My God! What have we done to the Holland Track?

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 26, 2017 at 21:41
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Had my fourth trip down the Holland over the weekend leading up to Anzac Day, but my first for 6 or 7 years and was just amazed and appalled by its condition.

Far from being a very pleasant track winding through beautiful bush, with the odd puddle or deep set of ruts to be negotiated, it is now a mass of corrugations and really huge bogholes you could easily lose a vehicle in. The first of these I encountered I was inclined to drive through but the old habits clicked in and I got a stick and tested the water depth, which was over a metre deep. Woo!

As someone who uses a 4WD to get to interesting or nice places off the beaten track, rather than for any intrinsic "fun" there might be in driving it, I was a totally gobsmacked that a track I had loved and had been so familiar with had become so rough and chopped up. And damned unpleasant.

So if you're like me and more into the places your fourbie gets you rather than the fourbie itself, I'd avoid the Holland Track.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Reply By: rocco2010 - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 01:09

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 01:09
Was talking to someone just tonight who knows the Holland Track well about that very thing and he backed up your report.

It seems some people think it is good fun to find a deep mud hole and make it deeper.

I travelled that way in 2010 and it was basically my introduction to outback tracks.

Sad really.

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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 07:33

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 07:33
Yeah, it's like it's become a must do for people with huge aggressive mud tyres and big lifts (6 inch). Many of the vehicles we saw seemed to be of that nature.

Four drivers I spoke to didn't even have 4WD engaged unless they were in mud which explains the corrugations.

I also don't recall all the side tracks - it's like the track now occupies a lot more land than it did so you wonder how long it will be before the environmental degradation sees it closed to recreational use.

I will also contact the Toyota Landcruiser Club of WA and Trackcare which both have signage along the track which indicate they take some responsibility for the track.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Banjo (WA) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 07:49

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 07:49
Apparently there is consideration being given to closing the track for 2 years.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 08:25

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 08:25
I wish the police in all states would enforce the vehicle modification codes to get some of these cars off the road. I've been 4wding for 40 years and you can do 99% of tracks with 32" tyres if you have any skill at all.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 09:47

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 09:47
I seem to be able to get everywhere I want to go with the standard 265R16 or 17's, with a mild offroad A/T tread!
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 09:52

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 09:52
We drove it over the Easter break and had no problems dodging all the mud pits. We had a vehicle somewhere in front of us and the driver looked to be going out of his way to drive all the mud holes.

Vehicle bash plates have been acting like a bob cat's bucket and plowing more and more mud out of these areas so now you literally have a trench and one looked to be easily 900mm deep.

These people may think it's fun but ultimately they are making it bad for others.

cheers

Dunc
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Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 10:53

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 10:53
Big lift, big wheels, big throttle.

Sh*t, who needs skill.
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Follow Up By: ian.g - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 11:23

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 11:23
Everything big when its out.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 11:45

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 at 11:45
Right on Sigmund,

Big vehicle mods, small ability and infinitesimal IQ.

Unfortunately there are a heap of what were tracks that were a pleasant experience to travel and equally pleasant destinations. Not so much nowadays.

I'm just thankful that I was able to travel most/some before the gung ho brigade became so numerous.
Many years ago 7.50x16 tyres, a long handled shovel and a good jack would get you most places. Of course tyre pressures set appropriately.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 22:17

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 22:17
Pop, I'd probably add the Simpson to that list.......
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 29, 2017 at 10:10

Saturday, Apr 29, 2017 at 10:10
Same thing up on the Telegraph Track on Cape York. Shocking difference from 2008 to 2016. Hoons with big tyres and small brains have churned up everything they can. The mentality seems to be - there's a hill, lets see if we can make a new track up it. Basically, the Tip is being trashed and your standard non-lifted vehicle cannot get through some sections. I hate to think what it will be like in another 8 years. Better get up there and do it now before it's ruined or closed.... W
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Apr 29, 2017 at 22:13

Saturday, Apr 29, 2017 at 22:13
So we seem to know what the problem is, the question is what so we do about it.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Apr 30, 2017 at 10:05

Sunday, Apr 30, 2017 at 10:05
True, much of the 4WD industry and vehicle owners keep pushing authorities for more tolerance to mods, lifts, larger wheels / tryes, etc.

The ability to go into more inaccessible areas (or trash moderate ones by brute ability), little control over damage done or the funds / manpower to rectify when / where needed, and we still don't want more places closed to us when it all becomes too hard for authorities . . . we can't have it both ways.
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Reply By: Member - silkwood - Monday, May 01, 2017 at 22:02

Monday, May 01, 2017 at 22:02
25 years ago (maybe not to the day, but definitely 25 years) I was sitting in a tutorial (Recreation Management) arguing with fellow students about access to national parks with 4wd's. The consensus was they should be banned from most areas. As a 4wd'er I suggested the answer was to be inclusive, not legislative. The answer was to educate and encourage people to see using 4wd's in national parks as a means to get to to interesting places, that national parks are not a place for 4wd recreation for the sake of 4wd-ing.

How wrong I was.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, May 01, 2017 at 23:01

Monday, May 01, 2017 at 23:01
You might have been right Silkwood...

...it's just the education and encoragement hasn't hit the target audience.

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 17:07

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 17:07
I think that's right Anthony, for a variety of reasons. One is that the education and encouragement has essentially stopped now, or another might be that it's missing its mark and is not directed appropriately at the sections of the 4WD fraternity that are causing the damage.
My concern is that if we don't turn this around soon, we'll lose access to a whole range of places because others will have worn out our welcome as we're all tarred with the same brush.
There needs to be a conversation within the 4WD fraternity about this.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 18:25

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 18:25
I agree with most of what you are saying here Paul.

