Holland Track to Burra Rock - Track update

Submitted: Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 15:03
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Started the Holland Track from the Hyden end last Thursday in lovely dry weather, with fellow EO member Sludgy & his son (3 vehicles no passengers). To say that the track isn't cut up to buggery in some areas south of the barrier fence would be putting it mildly. The first 2 hours of driving from the Hyden - Norseman Rd was full of very deep rutted areas some at least 600-800mm deep and the depth of the actual ruts diff snagging deep. Some of the chicken tracks at the side or around these spots were also very cut up. Lucky for us it hadn't stated to rain at this point. But it started at 11:30pm that night & didn't stop until about 11:30am Sunday. Track started to improve with only the occasional bad deep section. The reports of the track being over grown and closed in in places wasn't really noticed.

The track started to become muddy from about Sandalwood Rocks and by the time we got to Thursday Rock the track into Thursday Rock was very boggy and with a deep boggy section that I couldn't avoid as I couldn't drive out of the ruts to get to the chicken track.

From the Victoria Rock Road we headed south to the first track east that heads to Cave Hill. The first 20Km or so was fantastic but beyond this we encountered mud, slosh, and nice deep bog holes. We had been advised by a group of 4 vehicles we passed that there was a bit of mud ahead, they weren't joking. Unfortunately for me I was the 7th vehicle through so it was truly cut up by the time I went through. The car may have been pointed forward but it was doing a very good impression of somebody doing a quick step dance at times.

Anyway we arrived at Cave Hill dirty and covered in mud without any damage and whist it being nerve racking at times was also fun.

From Cave Hill we took the Woodlines Track to Burra Rock which was a fantastic track with some great scenery and the colours of the trees was great. Pity about the weather though.

I'd hate to see what the Holland Track looks like now after nearly 4 days of rain and if all the bog holes are full and the sections besides the deep bits are also full of water it will be a hell off a job telling which is the shallow bits and which are the car drowning deep bits.

My advice would be to stay clear for a while to let it dry out again, or risk damage to you and more so the track.

What really pee'd us off though was the amount of crap left behind by people and tell tail paper trails.

Cheers

Dunc
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:34

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:34
Hi Dunc.

Got the mud off the rig yet :-). Great report thanks.

We copped at least 20mm in about 30 minutes at our last camp this trip just north of Mullewa. Water was completely sheeting across the lie of the land. Quite driveable next morning tho.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:55

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:55
You guys were out there too!!!
I was camped at the base of Mount Hampton on Saturday night, poured down from 6pm to 10pm, then again from 1am to 3am.

Most of the water was gone in the morning..

Cheers
Alan

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:31

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:31
Betcha Massie was looking for a spot inside your swag mate ;-)
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:33

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:33
Hi John, yes most washed off but the car is still brown stained and I'm yet to air out the awning. Hate the mess mud makes grrrrrrrrrr.

Glad I wasn't tenting!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes I heard about your Mullewa experience, not sure how much we got Saturday night but it was very steady all night. Lay there thinking that we would be well and truly stuck.

You or PB will have to do a report on the club trip you did?

Cheers

D

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Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:38

Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 20:38
Swag Mick?
Too wet to even set it up. To make matters worse the dog was wet and smelly and refused to sit on the floor on the cab so I only had the drivers seat and the middle bit, passenger seat hog she was.

At least one of us got a good nights sleep.


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Follow Up By: auzinomad - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 11:46

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 11:46
Hmmmmm
Pity about the track condition, now you've cut it up, possibly beyond repair for quite some time.
Did any of you ever think that by persisting that you might have ''totalled'' the track for future use.

Yehhh I know you probably had a time limit and ...... and ......... and !

But by your posting actions here your admitting your ''don't give a sh** attitude for future travelers.

The Right decision by Thinking People would be to delay the rest of the trip and come back when the track is dry and less vulnerable to eco-vandalism.
If it was a road more used it would have definitely been closed and any users would have been charged accordingly.

Similar attitudes have closed many a track in the Eastern Highlands and Ranges !
Keep up the ''I have a right to turn any track into a bog hole '' and eventually every track we now can use will be closed to us in the future.

Good one Ralph !

BTW I worked in the Forrestonia area in the 60 - 70's and the Holland track at that time could be driven in an Inter ute and HT Holden utes.
How do I know ...... We did it many times !
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:17

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:17
Hi Ausinomad, I hear what you are saying and concur with your thoughts about cutting up the tracks. In our situation we were in a damned if we do and damned if we don't situation as we had no idea that things would deteriorate so quickly and to turn around would more than likely have encountered similar conditions on the retreat.

If options had been available at that particular point in time we no doubt would have taken them.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 19:28

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 19:28
Bravo Auzinomad, someone has to say it. Fair cop Dunc, sorry mate. Either of the Marvel Loch - Forrestania or Banker Mt Day roads would have provided perfectly suitable bailout points.

If it rained all night from 11pm, that ought to have been a reasonable hint.

However I'm not that hard on you as I suspect we've all been a bit guilty of carrying on through mud when with hindsight we probably shouldn't have.

What causes more damage and makes track travel really unpleasant are the needless corrugations caused by people driving 4WDs in 2WD in dry conditions.

