Holland Track Easter 2004

Trip Leader: Richard King

When: 9th – 12th April 2004

Location: Holland Track

Participants: 6 Pajeros, 1 Patrol , 1 Landcruiser.

Friday 9th April 2004
The day started at 12.00 with all 8 vehicles meeting at the Shell Service Station at Hyden.  Everyone was fresh faced and cars were clean.  There had been 12mm of rain overnight and a fair bit the day before making for an interesting day ahead.  All though we knew we were not going to be in too much trouble as about 25 cars had gone in earlier in the day.
We all headed off to the start of the Holland Track and an interesting weekend ahead.  

The road leading to the start of the Holland Track was a good gravel road and showed little sign of rain.  Once on the track, we soon encountered our first of many mudholes.  No major incidents to report of – everyone coped very well.  But we are proud to report that Wojeich finally got his car dirty for the very first time.
After a fairly easy first day, we headed to Mt Holland to set up camp.  Surprisingly we were the only group at this site (apart from the ants….).  Once the group had set up camp, we re-convened to climb Mt Holland (which was actually a very easy walk…).  At the top a CDMA phone call was made to our more relaxed counterparts who had been taking it easy all day at the Leschenault Peninsula.
The night was spent sitting around the camp fire (and for some of us, watching DVD’s… – Wojeich).  The weather had cleared and we looked forward to a bright and sunny Day Two.
Saturday 10 April 2004
 We woke to a misty morning at the base of Mt Holland and left camp at 9.50am hoping to make Thursday Rock our next overnight camp.  First stop was morning tea, next stop Sandalwood Rocks, then a brief stop at the 100 year Commemorative Plaque for a group photo kindly taken by Wes.  

Further along the track our trip leader Richard King showed us how to tackle a boggy stretch… by going thru it , sideways, at speed – needless to say the rest of us took it quite sedately!  

Lunch was at Blazed Tree Camp where several storms were noticed in the distance – on all sides of the convoy.  More mud and Wojtech succeeded in following Richard’s lead as he managed to tackle it sideways with the movie camera still up to his eye recording his every move.  
 Eventually, as it was getting late and the storms were getting closer, it was decided that we would stop at the Diamond Rock campsite instead of Thursday Rock.  

We had just enough time to hurriedly put up tents and campers before the rain bucketed down in torrents.  

Wes had to brave the elements to make sure his tent didn’t up and fly away, Martin ditto, Helen was inside her tent doing the same, and Wojteck was furiously digging moats around his tent in an effort to stop the water flooding it.  

Richard King decided the two very, very close lighting strikes and subsequent booming thunder as he was walking back to his vehicle were much too close for comfort and the closest he’d been to a lighting strike ever!  

After the rain stopped we all mopped up and miraculously the kids, Cam, Cody, Laura and Daccian managed to get a roaring fire going.  After tea Wojteck entertained some of the kids with a DVD movie in his car (what a way to go camping!) while the rest of us dried out around the campfire.  The rain started again and we all retired early for bed.
Sunday 11 April 2004                      
 We woke to find that the rain had disappeared with only light cloud in the sky. It was a leisurely start to the day as muddy tents were packed away in readiness for another days drive.
 Around 9.30 the 8 cars moved on to the main track and drove the 5 kms to Thursday Rock. The track was wet and muddy in places and caution was required. Thursday Rock is a large granite outcrop adjacent to a shady, treed campsite. We all headed for the highest point for the obligatory photos. The rain had left pools of water in hollow sections of the rock which immediately attracted the boys ( Cody, Daccian and Cameron). After a stroll back to the cars, morning tea was the order of the day.
 It was then back into the cars to negotiate our way back to the main track. One car lost momentum in a rutted, muddy section but a gentle tow from another vehicle soon had us all mobile again.
 The track was closed in by light scrub on both sides for several kilometres when we met the only significant on-coming traffic for the trip! 

The Perth 4WD club had a 13 car convoy including 9 trailers so we had to head off into the scrub to clear the path. This was a difficult exercise, specially for Mike and me with our trailers. In gratitude the Perth club handed out a few chocolate eggs which went down very well. 

On through the varied vegetation till trip.  Trip Leader Richard asked if we wanted to assemble for a group photo at the sign marking the end of the Holland Track.
 We then drove down the main gravel road to Victoria Rock- our lunch stop and final campsite for the trip. After a quick lunch and setting up camp wood was gathered for campfires. By late afternoon a barbeque and two camp ovens were added and sumptuous meals were enjoyed by all. 

The boys had done such a great job collecting firewood they celebrated by piling the wood high for a giant bonfire. As the day came to a close the adults chatted at the fireside while the junior members adjourned to Wojciech’s fabulous car to watch (and listen to) DVD’s. Another great day in a lovely part of the world.

Lester and Cameron Cousins
Monday  12th April
Day four we broke camp after a wonderful night at Victoria Rock. We headed off at 9:30 north-east along a well graded gravel road towards Coolgardie. Recent rainfalls had obviously not made an impact in this area as the road dust caused the convoy to spread out somewhat. Lester, at the tail, becoming a little crackly over the radio. A 4 foot snake survived a quick dash across the road between the tyres of the Archer’s car.
We stopped along the way to inspect an abandoned open pit gold mine.  Care had to be taken around a potentially dangerous open mine shaft that had been left unfenced.
We then hit the road again arriving in Coolgardie by 11:00 o’clock where everyone re-fueled. Lester took note of everyones fuel consumption to make a comparison of the 6 Pajeros, 1 Patrol and 1 Landcruiser on the trip.  This concluded the trip, and we all gathered for a last farewell and to thank Richard for a most enjoyable and well organised trip.  
Some headed home and others headed for Kalgoorlie for a bit of extra site seeing.
Martin and Karen Archer

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