The problem is with the usage of the term "4WD Fraternity". The message has gotten through to people within the 4WD fraternity that I, and obviously yourself and other members of forums like ExplorOz, belong too.

It is the 4WDrivers that the message hasn't gotten through. You know the type...

I deliberately try not to use "emotive language" when I post, but it is the cashed up bogans and hoons that need the education. These are the same people who travel with a trailer full of cheap imported quad bikes, loud stereos and eskies full of alcohol. Usually a couple of noisy and obnoxious kids in tow (and quite often an equally noisy obnoxious spouse and/or dog). They inevitably end up running through your camp, burn stinking rubbish in the fire and "sing", laugh at their own jokes and drink and swear until all hours of the morning. Then get up in the morning and "attack" the tracks with gusto, an exagerated sense of ability and quite often an inflated Blood alcohol level.

These are the people that require educating and encouraging.

Perhaps a solution might be to use "volunteer wardens" (similar to those the Fisheries use. But, give them the powers to educate first and also record details. Then when the 4WDrivers fail to get the message, the evidence is already there for the authorities to prosecute.

Not a complete solution, but a basic framework. I obviously wouldn't be able to volunteer, because I am fed up with them and would probably be a bit biased.

I took a "quick trip" to Northam the other week end (decided to go via the powerlines) and what should have been a nice drive through the bush turned into a nightmare because of these types of people. A collision with a family in a new Ford Ranger because the were racing along the track. 2 hours transporting the family out to the highway - oh! The people who caused it didn't help - they were more worried about recovering their vehicle that "slipped off the track". When we got back to show the tow truck where to get the Ranger, the same group of Fwit hoons were doing time trials up one of the larger hill tracks. One had snapped the drive train and tried to bribe the tow truck driver to get them out to the highway. Fortunately he was an older guy and decided to teach them a lesson and said he couldn't because his truck wasn't rated to tow their vehicle (Monstered 60 series with a V8 implant).

Until we can communicate effectively with these types - I feel we are bashing our heads against the wall.

Sorry Rant Over

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Anthony
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 14:29

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 14:29
Anthony,
I don't think you were ranting at all. I thought your post was right on the money.
Having lived in the hills east of Perth for most of my 70 years I can remember when 90% of what is known as the Power line Track could be driven in a 2WD Holden ute. I know I did it.
Now I don't even bother taking my Landcruiser along there. I have more respect for the vehicle and couldn't be bothered with meeting the single brain celled morons that usually wait until it has rained heavily before taking their macho machines for a run.
As far as educating that particular bunch, are you kidding? You have more chance of teaching a cockroach calculus.

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, May 04, 2017 at 21:37

Thursday, May 04, 2017 at 21:37
And here is an example of the types that require educating...





Oh! And they are the ones that these types of 4WDrivers turn to for advice.

I have nothing against the use of quads for getting out to explore/reach places (in the vane of some of our ExplorOz notables) but just or hacking through the bush - seriously!!!!

Why aren't ALL OFF-ROAD VEHICLES licenced (with plates for identification) like they used to be? Each vehicle and operator of the vehicle should have to undergo training before use.

I have seen some really good 6 year old drivers hacking through the sand dunes atLancelin on quads and motorbikes - but then I suppose it is never too young to start your driver education. Sorry sarcasm starting to set in.

Cheers

Anthony
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 06:15

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 06:15
Four-wheel drive magazines and their info-verts have a lot to answer for (at least in my view).

Tragically there are people out in four wheel drives who have no concept of the damage created, especially in wet weather conditions.

And then there are those who consider a day in the 'mud' churning up tracks pure bliss.

And then there are the rest of us who suffer the consequences, whether that be a track that has been damaged, like the OP describes, or tracks and accessed being closed or denied.

Not sure how, or if you can change people's behaviours - I suspect if you solve this problem you'll solve a lot of other problems society faces (LOL)
Cheers, Baz- The Landy
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 07:16

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 07:16
Hmm...like the Patriot Campers crew who did Gunshot the hard way towing a 3 tonne trailer with a quad bike and all manner of other things packed into it? Six tonne all up. They got stuck first go and had to winch back up the drop off, then try again. They now have bragging rights, it's on Youtube for all the bogans to see and copy. It will probably sell a few campers and Toyotas though so good for the economy.
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Reply By: Dean K3 - Thursday, May 04, 2017 at 17:26

Thursday, May 04, 2017 at 17:26
Sadly holland track and powerline track which is close by to me (mundaring resident) are both stuffed due to the 35 inch 6 inch brigade, accept there are a few who are responsible but majority are not.

I have even been told its due to those of us who have standard 4wd are ones who are causing the damage trying to go through these ruts and bog holes -hmm ok each to their own.

Alot of the 4wd magazines do have alot to answer for I only read one of them a locally produced mag and they certainly don't preach track damage in fact they encourage people to be involved with track care.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, May 04, 2017 at 20:20

Thursday, May 04, 2017 at 20:20
If we are the ones causing the problem, then why don't our wheels reach the the bottom of the trenches? That is one question the bogans have never been able to answer!
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Reply By: Member - Trev65 - Thursday, Jun 08, 2017 at 17:35

Thursday, Jun 08, 2017 at 17:35
We did it in January and even dry, some of the holes you would not get out of by yourself.

You just have to look at YouTube to see that the track is now being treated as a Bog Run by a lot of people.It is a shame as it was opened up as a historic link to the goldfields past and a lot of people wanted to drive it as a family outing, not an extreme test of a vehicles capabilities.

Hopefully one of the clubs or shire will send a loader thru to do a repair or it will end up being subject to closures.
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