Why Trackcare and other track managers won't put signs up urging people to engage 4WD NOW is a complete mystery.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Sludgie W.A - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 20:05

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 20:05
To auzinomad, as one of the three cars on the Holland track with Duncan I take offence in your post on your assumption that we were eco vandals and have damaged the track so that it can't be used by others. The Right decision by Thinking people as you put it is ok if you are about to start at one end and not be half way through at the time of rain as we were.
This track was cut up long before we were there and if we had been driving there in the middle of winter and driving through it then you may have had some ground for your assumptions.
The fact that at no time did it look like it was impassable even with the chicken tracks that had been left by others. I therefore would have to assume that if there is a puddle in the middle of a gravel road you would cancel your trip as not to damage it for future use.
I would be happy to go back to the Holland track this weekend and would have no problems in travelling through any area of it.

Sludgie
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 20:07

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 20:07
Accept your comments Paul. Track wasn't too bad in a lot of places so didn't expect the extent of some of the muddy areas at the end. Most of the rain was a constant & persistent drizzle and didn't look to be an issue until really Saturday and by then most of the HT was completed.Thursday Rock track at the very beginning caught us/me by surprise though.

Agree about your corrugation comments we encountered many Km of them and even though we had reduced pressures to the low 20's it was still a bugger, I was in High range for the most part.

Cheers

Dunc

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Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 23:03

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 23:03
The holland track sees most of its traffick in the wet season.
Its not really inviting in summer
Portions at least would be wet when most people drive it
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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:44

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:44
No sense berating mere travellers for driving on a badly damaged remote wet track, when there are so many hoons who deliberately cut up these tracks and pristine areas just for a momentary thrill.

If you took time to walk around the south eastern side Thursday Rock you would find a very pretty rare grassy plain with a multitude of circles cut into the delicate shallow soil and fragile vegetation by careless hoons.
That is eco vandalism! They are the only people who should be made to feel like criminals.

In the scheme of things I dont think travelling the Holland Track at any time can cut it up "much" worse than it already is - bearing in mind that drivers can do their bit to repair ruts and minimise damage by driving on the high edges of wheel ruts as the track dries and spreading wheel tracks across the width of the track i.e. By not driving in the established wheel ruts when the track is still damp. (as the rangers in FNQ suggest when driving the perpetually damp CREB Track when it's open). Use a bit of nouse.

Rainfall across that area can be very patchy so it can be hard to know when you should (or even can) call it quits.

Consider also the exploration teams who have an enforced legal (environmental) responsibility to rehabilitate their programs and access tracks and farmers and other workers who get caught out in rain. They have to travel and consequentially damage remote wet roads (sometimes with permission depending on the track) to resupply or simply to get home. It happens!
Kerry W (Qld)
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Follow Up By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:55

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:55
and furthermore a quote from Exploroz's Trek note on the HT

"From Broome Hill to Coolgardie, the Holland Track was originally built in the gold rush days as a shortcut to the Goldfields. Hardly ever visited for nearly 100 years, it was re-cut as a 4WD track in 1992 (sic ~ by a WA 4WD club) and is a popular trip with locals".


http://www.exploroz.com/TrekNotes/SouthCoast/Holland_Track.aspx

Some interesting reading here I remember that the Toyota Land Cruiser Club of WA actually reopened this section of the Track back in 1992 as "The north east portion was reclaimed by the bush, whilst the south western section was overtaken by pastoralists and their farmlands for nearly 100 years".

The story here

http://www.tlccwa.org.au/Holland_Track

Dont feel to bad guys....


Kerry W (Qld)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:55

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:55
The holland track really is just for those who do the well known tracks only.
I recently did it fir the first time due to a group doing it and I was after something different.
Theres many much more picturesque tracks with as much or more history in the Goldfield
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Reply By: Lionel A - Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 17:20

Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 17:20
Giday Duncan, I was on the Holland about a week before you. Came down from Sandstone, Mt Elvire, Jaurdi then the Holland to home. Nice trip with a nights rain at the Helenas and another whilst on the Holland. Some water around which made the track interesting but not impassible.
This is why I have a 4x4.

As for Auzinomads comments, I do wonder why he bothers to own a 4x4 unless he only uses it to duck down to the local shops and back.
I couldn't care less if he used to drive an HT ute through there, I needed to lock my hubs in and use low range.

Cheers......Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 19:27

Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 19:27
Hi Lionel, how were the Aurora's love that area?

First time I was on the track a number of years ago now, a Falcon passed us. Mind you he was a 'Bash" car doing a recci.

Cheers

Dunc

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Follow Up By: Lionel A - Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 20:52

Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 20:52
All good Duncan, nothing much has changed. Been visiting the area every couple of years since about 2004. Alot more mining activity than I recall the last time I was there. The homestead has a new longdrop, but some clown has stolen the hot water boiler???

The old rail service track [north side of the line] to Kooly is pretty shabby, but fine if you enjoy some rough riding and negotiating fallen trees. Good to get some oil on the front diff...lol. Just adds to the adventure.

Never get bored poking around that area.


Cheers....Lionel.
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