Martin and Karen with Keith Parker guiding off his previous trip points. Following in convoy was Sam and Pascal, Guy and Wendy and Matt with Kelvin, his dad holding up the rear as “Tail-end Charlie”
The weather was pleasant and not as hot as I had imagined it might have been so far from the coast. We drove for half an hour before saying goodbye to flat bitumen and turning onto the Holland Track turn-off which was clearly sign posted. We decided to pull over and stop to let our tyre pressures down. The track was marked as passable only in summer though it was not particularly difficult terrain to cross. The area was very dry and dusty and it was clear to all that no rain had fallen recently in this area.
There is a radio broadcast on 100 FM on continuous loop that explains the Holland Track and the sights to encounter. One of which is the Mallee Fowl nest which we stopped to look at. Unfortunately the Mallee Fowl was not to be seen.
The track was busy on the Easter weekend with many people travelling in the same direction as us. We were slowed down by a convoy ahead and were caught up by another behind which reminded us all of peak hour traffic which we had come so far out of our way to get away from. An idea was raised to gather firewood along the way and Russell and Jennies Ute was used to carry the wood.
We arrived at the base of Mount Holland near Bounty Mine by 5:00pm and set up camp. Unfortunately there was no “happy hour” but after dinner we had drinks around the fire which some members used to cook their dinner on. We were approached by a couple who were upset by our fire and were informed from someone that a total fire ban was in place. This contradicted the information which had been given to the club from DEC prior to our trip that camp fires used for cooking purposes were allowed in the area. We did the right thing and when the camp fire was no longer necessary it was extinguished. By then we were all exhausted and went to bed.
Day 2 Saturday 22nd March 2008 by Pasc and Sam
We woke at approx 7.00am. Had Breakfast & started packing for another day on the track. At about 8.00am a group of us went for a walk up to Mt Holland. On the way back down, we met the Eastern Suburbs 4WD club going up. We went back to camp and quickly finished packing and left at around 10.00am
The track today was very dusty, on the way to Sandalwood Rock we drove through over 20km of burnt out vegetation caused by a bush fire. Nothing much to see here because of the fire.
We met up with the Eastern Suburbs 4WD club again but this time we left first and got in front of them.
Driving east along the vermin proof fence we left the burnt out area until we got back onto the Holland Track. A fire had gone through here as well but the vegetation was starting to grow back.
We stopped for lunch at Centenary Rock and much to our dismay Eastern Suburbs Club got in front of us here. After lunch our next stop was Krakoyer Rock (I had a hard time getting the spelling of this). We had a quick look here but it started raining and was quite windy.
On our way to make camp at Thursday Rock we were again held up by our rival 4WD Club because one of their party had a puncture, so we had to wait for them because there was no room to get through. We finally arrived at Thursday Rock at about 5.30pm. Set up camp in the wind and rain. A shelter was made around Stamps & Vivs camp for us to have Happy Hour. After dinner we went back to Stamps camp and had a few drinks and a few laughs, we also had a fairly lively discussion on a magazine article that Viv had read.
Went to bed at approx 11.00pm after a very eventful driving day.
I think it gave everyone an adrenalin rush everytime we got in front of the Eastern Suburbs 4WD Club.
Thanks Karen & Martin for organising this trip and everyone for making it a great fun trip. (Especially the Phantom F…er) for being such a great sport. Everyone who went on the trip knows who this is. Sam & Pasc
Day 3 Easter Sunday by Guy and Wendy
The Saturday night was a little threatening with wind, cloud cover and some rain. However we all survived the night (without a camp fire) and awoke ready for our scheduled departure at 9.00 am. Stamps and Viv were up first to ensure that they had the biggest camper trailer in the world packed up by the time we were ready to leave. Once we were all packed up we climbed the adjacent Thursday Rock that was named in 1893 presumably on a Thursday.
We rejoined the last part of the Holland Track another 18 km’s that ended at the Victoria Rock Road. This was the official end of the track and many thought we should have made an announcement of our achievement to date but our trip leaders pushed on to the turnoff to our next destination, Cave Hill.
