Holland Track

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 17:20
ThreadID: 69506 Views:3540 Replies:5 FollowUps:17
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Hi all,

In a few weeks time I will travel with two 4WD vehicles from Perth to Broome. We have about three weeks time which means that choices have to be made. We're from The Netherlands and have been to OZ many times but haven't travelled between Perth and Broome yet. There are a few places we definitely want to go to: Millstream-Chichester NP, Kennedy Range, Mt. Augustus and Ningaloo. But I'm in doubt about a few places in the South. I would like to spend some time in the Goldfields area, but don't want to run short of time when we're in the Gascoyne and Pilbara area. I have been reading about the Holland Track which seems like an interesting drive (not only because of its name :-). Can anyone tell me if this track and area is worth spending a couple of days in or are we better of heading North so we have more time in Mid and Northern WA?

Cheers,

Jean-Paul
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Reply By: SteveL (WA) - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 17:59

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 17:59
Seeing that you are limited to 3 weeks ,The Holland track is quite a detour from the main route of your journey.You might want to leave it for another trip.
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Reply By: Member - Bentaxle - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 18:19

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 18:19
Hi Jean-Paul
The Holland Track runs from Hyden in the south west of WA towards Coolgardie in the Eastern Goldfields of WA. It is an interesting trip and it gives you a chance to explore places like Cave Hill near Widgiemooltha. I would certainly not attempt to do it in the time frame you have allowed yourself your intended trip as shown will eatup the time you have allowed. Please make sure that you have in car radios and a sat phone or a HF radio as well, as you will be travelling in some fairly remote areas.
Enjoy your trip.
Cheers
Mike
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Reply By: Member - Steve & Paula - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:16

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:16
Agree with the above... another consideration is the weather. July is supposed to be the wettest month on the southwest of WA. heavy rain can make the Holland Track impassable. You are probably better off heading north.
AnswerID: 368428

Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:30

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:30
Hi Jean-Paul.Kennedy Range is certainly a must see but most people only see the eastern ramparts (which are very impressive).

However, if you've got the time you could go across the top of the range from either the west or east sides.

The western side is not as speccy as the east but it's a true remote area experience (you will need to be well set up for idependent travel but with 2 vehicles you should be OK) while the top of the range is wilderness quality and has sensational views on the east side.

Chk out the mngmt plan at http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/management-and-protection/land-management-planning/approved-management-plans.html

The maps are the last 2 pages.

Ik wens jullie veel plezier.

JB.

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Follow Up By:- Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:44

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:44
Many thanks for your replies. I was indeed thinking that the weather might cause us some problems. We'll leave the Holland Track for next time and instead focus on Mid and Northern WA. John, thanks for your input re. Kennedy Range. I will have a look at the plan. I thought however that the western side of Kennedy Range NP was on private land and not accessible??

Cheers,

Jean-Paul
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:56

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 19:56
It used to be but Government has purchased a lot of land in the arid areas for conservation purposes over the past 10 years incl. lots of new land for Kennedy NP (yet to be formally incorporated).

As you're coming from the south, I'd recommend the western side first from the Carnarvon-Gascoyne Junction road. That way you won't get lost as you might do coming in from the east via abandoned Merlinleigh homestead ((there are a lot of station tracks on the east side). Acess isn't a problem, the plan discusses this issue.


I'll chk tomorrow for you if you wish as to whether there's water in the Gascoyne River at that point (but I don't think so).

I agree with the others that on your timeframe and given the time of year the Holland Track is not advisable.

Cheers. JB.

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Follow Up By:- Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:05

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:05
Thanks John. I will await your update and look forward to visiting Kennedy Range!

Cheers,

Jean-Paul
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Follow Up By: equinox - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:13

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 20:13
I have put a plotfile of the Top Tack on this site HERE



I originally got the idea though, from the website that John mentioned.

Cheers
Alan

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In whatever comes our way.

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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:48

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 21:48
Hi guys, we drove through the Kennedy Ranges about 4 weeks ago from the West to the Eastern side up through Mooka Station and the creek bed, passed a fossikers camp in Mooka Springs ( nobody there though ) seemed a bit strange seeing a big Excavator by the side of the track miles from anywhere, anyhow a West to East crossing would be the easiest to follow beacause the Station tracks on Mt Sandiman Station run everywhere and finding the right track to get up on the top of the Kennedys would be very hard, from there we went to Temple Gorge, Gascoyne Junction, Dairy Creek, Cobra and Mt Augustus, and from there Tom Price via Pingandy Station and the Ashburton Downs Meekatharra Road, I put some entries in the road conditions section on these roads when we got back. The Gascoyne river was dry when we went through it on the way to Mooka, check with the Gascoyne Junction pub for local knowledge closer to your travel dates. The trip crossing the Kennedys is really worthwhile, with some terrific bush camping spots on the Western side, and the veiw along the Eastern escarpment before you start coming down is quite spectacular. Hope this helps, Cheers Kanga1
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Follow Up By:- Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 22:10

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 22:10
Thanks Kanga1. I will check those road conditions that you've entered. That roundtrip sounds like a fabulous drive. Will check with the local pub for some up to date information once we're there.

Cheers, JP

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Follow Up By: Rod W - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 11:31

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 11:31
G'day John,

We may have crossed paths in the past through work.

Re your article (if you're the same one) in the Western 4Wdriver could you give me a call on 042 970 9177.

Thanks

Rod
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 23:52

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 23:52
Hi Jean-Paul

Karajini National Park would be my pick of the area. You would need to spend at least two nights there to see and walk the gorges that are open to the public.

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Follow Up By:- Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 23:55

Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 23:55
Thanks Motherhen. Now that I've decided to skip the Holland Track, we've made a couple of days more available for the Pilbara region which means we can also explore Karijini which should be good.

Cheers, JP
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 02:19

Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 02:19
Hi JP 2 MH, Karajini is absolutely must do.

But it's easy and on everyone's itinerery.


Do it but don't miss the chance to do something extra that hardlly anyone in Oz will ever do.

JB.
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Follow Up By:- Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 05:16

Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 05:16
Hi John,

I have been reading the feedback from a few other members about the Western section of Kennedy Range and also the information in the link that you have send me. I would say that this drive could become one of the highlights of our trip. One more question though. Have you done the roundtrip as well and if so, can the trip be done without GPS system and are the tracks relatively easy to find or is a GPS essential? On the map in the management plan it seems as if there are even some facilities like toilets, lookouts and information signs en route which make me think that the track might even be signposted to some extent. Correct me if I'm wrong....

Cheers, JP
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 11:55

Friday, Jun 05, 2009 at 11:55
Yes JP, we did this trip (from the south) in Oct 1996 and coincidentally we plan to go back in two weeks time as well.

In 1996 we didn't have GPS so it was all done just using Natmap topo maps and counting kilometers, making notes and watching the compass. There were times when we could have chosen the wrong track etc but it all went well. At an absolute minimum now I would take a cheap handheld GPS (like a Garmin etrex) plus the topo maps, notepad and the compass.

At the time we had to cross numerous dry gully crossings (narrow but steepish entry and exits) and it will probably the same now. You may have to chuck a few rocks in to build up the slope occasionally (we didn't have to but it was often close) although it is possible that the track that you would take is to the west of the one we did which looks to be closer to the range when I look at the DEC map. If so there would be less gullying.

I doubt very much whether there will be any signposting as the management plan was only published in 2008 but I will chk for you. Also the facilities mentioned in the plan are intentions; I doubt whether they have yet been built. Unfortunately the person in DEC I need to spk to is away but will be back shortly.

I hope I haven't misled you. This trip is very do-able (with 2 vehicles with some recovery gear (snatch straps etc) or with one very well equiped vehicle) but you will be in very remote country and you probably won't see any other vehicles for days at a time.

Cheers, JB.
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 17:41

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 17:41
Hi JB,

One last question that I hope you can help us out with. I have downloaded the plot file from the Western side of Kennedy Ranges NP that Alan had entered in his response. However I don't have OziExplorer. Do you know if this plot file from ExplorOz can also be used with a GPS system like Garmin eTrex?

Thanks for your answers!

Cheers, JP
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 23:09

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 23:09
Hi JP. I very much doubt it as I don't think the Etrex can be made to be programable. Etrex is an entry level unit.

Chk the GPS maker websites or go to a local distributor for advice.

You could however use Alan's plot and find the tracks on GoogleEarth and then generate a # of waypoints which you could then enter on the etrex and turn into a route. A bit cluncky but would give you a good guide.

Note that, on the ground this track should be easy to follow except coming out at the east after Merlinleigh. It would be good to input GE waypoints to get out of this area.

Alan's plot shows as going direct north after x'ing the Gascoyne. That is the preferred route.

The route I took which was rough as I posted before was to follow the Gascoyne (after x'ing) to the east (closer to the ranges; hence more gullied) and then north to intersect Alan's route further up.

I don't know if this access is still available but I would advise against it even if it's open unless you have good recovery gear.

Cheers. JB.
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FollowupID: 636686

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:37

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:37
JP, I've just had contact from the local rangers. There are definitely no facilities and no signage. You also don't yet need to seek a permit as is stated in the management plan. J.
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Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 16:40

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 16:40
Thanks John. I'm now in the process of finding myself a suitable GPS system. Once I have entered Alan's points into it we should be able to have a great and safe Kennedy experience!

Thanks for all your assistance!

Cheers, JP
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FollowupID: 636780

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 18:55

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 18:55
No worries JP; I'd be interested in your impressions when you get back to Nederland. Cheers. J.
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Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 18:57

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 18:57
I will for sure leave my Kennedy Range experiences here if we have followed Alan's western route.

Cheers, JP
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