The track to Cave Hill was a little elusive but we seemed to be heading in the right direction eventually joining up with the track that followed the old railway line that followed the wood lines from Coolgardie. Once again we were all astonished with the total lack of wild life other than the occasional lizard or bird. Not once did any of us spot a kangaroo or emu, until we spotted some do do droppings that at first guess we thought was from a camel and ended out being from wild donkeys.
Once we arrived at Cave Hill and found a parking spot and we all climbed to the viewing platform to check out the rock. We then moved on to the camping site located at the dam site and had a long awaited lunch break. The dam was a site to see in this isolated location and Sam even found a Yabby in one of the water pools. The exit from the camping area involved us crossing a small muddy creek. Most went around the creek and those that went through the creek soon learn that the creek should have been named “stinky creek”.
Our next destination was to be Burra Rocks, but as on many previous days we were trailing the Eastern Suburbs club and basically had to stop when they did. We became aware that they were intending to park up and camp at the Burra Rocks so as we proceeded along the wood lines track between Cave Hill and Burra Rocks we were on a look out for an alternative camp site. We found a great flat open area and settled for the night. Many of us decided to have a shower at this point and all the shower tents were in full swing. As this was an isolated site we also took advantage of the fact that we could light up a fire and crank up the camp ovens. There was a total fire ban in place but we were permitted to light a fire in a controlled situation.
The night was cold but we all slept well and the chain saws were all in full swing through out the night in the camping area.
Guy & Wendy
Day 4 Monday March 24 by Martin
The camp awoke to a chilly overcast morning. But despite that the camp site was an ideal peaceful camping location to wake up to. 9:00am was the planned departure time and everyone managed to have camping equipment packed and ready with minutes to spare.
We continued north along the Woodlines track towards Burra Rock. The track was straight and level for a distance and then it became heavily corrugated which shook us all awake. Closer to Burra Rock the track became washed out in places requiring careful navigation with the trailers. We were soon upon the Burra Rock area where we passed the camp site set up by the Eastern Suburbs Club. It appeared that they were just about packed up and ready to head off as well.
We reached a deserted Burra Rock parking area and soon filled it up. The location has a picnic bench under a tin shelter and a drop toilet. There are also several rusty vintage car and machinery wrecks placed around the area. The walk up the rock leads to the man made dam on the side of the rock. The water was nice and clear, however with a chilly wind in the air, no one was keen to have a swim.
Walking up the rock gave an appreciation of the size of it. At the top of the rock is a stone pile marker from where you can see for miles in all directions. Victoria Rock could be seen in the distance.
We returned to the picnic shelter for morning coffee and a bite to eat. Some of the Eastern Suburbs members had arrived and after taking a few photos were bidding each other farewell.
Upon departure from the parking area we noticed someone had abandoned a camp fire still burning (not anyone from Eastern Suburbs) so Keith and Sam set about dousing it with water supplied by Stamps. We then headed to for Coolgardie along a smooth graded gravel road, kicking up the now dried out dust. The increase in speed and dust caused the convoy to stretch out as we paced for Coolgardie. The road soon became bitumen for the rest of the journey.
We reached Coolgardie at about 11:30am where, after re-fuelling, it was decided to have an early lunch at the Lions Lookout. Some had pies from the Service Station which made us appreciate how good camping food was.
After lunch we headed for Merredin with a brief stop on the road side near Southern Cross to bid farewell to Viv and Stamps who were collecting their kids from a family property nearby. At Merredin some did a fuel top-up which provided the opportunity to indulge in ice-creams.
At this point the convoy split up. Mat, Kelvin, Russell and Jenny were eager to head home so continued on without stopping. The rest of us split into two groups, those heading for the southern suburbs headed towards Bruce Rock and the others continued along Great Eastern Highway.
We eventually arrived home at about 7:30pm ending what was a very enjoyable long Easter weekend. Many thanks to all those that participated and to Keith for helping organise the trip.
Martin and Karen